Black Friday took on a whole new meaning at a Long Island Wal Mart early Friday morning when a crowd of nearly two thousand shoppers stampeded into the store. A maintainence worker employed by an outside contractor was knocked down, trampled and died of his injuries. Four others including a pregnant woman were sent to the hospital with minor injuries.
Shoppers stepped over the man and continued into the store. The store was closed for several hours while police started an investigation and the injured were dealt with. Many of the shoppers were angry that the store was being closed before they could finish their "shopping." The usual reason was "I've been waiting in line for hours."
Was getting to that Samsung TV so damned important? Spokesmen for the store said that there were barricades outside and extra personnel on duty; obviously it wasn't enough. I truly believe that the retailers want the crowds hyped up and on the verge of stampeding. The more focused the shoppers are on their bargain hunting goals the better. Don't ask any questions. The people in line with you aren't fellow shoppers; the're potential obstacles to your bargain hunting success. They might get to your shopping goal before you do; whether it's that vacuum cleaner, DVD or digital camera. You have to get there first, no matter the cost. Well, the price was pretty damned high on Long Island on an early Friday morning.
You know what's really tragic? The man worked for an outside contractor. I doubt if his benefits included life insurance. Goddess, his poor family.