Today is "Black Friday " in the US - the Friday after Thanksgiving, where US retailers have huge sales and expect to get into the black for the year. Every year there are stories about the sales and the huge numbers of people that vie for the best bargains. In addition to those stories, there's a much more serious one out there.
A Wal-Mart employee was trampled today after a huge crowd of people broke down the doors to get in and shop. Four other people (including a pregnant woman) were also hurt in the stampede. Photos show that huge numbers of people were massed up against the doors in an obviously uncontrollable mob.
I'm shocked and appalled at this news. I know that people like bargains, but is rushing in and trampling someone to get a bargain worth it? Of course it's not just the people seeking bargains that are at fault here. If Wal-Mart had controlled the situation better at a much earlier stage, that man might not have died. Why were people allowed to just gather in a mob behind the doors, pressing against them before they even opened? Why weren't some of the extra security people outside forcing the people into some kind of line? What the hell was Wal-Mart thinking?
I'm not usually one for litigation, but I very much hope that Wal-Mart gets their butts sued off over this. There's no excuse for this tragedy. Wal-Mart should be held responsible for failing to have adequate measures in place to control this type of situation. They should be held responsible for failing to protect their employees. I very much hope that the unions finally gain a foothold in Wal-Mart as a result of this incident. I'm not normally a huge fan of unions, but I think that the Wal-Mart workers need a safe place to work. And I don't think that Wal-Mart can be trusted to provide one.
I don't know why this particular incident bothers me so much, but it does. Maybe it's because it's Wal-Mart (I don't like them), or maybe because this death could have been avoided with a little forethought, or maybe it's because the person died because people were in such a rush to buy stuff and get good bargains. Ugh.
Happy US Thanksgiving, everyone.