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About That Wal-Mart Worker Who Was Trampled To Death -- That Could Have Been Me

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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:42 PM
Original message
About That Wal-Mart Worker Who Was Trampled To Death -- That Could Have Been Me
Two years ago at this time I was working at Wal-Mart while I was going to school to earn my degree. I remember the black friday that I worked in 2006. It was absolutely insane. About 500 people on line outside the store at 4 am.

At 5:00 they opened the doors and people flooded in like locusts. They made a mad dash, running into eachother, knocking stuff over, all trying to get the $400 laptop that was on sale and the Nintendo Wii that we had in stock.

We had three laptops and six Wii's - all for the 500 people on line who wanted them.

When I read about this story a few minutes ago it absolutely broke my heart, because the person who died was a part-time worker like I was. He or she probably made around $7 or $8 an hour.

If you don't think Wal-Mart is entirely to blame for this, you're wrong. The way Wal-Mart sets up black friday is to have everyone stand in a long line and as soon as the doors open, take about 20 or so people and have them come into the store first, then wait a few minutes and have another 20. Of course, Wal-Mart only tells the people at the front of the line this. Not to mention that they don't tell people how many actual items are in stock, so if you're number 50 on the line, and you're expecting to get a laptop or tv or dvd player or something that they have only four or five quantities of, well, you're shit out of luck.

But when you have 500 people crowding into a space that holds, at most, about a dozen people, you're going to get a mob mentality, because it literally is every man for themselves.

Now, this incident today happened at the Valley Stream, New York walmart. I worked at the Westbury, New York walmart. The stores are probably about 20 minutes from each other. I'm going to do my best to find the lawyer who's going to represent the family of the victim, contact them, and tell them everything I know about this company and how they handle black friday.

I'm going to do everything in my power to get this family as much compensation as possible so that walmart changes its black friday policies and no workers or shoppers are ever hurt again.

fuck walmart.






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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Heres a link to photos from the stampede
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/galleries/walmart_stam...
The Wal-mart stampede, caught on camera

None of the actual trampling, thank goodness.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. They should install turnstiles - so that only one person goes in at a time.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. that would be even worse
because the crush was caused by the people from the back of the line shoving the people in front of them. If you installed a turnstile you'd have people shoving other people into a big metal turnstile, which would be more likely to cause injury.

What they should have done is roped off the lines at every 25 people or so - like they do with protestors - and gradually moved the bunches of people up. You have to treat these people like cattle and herd them slowly and in an organized way. It CAN'T be a free for all.

They should also inform people in line of how much stock they have of each sale item - they can do it. I knew the day before how many sale items of things we had. It would encourage people who were only there for one or two items to leave and not waste their time on line.

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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. that would defeat the purpose, which is to lure folks into the store.
obviously
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
33. In addition to the roped off sections, hire off duty policemen to
work crowd control. Two cops on the sidewalk, a few strands of rope, and one person would maybe still be alive to enjoy the holidays.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
56. Severely under-stocking advertised items with a very low price makes them liable.
There's no excuse for taking out ads that go to thousands of people with an amazing deal and only have a dozen or two in stock. It should be criminal. That kind of scam helps lead to the mob rush.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #56
119. and isn't it just to get them to come back on later days?
The whole point is to get people into the store in the first place. Whether large or small items, if they're in your store, they're much more likely going to buy it from your store.

If you have 100 people trying to buy a DVD player for $50, but there are only 4 in stock, you might then get 96 orders for the DVD player to be picked up a few days later when they restock. Those are then 96 customers who will have to return to the store--and probably buy something else on their return visit, too (which might also be out of stock; repeat as necessary).

It really is criminal. When the Walton family (and other owners of these stores) sees video of those stampedes, they think, "Good," while counting the sales.

I hope the family sues the fuck out of Wal-Mart.
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AllHereTruth Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #119
123. No.
You do not get credits for items on Black Friday for items severely marked down.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #123
126. yeah, I guess that would kill the whole stampede mentality...
If you could get a rain-check with the same price, there'd be no incentive for getting there first.

I guess I was just assuming the stores would have reasonable policies. Silly me, eh?
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AllHereTruth Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #126
128. Eh.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
51. Oh, hell no. Multiply today by a hundred if that were to happen. nt
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TomInTib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. 'Blitz Line Starts Here'
What a fucked-up mentality.
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DeepBlueDem Donating Member (433 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
57. that made me sick to my stomach
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
90. That shit tells you
that there was no one outside working the crowd. The crowds were permitted to, or encouraged to start gearing up the excitement, the competitiveness. It's not hard to turn a crowd into a mob.

