Time to Cry Tuesday – Black Friday Uglies

Tblack-shopping-bago say I am not a shopper is an understatement. I loathe the act of shopping. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I don’t like stuff, I just hate the act of obtaining it. All that hunting and gathering, clothes on clothes off thing. Wait, you guys don’t take your clothes on and off in Best Buy? Oh crap, no wonder young mothers are always covering their children’s eyes.

Enter Black Friday. This is the most inane thing to me. Out go the masses at ungodly hours to consume. Never have so many tried to save money by spending it. I don’t get this. I understand the bargain aspect, no one loves a bargain better than me (oh, except my mom – the queen of Loehmann’s). But what I cannot grasp is the concept of standing in rabid crowds to attain them.

This year Black Friday truly earned its name. In case you have been living under a rock for the past few days, a Walmart worker lost his life by being trampled to death by a crowd entering the store. (My condolences to the family of Mr. Damour) When I first heard this it did not quite register. The more the media covered this story the more horrible the reality became. This was close to home. And I don’t mean I am a Walmart worker, but this happened at one of my childhood malls. Tonight I heard a report that this man was 6’5″ and 270 lbs! Imagine how crazed this crowd had become to have knocked down and then run over a man of this size! How did no one see him and help him up? Was the desire to consume so primal, so egocentric that multiple people could actually trample another human being and not notice? I cannot fathom this.

When I hear things like this I wonder what future civilizations will think when they read about it. Will we be viewed as a barbaric culture with no self control? Will there be confusion as to why at a time when people are losing homes, jobs and net worth they would choose to flock in droves to consume? Oh wait, we don’t need a future generation’s perspective to see how insane this is. Do we? Please tell me we do not. 

What is the solution? Do we blame Walmart for not having crowd control systems thought out. Or are they the unfortunate victims here too? It was the (un)luck of the draw that it happened at a Walmart. Could have happened at any big box store or mall anywhere in the country. Should we blame the Nassau County Police for not seeing there was a major issue here. They were called to the scene for unruly behavior before the doors opened. Did they not see the potential danger? When does it stop?

Here is my suggestion for all the retailers out there who have fed the fire of this frenzy for so many years. You created this monster, now be responsible and learn how to tame it. I don’t suggest that retailers stop trying to get their take this time of year. Hey, some of my best friends are retailers. But I do propose that every outlet that invites these huge crowds take precautionary action and put systems in place to avoid repeating a disaster like this again. Operate under the assumption that there are way more potential victims out there than offenders. 

And protect them for G-d sake!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

11 Comments

Filed under current events, Time to Cry Tuesdays

11 responses to “Time to Cry Tuesday – Black Friday Uglies

  1. It really is unbelievable. I don’t enjoy shopping either, nor have I ever understood waking up at 3am to save 20%.

    Sad state of affairs. I hope (but doubt) this brings about change.

    And re: Best Buy? Don’t feel self-conscious. But remember that it’s best not to stand near the video camera department.

  2. I just put a similarly-themed post in the queue for Chicago Moms Blog, but my spin involves asking consumers to take a look at their actions, too,

    I, too, just learned of Mr. Damour’s size and heft. That makes it even scarier. I’m disgusted by the whole thing.

  3. I just hope people know that there are amazing deals online – that you can shop from home… All the big stores also have many online deals – so I think education to consumers would also be important.

  4. wendy, thanks for the video tip.

    kim, read your post and it was excellent, i encourage others to read it as well. http://tinyurl.com/6f29x7

    beth,love the online from our techmamas expert. for those who don’t like to leave their desks (who me?) that is an excellent solution

  5. I’m right there with you, babe, both about shopping and huge crowds. I used to go to the Taste of Chicago (a gigantic summer festival) every year until one year I got literally stuck in a crowd where I could not move for more than five minutes. I was about 30 seconds short of a panic attack and vowed never to put myself in the position of being trampled again. It’s a scary feeling.

  6. “You created this monster, now be responsible and learn how to tame it. ”

    That’s my girl.

  7. “You created this monster, now be responsible and learn how to tame it. ”

    That’s my girl. I mean lady…

  8. Liz

    Good post Amy- thanks! Obviously most of us are wondering who is to blame- WalMart or consumers? Most don’t think outside the box this way.

  9. Mel

    I enjoyed reading this post. I am one of the insane Black Friday shoppers and I really can’t say why I do it because this year there really wasn’t much on sale. I’m just kind of addicted to it I think. However, there wasn’t any of the insane madness that took place elsewhere. Most people were pretty friendly, calm, and just out to get some shopping done. Who’s to blame? I don’t have the answer.

  10. @Mel @Liz I can’t assign blame for the death but I can tell you with great certainty that I will never darken WalMarts doorstep again. They reopened the store the same day.

    The same day.

    They needed to pay each and every worker to stay home and be with their families, they need to take that stores net receipts for the day and set up a memorial fund.

    They need to be respectful of human life, because even if a tort won’t find you at fault, the public will.

    Some things are just wrong.

  11. i whole-heartedly agree with your feelings about how they reacted to the situation. or did not. it was not so much that it happened there, i still hold to the idea that this could have happened anywhere, but to open the store the same day is so sick.

    personally i am equally, if not more, outraged at Nassau County’s finest who came to the scene before the doors opened. A young women had her arm broken in a scene outside the store and these geniuses did not think that a police presence should have remained there.

    scary, scary, scary. and very sad.

    while making my son breakfast this AM i saw a Toy’s R Us commercial for their ‘Bust down the doors’ Sale this weekend.

    ARE THEY KIDDING?

    I am amazed at how the big corp and retail marketing people are so out to lunch. how could they not have pulled this commercial and changed the tagline? or just run something generic in the spot?

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