The call for help came from an email at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday.
Melody McDonald Lanier
, the media relations director at Varghese Summersett, had an urgent request for the law firm's attorneys and staff. The subject line: Operation PlayStation 5.
"Hoping some of ya'll can help me today. I'm trying to get Kane a PlayStation 5 today for Christmas. They launched overnight (online only) and are already sold out everywhere. HOWEVER, Walmart is selling them today online at specific times. Soooooo, if you are at your computer at 11 a.m. today, if you can hit the link and see if you can get in, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks anyone who can help. I figure there is power in numbers."
The entire staff - including Managing Partner Benson Varghese
and his wife, Anna Summersett
- were all in.
At 11 a.m. Texas time, Walmart's first online PS5 launch of the day, everyone was at their computers or on their phones clicking and refreshing the Walmart PS5 link
It was pretty much over before it started.
Operation PS5 Round 1
Operation PS5 Round 2
At 11:03, Walmart announced on their website that the PS5 was out of stock, but that they were restocking their shelves. The retail giant said the "item would be back at 3:00 PM ET" (2 p.m. Texas time).
Although Round 1 wasn't successful, the team tried to learn from it. To make sure they were quicker on the draw, those who didn't have one already created a Walmart account and entered payment and shipping information.
When Round 2 started at 2 p.m., the team felt confident.
Two minutes later, that confidence turned to disappointment.
Operation PS5 Round 3
By this time, the team was starting to grow disillusioned. They wondered if Bots were buying up all the consoles, leaving 12-year-old boys like Kane out of luck for Christmas.
Still, the team pressed on. Round 3 was at 5 p.m.
Unfortunately, the results were the same:
Out of Stock...
It was the same song, different verse.
On the drive home from work, Melody was disappointed that she hadn't been able to land a PS5 for Kane, but filled with gratitude that she worked for a firm that puts family first and cares - whether it's working together on a big criminal case or helping a co-worker's kid get a PS5.
Melody sent a quick text thanking the team for their efforts - not expecting them to try again from home on the final round at 8 p.m.
Operation PS5 Final Round
When 8 p.m. rolled around, it was clear the team hadn't thrown in their towels. Text messages started flying around again as they made a last ditch effort to snag the elusive PS5. One by one, they got shut out. First Bresha
, then Benson, then Melody... It was clear that Operation PlayStation 5 was about to be dead.
And then, a Christmas miracle happened.
Attorney Letty Martinez
, a pianist with lightening-fast fingers, had gotten in and all the way through. She had an order number and a delivery date to prove it
Operation PS5 Success!
So how did she do it? Letty - a mother of teenage twins - said she is a regular user of the Walmart app on
her phone. Walmart Pay was already set up and her shipping information was already intact. She also did a little research to see if there was a way to give herself an advantage.
"Being a huge nerd, I read that having something else in your shopping cart with your credit card info ready, could help," Letty said.
So Letty put printer ink for $57.48 in her cart and, after a couple of tries, was able to throw a PS5 in there, as well.
The next thing she knew, she was hitting the "Continue" and "Confirm Payment" buttons.
And then, she got that coveted confirmation number.
"Given the crazy demand, I won't believe it until I see it," Martinez said, laughing. "I'm a big skeptic...But as bonus, my printer ink will be here soon!"
Melody said she couldn't believe it either when Letty texted the group that her order actually went through.
"I had resigned myself that it probably wasn't going to happen," Melody said. "I was touched by the efforts of my work family. They hung in there even though it was a long shot, long after our work day was done. That is much bigger than a PS5.
"But, I'm not going to lie — my son is going to be stoked!"