If they'd had a few decent security people outside working the line, just bullshitting with people, keeping them calm and friendly - distracting them from their singular fixation it could have made a huge difference.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #90
108. and it's not like Wal-Mart doesn't have experience with this. it happens every year. negligent.
pure and simple.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #108
120. it's not negligence if they want it to happen...
they want the crowd to get riled up and stampede through the store.

It wouldn't be any worse if they had tricolor traffic lights at the front: On your marks! Get Set! Buy!
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #120
127. good point. negligent is the word that i most associate with business being liable for injury.
but you are absolutely right -- they instigated this.
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. We also stocked like that for "sales" at Circuit City
Edited on Fri Nov-28-08 02:52 PM by DireStrike
5 or 6 of items on "sale". I guess the object is to get people in and then sell them something else.

The poor clerks at the counters would have to explain to customers all day long that we were out of stock of whatever heavily advertised item we were supposed to have. I remember one old guy put up about an hours' worth of fuss over something that we had zero of in stock. He was there like 30 minutes after opening and we were sold out. And we had no comparable items at all.

Luckily I worked in stock, and didn't have to be in at opening time on Black Friday. So I missed most of the frenzied goodness, and just wound up shoveling TVs into cars for the day.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
41. Hell, I worked at one of the premier tony dept stores in Phoenix
before they were all sold to the likes of Federated and Dillard's and we did the same.

This was 25 years ago. I despised it and thought it was intensely dishonest.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
91. Yep. It's called "bait and switch"
and it used to be illegal in NY. I don't know when or how the law changed, but that's why stores have had "rainchecks" for the last 10 or so years. Maybe it's been ruled in court that they're allowed to do this if they advertise up front that they only have a few at the sale price by using that vague phrase "quantities strictly limited".

The law needs to be rewritten to eliminate that loophole. Why should retailers be allowed to waste the time of 500 people by selling 5 items deeply discounted, and create a safety hazard in the process?
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phusion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. here's video from one in 2007
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greguganus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. That woman flipped her wig. n/t
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. It's amazing--In that video *several* people are knocked to the ground,
but the crowd just keeps pouring in over them. It's amazing that this is the first time someone has been trampled to death.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
35. That video is proof Mall-Wart knew perfectly well a tragedy like today's could happen
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #35
45. yes, yes it is.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
82. check out wakeupwalmart.com
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #82
83. and remember this?
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Giant Robot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. I can easily see this happening
Just discussing this with a coworker of mine. I worked at another chain retail store in the small city in northern Michigan where I live. A couple years back there were about 50 people waiting outside when I opened the doors. In middle of no where Michigan. At a small chain store. At 4:30am. In freezing weather. It is all insane.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. materialistic, greedy asshole consumers are to blame too
fuck them all
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I don't disagree
but the fault lies primarily with walmart and their inability to organize their black friday operations. there are numerous steps they could have taken to prevent this, and they didn't.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
92. It's not "inability". It's refusal.
No way could a chain that size be incapable of designing effective crowd control. They just didn't want to because it would cost a a few hundred $s per store in salary for security outside the store for a couple hours around opening time.

Those "quantities strictly limited" sales have to be outlawed on a state by state basis as the variation of "bait and switch" that they are, not to mention safety hazard. Make a note to yourselves, DUers to write your state legislators in January. And follow up. And form ad hoc consumer lobbying committees that issue press releases.

I'll actively recruit for such a committee in my state forum here on DU, and am looking forward to others doing likewise.
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Dervill Crow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Desperate for a bargain. F*ck holidays that require gift-giving, too.
It occurs to me that it is stupid that we need a holiday to remind us to be thankful and another holiday to remind us to give to one another.

Most of what we give and are given for Christmas is stupid shit that we don't want or need, anyway.

Bah, humbug.
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bulloney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
97. That's the hypocrisy of what's become of the 'Holiday Season' in the U.S.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday in which you reunite with family to give thanks for what you have. Thanks to the commercialism and materialism that's evolved in the U.S., Thanksgiving is now the day before you act like a bunch of assholes and shop for stuff that you think you'll save a couple of bucks on. It's the day you sacrifice so that you can sit out in front of the store and freeze just so you have that chance to get that item that the store has intentionally understocked.

Now, Christmas is no longer the day we observe the birth of the person that Christians worship (how ironic, given that we're supposed to be so much more moral and religious today). Christmas has devolved into the period of time that retailers watch closely to see if this year was profitable or not. The news gerbils keep reminding us that there are only XXXX number of SHOPPING days before Christmas.

