Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Last Few Weeks Til Christmas

I hope everyone reading this had a lovely Thanksgiving. If you are unfamiliar with this American holiday,

it is traditionally a day when families come together and eat a meal that centers around a turkey and the farm harvest from this time of year: potatoes, greens, root veg and of course pies. The pereniel favorites include pumpkin, pecan and apple pies. Some even say words of gratitude to whatever they believe got them thru the year..... hard work, God's blessings..... family and friends. Giving Thanks.

Unfortunately, like a lot of traditions here in America, this day when in the past we reflected on all we had to be thankful for, has morphed into something more commercial. I don't blame this phenomenom on any one source but scatter it across the board!

Stores that sell merchandise targeted at disposable income have four final weeks to make up for lost revenue and compete with each other for OUR money. That is capitalism and I am okay with that.

But in the past decade a real focus has been on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day when shops (and I'm talking mostly about the huge chain know what I'm saying) open at a ridiculous hour of 4:00am and have these crowds of people lined up since they ate the last crumbs off the plate and just waiting to get their hands on some toy (and by that I mean big people toys as well as those for tots). Great discounts on a few selected items that are big on the lists of wants.

And then the media with the camera crews and newspapers who just HAVE to cover this..... year after year like it's ............. news or something, show up and interview these people. Jamming in the faces with lens and asking questions "What time did you get here yesterday?" !!!!!!!!! I'm still thinking about a second piece of pie and these people are standing in front of a store for hours waiting to bumrush a building and the media is there to cover it all.

So you mix these three stupid elements together: Marketeers, Herds of People and Journalists. What could possibly go wrong?

Police said about 2,000 people were gathered outside the Wal-Mart doors before its 5 a.m. opening at a mall about 20 miles east of Manhattan. The impatient crowd knocked the employee, identified by police as Jdimytai Damour, to the ground as he opened the doors, leaving a metal portion of the frame crumpled like an accordion.
"This crowd was out of control," Fleming said. He described the scene as "utter chaos," and said the store didn't have enough security.
Dozens of store employees trying to fight their way out to help Damour were also getting trampled by the crowd, Fleming said. Shoppers stepped over the man on the ground and streamed into the store.
Damour, 34, of Queens, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 6 a.m., police said. The exact cause of death has not been determined.
A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital, where she and the baby were reported to be OK, said police Sgt. Anthony Repalone.
Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like "savages."
"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling 'I've been on line since yesterday morning,'" she said. "They kept shopping."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (
WMT), based in Bentonville, Ark., called the incident a "tragic situation" and said the employee came from a temporary agency and was doing maintenance work at the store. It said it tried to prepare for the crowd by adding staffers and outside security workers, putting up barricades and consulting police.
"Despite all of our precautions, this unfortunate event occurred," senior Vice President Hank Mullany said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those impacted."

A woman reported being trampled by overeager customers at a Wal-Mart opening Friday in Farmingdale, about 15 miles east of Valley Stream, Suffolk County police said. She suffered minor injuries, but finished shopping before filling the report, police said.

Shoppers around the country line up early outside stores on the day after Thanksgiving in the annual bargain-hunting ritual known as Black Friday. It got that name because it has historically been the day when stores broke into profitability for the full year.

Items on sale at the Valley Stream Wal-Mart included a Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV for $798, a Bissel Compact Upright Vacuum for $28, a Samsung 10.2 megapixel digital camera for $69 and DVDs such as "The Incredible Hulk" for $9.
AP retail writers Anne D'Innocenzio and Mae Anderson contributed to this report.

Let's review: A mob of shoppers pushed open and knocked off it's hinges a sliding door an employee was attempting to open. They trampled this unfortunate soul and left him there to die while they went shopping.

In another store a woman was trampled and injured but finished shopping and THEN filed a report????

And finally the two credited reporters manage to squeeze in at the end an ad for the store.

well done.

May God have mercy on us. Not that we deserve it.

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