But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Americans are assholes

I have hated Wal-Mart for a very long time. Although the number one issue fueling this hatred has always been their treatment of employees, the annoying people who shop there come in a close second.

They may have switched places yesterday.

In case you haven't read this yet, a man was killed yesterday at a Wal-Mart in the Long Island area. No, he wasn't robbed and killed in the parking lot, or crushed by a collapsing roof panel, but he was trampled to death by the people rushing in at 5am to do their Christmas shopping. Apparently they could not wait long enough for him to get the doors open and broke through the partially open doors. According to the story, they also trampled other Wal-Mart employees trying to help the dying man. Along with the death, one pregnant woman was trampled, causing her to miscarry.

What for? A cheap TV? A discount XBox? A $9 Hulk DVD? Well, if this video has anything to say about it, people have clearly let their material possessions become more important than the people around them.

Who is to blame for this? Certainly Wal-Mart at some level. They, along with every other store hype the super deals on Black Friday, only to offer a few products at that price. This definitely contributes to the frenzy. The news gets a little piece as well, as they add to the hype of Black Friday shopping. And I guess you have to blame the 2000 idiots lined up at Wal-Mart at 5am.

How do we stop it? Maybe we can't. I guarantee Wal-Mart will get sued a few times for this. The first article says that police are looking to identify the people that trampled the man and 4 other injured customers. Maybe $100 million from Wal-Mart and a couple of 20-year sentences will get people to think a little differently.

Although I highly doubt it. That's why we are assholes.


derrickgott007 said...

You must shop at a shitty wal mart to hate them so bad. I work for wal mart as my second job and they treat us pretty good. maybe its a southern thing or a texas thing but the wal mart here really cares for its employees. I make 10 an hour which is great considering the average pay for part time here in brady is 7 or 8.

We have a profit share program that really pays us. Last profit check was $400 extra per employee. As a wal mart employee i can go to any texas dodge dealership and buy a 4 door pickup for $500 over dealer cost, I get great benefits (better than my full time job which is 20000% more deadly) and I get a 10% discount on anything at any walmart and walmart.com. The 401K is really stable and retirement is good....so maybe Wal Mart blows in Cali?
Here in brady texas we are a 24 hr store and we stayed open all night prior to the black friday sale so people just lingered in the store to prevent the carnival of greed as i like to call it. I havent seen the trampling video but I'm guessing that most the tramplers are of a darker ethnic race so to speak? If so it's not so much wal marts fault as it is a society issue with the whole "gotta get mine" mentallity of the inner citys.

scott said...

Perhaps the mob was looking to help us get out of the recession by single-handedly stimulating the economy? Didn't George Bush tell us to "go shopping" after 9/11 - as his response to what we can do to compensate for tragic events? Although this event is tragic, and I think it is ridiculous that people would actually kill another person for a good deal on a toaster or lcd tv, maybe they were just following orders.

Jeff said...

I've always wondered if Wal-Mart in Texas is run by some bizarro-CEO that cares about people. A couple of questions though. Do you have to pay a chunk of your salary to get those benefits? How often do you get the profit sharing?

I have read a lot about Wal-Mart and I feel like your store is an exception. If that's the case, then awesome for you. I do know, however, that Wal-Mart has done a lot in stores throughout the country to prevent people from forming unions. Although I am not a big fan of how many unions operate, I feel that people should have the right to organize if they choose to do so.

How did that whole process work with Black Friday at your store? Did they announce over the PA that the sale prices were in effect and everyone ran for the pile? Was there any chaos at all? How many people were there? If things went smoothly maybe Wal-Mart should use your store as a model. In the case of the trampling, it looked like it was mostly one certain minority group, but there were other videos that I saw where a bunch of white people of a certain economic class were going crazy over a pile of X-Boxes. I'm not so sure its inner city as much as its a problem anywhere you find a lot of people, regardless of their ethnicity. I think Wal-Mart and every other store deserves a good bit of the blame since there are ways to handle these things to prevent mobbing. Why not use bracelets like when you are buying concert tickets?

That Sherman Woman said...

Christmas associate in GA writes;

I had a favorable opinion of Wal-mart prior to working for them as a part time temporary worker for the holidays. I do think that for many workers that are never exposed to the fortune 100 work place standards and treatment that Wal-mart is like "good corporate light".
However, just like the clothing, which is wear once and throw away..
what you see is not what you get.

Blame the kiddie co-managers mostly male in their 20s who have the herd mentality that Wal-mart relies on..
You cultivate a herd mentality and then wonder when they stampeed???

Anonymous said...

Oh please, let me leave a comment. My ex husband was a total deadbeat asshole, ran out on our daughter when she was 7 years old, 30 years ago. Walked straight into the NSA in Washington DC and filled out an application, never told them he's a deadbeat - and today, he's gonna retire on his Federal retirement. And when I went and complained to the DOD, Sec. Gates told me to shove off and leave them alone. The Sec. of Defense is an asshole. The NSA is out here wiretapping everybody, and their own employees are deadbeats. Go figure. I agree, Washington is full of assholes. By the way, you can read about this asshole at www.stevegrimaud.com