Stuff like the Wal Mart employee's death and other similar incidents just illustrates how stupid too many people in this country have become.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'm sorry that's not true, I worked for Menard's same scenario, in fact when I showed
up for work on black Friday the lines were already amazingly long an hour before the doors opened. I worked in the electrical department, tools and such they would have less than ten of some things and lots of things they were trying to push. So it's not just Wal-mart, they all do the same thing.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. absolutely
but walmart has the most money to spend on advertising. and their lines are generally longer than others because they have more stuff, and more cheap stuff.

but the fault isn't that walmart doesn't have a lot of items - that's not Walmart's fault, that's the company that distributes the merchandise - it is their fault that they don't tell people waiting in line for hours in the cold that they won't have anything they came there for unless they're one of the first 30 people in line.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. and like I said the same thing happened at Menard's.
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yourguide Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Have you seen the photos?
There was no crowd control out there, they did not line people up. They just allowed people to jam up the front doors.

Absolutely wal marts fault. there is no question.

I plan events from time to time and am required to hire additional security for crowd control as well as having a system in place to allow people access in an orderly manner, wal mart did NONE of this. this is wal marts fault. period.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Were you there at Menard"s? I stand by what I said the SAME thing happened there!
No crowd control , no security, no nothing. I had to squeeze though the door to go to work people tried to get in then even. The only people there were managers unlocking the doors for employees and we had to show name tags, other than that NOTHING! Same scenario.
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yourguide Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Yes and Menards would have been LIABLE
if anyone was crushed to death on line.

Just because some businesses are irresponsible in dealing with crowd control issues it doesnt mean they arent liable when someone gets hurt.

I get additional insurance and security and have dealt with crowds from 500 to 3000 in malls, never have I had an incident. Just because wal mart is too cheap to pony up a few extra bucks for security it doesnt mean they arent liable for being irresponsible in protecting both their customers and employees from a crush of people.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. The way you have it in your initial post is that Wal-mart is the only one who doesn't have
crowd control, security or whatever and I said that was not the case very few have, and the repulsive "tradition" keeps on going on. It's the fault of ALL the retailers who have these "black Friday" events and promote this kind of activity, and that grand old American greed!
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yourguide Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. No, please see MY other posts.
You must be confusing me with someone else.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. You're right, I'm sorry wrong poster!
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #13
93. Sorry, MR, but it's worse than that.
Most of the time the retailer has plenty of the item. They just designate, say, 6 to be sold at the doorbuster price, and keep the rest back at the warehouse until after the sale.

Ever wonder why the name "doorbuster" has been used for many years regarding certain sales? Wal-Mart knows what it's doing by playing on people's primal fear of scarcity and their greed, and likes it that way.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
42. Yup and it's been happening for decades. I worked at 2 very tony stores here
in Phoenix in the '80s and we did it.

It's a goddamned illness and I blame the stores completely--especially in this economy.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
15. k+r, n/t
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
16. Word is that they broke down the doors
Fuck Walmart indeed because they did not even secure the crime scene and allowed the callous, thoughtless morons called shoppers to drag their boxes right through the area.
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. I'm glad you're safe and sound. I however, think New Yorkers are partially to blame.
Not all shoppers out there today are shopping for xmas gifts.
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Gorobei Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
88. I beg your pardon
But please do not lay this at the feet of New Yorkers. I understand that we are an easy target for many American's blame for any ailments or fault that humanity may have. But as a New Yorker, I strenuously object to the idea that people from other parts of the country or the world are any better or worse than New Yorkers when it comes to normal human greed and stupidity and deeply resent your insinuation.

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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #88
101. You are correct, NOT just New Yorkers
http://consumerist.com/consumer/black-friday/consumers-...

The first picture in the story above refers to a crowd at Fashion Place Mall in a suburb of SLC, UT. Black Friday is a sick phenomenon all over the country.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
20. Walmart is no doubt guilty. Of something. Inciting a riot? Maybe.
I see this event as the beginning of the end of these kinds of things. I hope.
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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #20
94. Don't just hope. Lobby your state legislators.
In January, when people regain their sanity, ad hoc committees need to be formed in every state to lobby that these "quantities strictly limited" sales be outlawed as the variation of "bait and switch" that they are. I intend to help create one in my state that will issue press releases. Of course, the large retailers will oppose the measure, but the recent incident should keep most voters in favor of outlawing those sales.

I would like to request anyone that works for or shops that Wal-Mart to message me if the same items in Friday's sale show up in the store next week (at any price). That would demonstrate that the purpose of the sale was not to advertise an item that Wal-Mart only had a few of, but simply to inflame shoppers.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
21. Sometimes you can't help people swarming on certain days of the year, but
I think each store needs to get the necessary security handle it. We used to have insane St. Patrick's Days in a bar I worked in back when I did bar tending. There was nothing you could do to stop it short of closing the place and I'm almost certain people would have broken in if that had happened. The management where I worked hired security for the day. The security actually stood at the doors and limited the crowd going in so there was a line-up outside, so that it was first come and first serve. When some customers left, they let others in. This gave the people who were indoors room to move around and not get jabbed with pointed objects. They also helped to escort the servers through the crowd especially making sure the broken glass was kept swept up. Most were really beefy guys that were ex-football players so no one pushed them around. Also, we used as much plastic ware as possible but bottles got broken anyway.

