Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Zombie Friday

"Olivia Stone of Dundalk attempts to hold as many bags as she can handle as other from the Franklin Woods Center checkout toys for their annual children Christmas party during the early morning Black Friday sale at Kohl's in Timonium, Friday, Nov. 28. The day following Thanksgiving, Black Friday is the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season."

I've learned to get up early and work, however, getting up in the wee-hours of the morning is anything but easy. Being forced from my sheets too early only puts me in an odd state that cannot be described.

Two weeks ago, I got the call that I'd be working Black Friday. It was a bit in advance, but I was up for the challenge. Well, aside from the getting up hours into the day following Thanksgiving. Winning the lottery seemed like an easier task than getting out of bed at 2 a.m.

It wasn't until Wednesday that I found out where and when I needed to be for my Black Friday assignment. When I heard I'd have to be in Timonium at 4 a.m. I cringed. My very next thought was I wasn't going to go to bed, I'd stay up all night. Yeah, right.

On Thanksgiving I watched each hour tick away until I needed to try and get some sleep. After scanning the television for anything but football, I crawled into bed, shut my curtains and laid there motionless at 6:30 p.m. It was the only time I was ever happy it got dark at 5 p.m. Ever.

Total silence. Total darkness. One million and one thoughts racking in my brain. I couldn't sleep. I estimate I fell asleep somewhere around midnight.

At 2:30 a.m., my alarm sounded. Surprisingly, without hesitation, I rolled out of bed, jumped into the shower, got dressed, and snacked on breakfast as I drove 30 minutes to my assignment.

Prior to getting to Kohl's, where I'd be allowed inside before the rush at 4 a.m., I had to shoot the line outside of Best Buy.

With my camera in hand, I was literally a walking zombie at 3:15 a.m. I pushed myself to stay awake. I even thought about grabbing a coffee, but I've been caffeine free since May, I wasn't about to break my new healthy habit.

Once I got moving, I slowly woke up. Conversely, the shoppers seemed to be sleepy.

At 4 a.m., the doors swung open at Kohl's and 150 or more shoppers crashed...wait...walked into the store like snails. No smiles. No stampedes. No punching. No kicking. No screaming. No fighting over GPS units.

All along I was expecting a rush of people, crashing into one another, toppling over shelves of toys, clothes and electronics.

But they weren't. I was utterly disappointed. It was like any other typical shopping day. Talk about being bored to death sleep.

After an hour of shooting, having some odd conversations with half asleep or half awake shoppers, I needed to file before 6 a.m. I don't even get up at 6 a.m., even if I do have an early class. I don't even get up then if I work an early shift. But I had a deadline then. I am still laughing at that.

Anyways, somehow I managed to compile coherent cutlines and move my images from my car without passing out in the parking lot.

After getting done shooting, I went back to bed by 7 a.m. and was up, again, around 10:30 a.m. Astonishingly, I felt refreshed. I guess being young has its benefits. Maybe not as resilient as a child though.

Nonetheless, it was a crazy experience. Only wish it was more exhilarating.

I did learn though that I can function on odd hours, granted it was a 14-hour difference when I was in Japan this past January.

As for the image, the above is one photo than ran the next day. It was my favorite as she kept getting loaded up with bag after bag by her friends. Most of the time what I post doesn't run or is an outtake.

Alas, I don't know how these shoppers did it. My time and energy really isn't worth getting up that early to save $20 on a television. I gave the Black Friday tradition some thought and there really isn't any material item that I want that bad, and there isn't anyone I would get up for to go shopping for at 2 a.m.

Color me ugly, but I'd rather not save the money and sleep.


Blogger Phil Romans said...

You and David both about the sleep. Me, I am a morning person- but not THAT early. Good lord that insane... I tried it one year and felt like crap the entire day.

I am still reeling from the idea that people were camped out at Best Buy by 8pm Thanksgiving day.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 8:01:00 AM  

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