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Not-so-thankful for sales and security
by Larry Wilson
Nov 22, 2010 | 616 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We are headed into the holidays at full throttle — so much so that we can almost smell that Thanksgiving turkey cooking as we speak. There are two things we need to be mindful of as we go headlong into this holiday season: airport security and Black Friday sales.

Yes, some of us may have to undergo a full pat down security check. Is it invasive? Yes. Do we like it? No. We are fast getting to the point in our personal airport security checks where TSA might require us to strip down, have our clothes X-rayed, go through a full body scan and then re-dress on the other side. Sound ludicrous? So did full body scans a few years ago.

What I’m concerned about is not the 80-year-old grandma who’s flying to see the grandkids, but rather the ramp personnel, fuel truck drivers, catering truck drivers, etc. They do not currently go through any screenings, but they are in and about all those aircraft without a scintilla of an inspection excepting for their uniform and I.D. badges. That has me concerned.

If you want to catch a bad guy, you have to think like one and, believe me, if I can see holes in our security system at airports so can the bad guys. And yes, they are out there right now.

I was at LAX in Los Angeles a few years ago and a plane belonging to El Al, Israel’s state-run airline, was on the ramp. It was isolated from all the other aircraft and was pulled up to the loading ramp only when it was time to board. Israel has good reason to be a little bit squirrelly concerning airport security after all the years that country has been fighting for its freedom. We should be half as concerned.

Unfortunately, gone are the days of the sleepy little Reno airport of yesteryear that probably had no more than a half dozen aircraft a day. Passengers used to walk through the terminal/hangar, buy a ticket and carry their luggage to the plane themselves.

Good advice today is to travel lightly. Leave all your metal devices at home and enjoy the flight.

On Black Friday, before you load up your tent and sleeping bag so as to be the first one to get into any given store on Black Friday at midnight and take advantage of tremendous sales on a limited number of items, there are some things of which you should be aware.

First of all, most of those big sales are items being clearanced to make way for new items. Yes, they are probably a good buy, but they are priced that way to sell them off so as to make room for the new merchandise coming after the first of the year. If stores have them on their inventory after the first of the year they have to pay taxes on that merchandise. The fact that there isn’t a large amount of a certain commodity available at the fantastic sale price should send up flags that the reason is it is a clearance item.

If the old merchandise is sold at Christmas, the job of inventorying the remaining merchandise is not as expensive to conduct because it will not take as long to count it when the existing inventory is depleted to a manageable level.

A lot of stores will be prelisting the remaining items after the Christmas season getting ready for the actual inventory day in late January. Prelisting means just that: The store lists the items in the store on sheets of paper by stock number and once the inventory is actually taken, the number crunchers in the store compile the results in an effort to be sure the store is ready for tax season.

Christmas is a festive season to be sure, but keep in mind all you shoppers, the businesses are in it for just that — business. Just be sure no one gives you “the business” in the rush for a deal at Christmas time.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at
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