I really feel that these stores' lack of preparation for the swarm of people that they know is going to arrive ahead of time speaks for their gross negligence and that goes all the way up to the CEO. I'll betcha they got extra Brinks pickups though to protect the money. I think lawsuits are very much in order.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
23. That's why you'll never catch me shopping at one of these Black Friday frenzies
I don't like mobs, and I don't feel like being caught up in a cattle call herd. Instead, I spend the day at home, with family and friends, either working on the Christmas gifts I'm making, or just spending good time with good people. I refuse to allow myself to be part of corporate tricks, as much as possible.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #23
65. I feel the same way,
and I don't enjoy shopping that much, anyway, even under the best of circumstances. A couple of days ago I phoned my prescriptions in, was told they'd be ready on Friday. I planned to pick them up today, but then remembered the last time I ventured out on Black Friday, and decided that I didn't want to deal with the crazy traffic. :scared:

BTW, my prescriptions are at Wal-Mart. I hate going there, since it's always crowded and far from efficient, but I lost my health insurance/prescription coverage two years ago and my doctor told me that they were the least expensive, that my regular pharmacy had a huge mark-up... ;(
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rvablue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
25. Good for you for coming forward with your experience and truth....
you might end up being called as a witness and help get his family some compensation.

Not that that will replace this poor soul, but it will be something.

Imagine the horror and desperation his family must feel, it wasn't ONE criminal who shamelessly took this man's life, but a bunch of morons trying to get something on sale....I just can't imagine the horror and disgust they must feel for their fellow man right now....

And I totally agree with your final sentiment. While its the shoppers who trampled this man in their blind greed, it is Walmart that instigated it......

:cry:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
29. Consumerism is a mental illness.
I avoid shopping like the plague for the week before and after "Black Friday," too many consumerist twits going around silently screaming "I WANT, I WANT, I WANT!!!" and have a look on their eyes thast reminds me of lustful teenagers.
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lamp_shade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
30. Today I'm ashamed of myself for being a member of the human race. n/t
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
32. I hope every customer is also charged with murder.
They have surveillance cameras - they should be able to track them down and arrest them.
Hope they are enjoying their cheap TVs, fuckers.

Thank you for your assistance to the family - insider information like that will really help!
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Mark Baker Donating Member (81 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #32
124. Which ones?
The ones who actually trampled the guy probably couldn't avoid him, if they were being pushed by people behind them (who couldn't see what had happened).
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
34. The fault is with the shoppers who pushed and trampled, as opposed to anyone else.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #34
50. I disagree. There are laws requiring businesses to provide safe environments.
I just looked at the photos and videos linked in this thread. There was no crowd management, no protection for people, nothing. I can't think of any public event that doesn't have much, much better crowd control.

I doubt that anybody intended to trample anybody to death. The problem is that large crowds of people take on a life of their own. People at the back press forward, and as the pressure amplifies, the people at the front are forced through barriers and pushed through doors and even trample people - they can't help it. It's physics.

Look at the people who fall down. They're being pushed by tons of pressure behind them. And even when the people behind those who fall try to stop and help, they can't. The combined weight of all those bodies exerts enormous pressure.

People were trampled to death at concerts in the 1970s until strict rules were implemented about how to control crowds. Wal-Mart knows this. They are at fault for creating a very unsafe situation and doing nothing to control it.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #50
110. "the people at the front are forced through barriers and pushed"
I have never thought of it that way before, but you seem to make sense.


I live in Montana, there are not enough of us to make a crowd. Police officers don't even show up at our gatherings, such as Iraq War demonstrations.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #110
111. I remember the deaths at the Who concert in 1979. That's when I learned about the physics of crowds
When you multiply the pressure of hundreds of people pressing forward you get an enormous amount of pressure on the people at the front. No one person has to press very hard, either. It's not like the people at the back are deliberately causing trouble, either.

I've seen people at concerts pressed up against the stage and have to be rescued by the musicians pulling them onto stage.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #111
116. "It's not like the people at the back are deliberately causing trouble"
If it was not deliberate, then they seem stupid. The type of people that attend a The Who concert are different than the type of people who shop at Wal-Mart. Many Wal-Mart shoppers are elderly, or parents who bring their kids. If the people in the back of the crowd were unaware of this fact, then they do not seem to be very bright people. If they are unaware that pushing people is generally a bad idea, then they might be dumb.
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #50
118. You are right I was stuck between 2 open doors at the Who concert before the deadly one..
Edited on Sat Nov-29-08 08:30 PM by rosebud57
in Cincinnati. The cops could not open the door I got trapped in front of. There was one girl in front of me & she was trying to push herself away from the glass.

I managed to pull myself out and to the other side in front of the open doors. Cops were reaching out & pulling people in one by one. I saw a door come off it's hinges.

The next Who concert in Cincinnati 7 people died.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
36. I did think of you when I read about the incident, Magic Rat.
Glad you were able to move on to something different. I feel so sorry for those killed and injured. :(
There's probably laws against this sort of first-come, first serve crowd control when it comes to concerts....there should be laws passed concerning retail stores, too.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
37. I'm not sure what to think
Between the idiocy of the people THAT desperate to save 20% on a holiday geegaw, and the stores that engineer it so that said geegaws are out of stock before seven in the morning and push non-sale items.

It's like an orgy of complete fucking selfishness on all sides. This morning that orgy became a snuff film. The utter and complete senselessness, the levels of derangement that have to be involved on all levels from all parties... It staggers me.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
38. The official word from Wal-Mart was that this guy was just a temp who
actually worked for some agency that they subcontracted from.
They are trying to avoid having to take any responsibility for his death..
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. is that how they escape responsibility for their workers? Just make sure they're part time and
some hack "agency" does the hiring for them?
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. That is how they try...I hope it does not work this time.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
53. No doubt, plus it makes for a convenient dodge to the "improperly trained" issue.
That responsibility will fall onto the agency and Wal-Mart will get off scot-free on it.

Bookmark this and see if all of these scenarios don't happen...
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. IMO, Walmart will be liable regardless of who that person did or did not work for.
Whether it was an employee or customer.

Unsafe conditions which were probably illegal (no crowd control).

And they have a history of stampedes.

Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3eUiMHtPgQ&feature=rela...
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Incitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #38
55. I don't see how that would absolve them from responsibility.
The fact remains, they are responsible for the conditions that led to his death.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
39. Thank you for sharing your insight into this...
...it is such a shocking incident! My grown daughter mentioned it to me today, saying "How can people do this". I told her, crowds can sometimes get out of control, they have a mind of their own -- a crowd becomes a mob. I didn't realize the details of how it is set up, though, and appreciate hearing from someone who knows.

I hope you are able to help change it, and especially that you are able to help the family get everything they have coming financially, which can never in any case repay them for such a terrible tragedy.
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
40. Thank you MagicRat. Why was Wal-Mart so quick to announce this
was a temporary employee? When I read their statement I kept thinking, how tacky...and who the fuck cares?

If you can do anything to bring just a tiny bit of relief to this family, you are my hero. If there is some kind of fund for his family I hope someone will post it and let us know. I would definitely want to contribute.

Thanks again...this is just so sick and sad.
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #40
60. because it absolves them of being legally responsible....
ten years ago my daughter was sexually assaulted by a fellow employee and the company was not held liable because he was a temp they hired for the holidays. They were both security guards for a major movie studio. The studio relied on the temp service to do a background check and they didn't (he had a record of several incidents of sexual harassment). The temp agency nor her attacker had any real assets. she won a money judgment in civil court that had no real value.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #60
96. I don't think this will apply here. The worker is not the one accused
of doing something wrong.
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #96
106. no but in my daughters case her company was first named because....
they did not do a background check, something they require for all security employees. They were let of the hook since the worker was a temp and the temp agency did not do the background check.
My point is that because he was a temp, Walmart will shift all responsibility to the agency that original hired him. He will not be covered under Walmart's regular employee benefits such as workers comp.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
43. Wait until it's a few loaves of bread. My sympathy to the young man's family. n/t
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
44. Hey Magic Rat, that young fellow doesn't have to have died in vain. I'm out on eastern L.I.
Edited on Fri Nov-28-08 08:56 PM by cryingshame
my Mom used to teach in Valley Stream. But this could have happened at any Walmart.

Contact the Groceries Workers Union. They are picking up the banner too.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
47. Thank you for telling your story here. I suspected exactly this scenario.
Wal-Mart set up a dangerous situation and put their workers in harm's way. They also endangered all the customers who were part of this mob. They need to be stopped.

I didn't know that Wal-Mart had so few of the items they advertise on sale. Disgusting.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
49. Thank you.
I'm sorry this hit so close to home for you. It's disgusting that the stores don't have much stock on sale, that it's bait and switch. People are whipped up into a frenzy, especially in hard times like these.

But my main question is: Why the FUCK are we shopping at 4 o'clock in the morning?!?!?!?!?! This has gotten really out of hand. Consumerism and greed at its ugly worst. I am appalled at what Christmas has become. I hope this situation today changes it all. I hope Wal Mart gets sued and screwed, and Christmas shopping returns to being the thoughtful, fun, family-oriented event it used to be.

My thoughts are with this employee's family.
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Ex Lurker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
52. Wal Mart is to blame
and people are idiots for taking part in stampedes like that. There's nothing in any store worth getting up at the crack of midnight and standing in line, much less trample someone.
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
58. Seriously, didn't one person see the employee
fall to the ground. I just don't see how a person could be laying on the ground being trampled and nobody stops to help. Or at least stop to prevent others from behind you from trample him. It's just things. There's nothing I want that badly that's worth standing in line for hours and having someone killed. I think the store and the customer are both to blame. Does it say in the sales papers that there were only so many items? I don't think it's fair to say that a certain item is on sale but to only have a couple of that item.
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
59. KandR. Thank you, Magic Rat
Thank you for taking the time, and having the heart and courage to do this for the family.
It is people like you that give me hope for humanity.
Good luck with this....I truly admire your spirit.
Thank you for being you.
peace~
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
61. Wow! Look at the size of that crowd !
What's wrong with those people to wait outside in the cold for "not so very great 'bargains'? My sad read on that is that they are "owned" by the media/corporations. They are 'good little slaves'. These people, who wait out in the cold, in the middle o' the night to buy some useless crap don't even know that they are being p*nked.

And the poor brave soul who was trying to keep order (and got trampled/lost his life instead), should have recognized that "crazy crowd" for what it was and QUIT HIS JOB there on the spot....Bye! My, dear store manager ~ you can surely handle this!

Learning to say "NO" is an important lesson to learn. You know, like this crowd is too big.....I'll let my 'manager' deal with it. Manager realizes that it is too big for HIM/HER to handle, so he calls a corporate "head-hancho" to deal with the frenzy. Head honcho regrets that anyone of "THOSE PEOPLE" were whipped into a frenzy at all....and that brings us to....no more of this 4:30 am in the morning BS (getting people to jump through imaginary hoops) for no damned good reason.
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bluesmail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
62. In this instance capitalism kills. Crap, how terribly wrong.
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Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
63. I don't miss retail one bit.
Even on my worst days as a teacher it beats dealing with customers and corporate group-think.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
64. As someone who only heard of "black friday" a few days ago
I would just like to say. WTF? Who came up with that dumbass idea.

It would be Walmart killing people to sell an illusion of a good deal. Good luck in your quest to help the family.
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
66. Walmart is certainly to blame, but...
To deny that those who actually trampled the poor people and killed that poor man have a serious responsibility (in my opinion, an equal responsibility) would be, in my opinion, absurd. However you look at it, they are guilty of man-slaughter at least. Running right over them.

I despise Walmart as a corporation - upper management, the assholes earning the big bucks that will feel no remorse for this. However, I also despise the socio pathic assholes who trampled those people.

We're talking about adults here, who knew full well what the consequences of such actions could have been. I'll grant that they are undoubtedly enormously stupid adults, but that does not absolve them of any blame.

They may bait the hook and cast it out, but it is up to us whether or not to bite.

It is during times like this that I am frequently ashamed to be American, or a member of the human race at all. Sickening, needless brutality, all for the sake of sickening consumer greed. All those responsible ought to be held accountable, it's a shame that they won't be.

I just can't really decide which disgusts me more, the sheep that rushed the walmart, or the wolves that will profit from it, all with little (if any) regard for the man's death which they have caused.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #66
67. have you ever been in a crowd that's shoving you from behind?
it's hard to stop a crowd of 2000 people, which is how many were estimated to be there yesterday.

could you hold back hundreds of people if you saw someone laying on the ground in pain?

That's wal-mart's responsibility. they have to prepare the store and the lines of people in advance, which means cordoning off the line into sections to prevent mad rushes like this.
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #67
68. No. I'm not Superman
But what the hell were the idiots all doing there to begin with? Maybe none of them knew there would be a mad, dangerous rush into the store and people could get hurt? Walmart certainly has not met it's responsibility here, I'm not denying that at all. Neither, however, have these people met what should be their own sense of responsibility.

Rushing Walmart on Black Friday to get the latest little toy (whatever it may be) en masse and disregarding any potential consequences. I am saying that, collectively, it is not only Walmart's greed, but their own greed, that made this a disaster. Had they been willing to restrain themselves and act as civilized human beings, none of this would have happened to begin with.

Of course, in that case, maybe they wouldn't have gotten that super special toy. What a damn shame for them. But that man would still be alive.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #68
70. when you advertise a first-come first-serve special sale
that only includes a handful of items, you're asking for trouble. Wal-Mart has done black friday for years and this store has been around for almost a decade in that area. They knew what black friday was like and they knew how crazy it gets.

Not cordoning off the line and not setting clear rules for the shoppers is what lead to this man's death, not the people shopping who wanted to get to their item of choice as quickly as possible.

Maybe you have to be in this environment first-hand to really understand why I feel this way. This could have so easily been prevented with simple measures taken by Wal-Mart, much more easily than expecting 2000 people who've been waiting on line for more than 4 hours to act calm and polite once the doors opened and their slim opportunity at a $400 HDTV came into being.
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. Maybe you're right and my initial shock at this
Is just making me react more strongly than I normally would. But it sickens me, at times when we're constantly hearing about economic crisis all over the world. When we're facing the possibility of another great depression. Consumerism is definitely part of the problem. Perhaps in time my disgust with and anger for those that rushed in will dissipate, but had that man been my Brother, Father, friend...

I'm sure Walmart could have taken the proper measures to prevent this altogether, and they ought to be held legally and morally responsible for not doing so. But it really isn't in me to say they're entirely responsible. They didn't force those people to wait for four hours and charge the doors.

It's just really sick and really sad and it blows my mind completely. I couldn't even imagine waiting for ten minutes in a line outside Walmart, let alone for hours. But then I wouldn't be mad enough to shop there on Black Friday either.

Perhaps the crowd isn't legally responsible... perhaps, but they are certainly morally responsible to an extent.

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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. I mean no offense
But in my opinion, to blame Walmart entirely, would be a severe injustice. Blame them, of course, to the extent that they are guilty. But why absolve these people who knew full well what they were doing? It just sickens me. No one needs a new gizmo, toy, or whatever the hell it is, that much. There is no logical reason they could not have acted as civilized human beings - they rushed, driven by greed. So Walmart's greed, their own greed, and both the stampede of imbeciles and the greedy fuckers in charge of this promotion are to blame.

I'm not one of those who believes greed in any form is wrong. But this time, it clearly is beyond wrong.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. have you ever waited in line on black friday?
civilized is not what you expect when you get hundreds of cold, tired and tense customers who are waiting to get a handful of items that are available. it's first-come, first-serve and a mad rush was EXPECTED by this company.

If this had never happened before that'd be one thing, but there are numerous videos on youtube that show people getting trampled on black friday at walmart. the company owes it to the safety of its customers and employees to set clear boundries and guidelines on how people can enter the store safely.

They failed to do that, plain and simple.
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. No
And in my opinion, anyone who has done so once may possibly have some excuse. Anyone who does so twice is a lunatic. I know better.
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hogwyld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #71
129. I hate Wal Mart, but these imbeciles that waited in line
are just as culpable. They killed someone for a $400 TV. I hope they rot in hell for it. We need to amend the laws that if they're going to advertise something like this, they need sufficient quantities. As a matter of principle, shouldn't the police have prevented the loitering of these idiots at 3am? Fuck walmart, but don't forget the blame the real culprit, the amerikan consumer...
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #67
75. Very true.
If somebody in that crowd had tried to stop then they could have been easily trampled as well.
These things can happen when there is a large crowd.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #66
77. Agreed.
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sfnative Donating Member (36 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
74. This is an occupational health and safety issue!
WalMart is certainly responsible for the safety of its employees. Whenever a death occurs in a workplace, it is seriously investigated by OSHA. The employer is responsible for the PREVENTION of any POSSIBLE accident that may occur at the worksite. WalMart most likely knew this was a problem, but did nothing to PREVENT the trampling of an employee or possibly a customer . Unfortunately, like some businesses it takes the death of an employee to take an issue seriously. I hope the family gets everything they deserve. Thank you for doing this, Magic Rat.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
76. Our Wal-Mart didn't close and they had way more than enough things for everyone.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Wal-Mart in any way. I'm just pointing out that not all Wal-Marts are closed until 5 am on Black Friday.
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #76
78. are you near a "super" walmart
they're usually open 24 hours and have thinks like tire shops and hair salons and stuff.

This was just a regular walmart that's open from 7 to 12.
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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #78
85. Yeah, it's a Super Walmart.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
79. What they should do is advertise that there are 2 or 6 or whatever
and that all the people who shop that day, and sya spend $50, are eligible for a raffle held on Sunday..the people who "win" may then trade their ticket for the opportunity to buy those items at the el cheapo price..

It would still make people come into the store, but there would be no reason to camp out and stampede :grr:


walmart ASKED for this disaster..
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #79
84. But the desired end is *precisely* to get a lot of frenzied, tension-filled
people into the store, all competing for scarce goods, & making irrational buying decisions.

It generates more sales.

Your system would prevent injuries, but do nothing for the bottom line!

;> ;)
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. very good
Your insights on this subject are excellent and much appreciated.
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GreenTea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
80. We don't have a fucking Wal-Mart in this area - there is one about 3 hours away....
Edited on Sat Nov-29-08 02:02 AM by GreenTea
Although I've never shopped at one....

Once while on the road wanting & needing to buy a certain new laptop - I went to a local computer store in this town I stayed in over night. However, the store didn't have the computer I wanted, the salesperson suggested going down the road to the local Wal-Mart and that I'd even get it a lot cheaper than what he could of sold it to me for, if had one to sell....

I looked at him and said dude, I'd never shop at a fucking Wal-Mart, I don't care how much money I can save....He got this big smile on his face and said he too would never shop at a Wal-Mart....

The reason we don't have a Wal-Mart in our area is because we the voters voted them down, three different times...they haven''t tried again and it's been years since the last time they were on the ballot...but there's always some asshole republican redneck cowboy developer mentioning how they want to build a shopping area and include a Wal-Mart in it.

We'll just vote them down again!

BTW- The area I live in also just passed a ban that no outside corporations can donate or contribute money to any of our local elections or ballot measures in the county...We don't want their bullshit corporate influence in our area.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
81. Could've been me too. Thank gosh I sleep in and don't care about buying crap
I live, thanks to my own slothiness.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
86. i'm glad you're going to try and talk to whoever the attorney is.
try really hard.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
89. The only solution is to ban Black Friday completely
I did a few numbers. According to Wikipedia there were 3550 Walmarts (the dash is no longer used) in the US as of 1/31/2008...so let's say there are 3700 of them now. If you put as few as 100 deep-discount televisions in each one, you'd need 370,000 televisions to service the whole chain. There's not enough storage space in the world to hold 370,000 televisions for one day. There's not enough money to buy them so they can be held. The logistics of holding back 370,000 televisions for one overhyped retail day are too daunting to think about.

Not to mention that, but what if the American people had moved beyond televisions then? Think Tulip Mania--google that.

The proper way to deal with this is to get rid of Black Friday as a super sales event...but since that's not gonna happen (retailers are too dependent on it) how about a standard way of controlling crowds? If Walmart is anything like HD or Lowe's, they don't have one.
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Geek_Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
95. The whole thing is sick, thus the name "door busters"
It's like retail stores are wanting, encouraging and welcoming consumers to break down doors and trample their workers, to purchase pure and utter crap.

Don't get me wrong I like a good bargain but I think retailers are getting more extreme with this nonsense.
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City of Mills Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
98. I remember the great Furby stampede of 1998.
I waited outside a Wal-Mart all night (windy, freezing cold night too) for the privilege of purchasing a stupid Furby. I wasn't there to buy one myself; I was there to assist my sister in her quest to own the newest Cabbage Patch Kid style fad. As it drew closer to opening time, people were getting cranky, first muttering to their friends and then to the people next to them in line, "When are they going to open the fucking store? Look at them, I see them in there, did you see that? They just looked out at us, open the fucking store we're cold!!!" "This is bullshit, why won't they let us in early? Oh HERE THEY COME! WHAT THE FUCK! THEY didn't UNLOCK the DOOR, what is going on in there? I'm fucking mad, this sucks!"

Eventually, they did open the doors of course and then it was "Come on move goddamn it, why is it taking so long to get in the fucking store? That's not fair, why are they forming two lines? That line's going in faster, what the FUCK!"

Then someone in a pickup truck drives up and says "I'll give anyone $100 to bring me out a Furby"

Eventually, we're at the front of the line. Once getting through the front door, everyone runs to their obsession of choice. My sister grabs her furby, I grab another one. I think they were $50 or something? For a talking fucking doll. Leaving the store, everyone still waiting to get in looks at us like they either want to mug us for the goddamn Furby, or kill us for getting there before them. The hostility in the air was palpable. We drove home with our prizes, personally the victory felt a little hollow to me. The next spring, I gave away my Furby to some girl I liked, who I never saw again.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
99. Another disturbing story in the annals of...
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
100. Thank you, Magic Rat. Here's how another store handled this.
Edited on Sat Nov-29-08 10:44 AM by Kajsa
The MSM was a buzz with Black Friday shopper stories
yesterday, they even preceded the tragedy in Mumbai.

One story showed the pre-dawn lineups around stores and
the hustle and bustle when they did open, the exact thing that
killed that poor man. :cry:

Here's how one SoCal Best Buy handled it,

Five( six) security guards monitored the lines well before the stores opening.

When the store did open,

the security guards directed the line into the store
where six employees directed traffic.

Once inside, customers were directed to lanes formed by ropes to the aisles and display counters.

This prevented the stampede we saw on the Wal-Mart tape.

Oh yeah, they had ENOUGH specials IN STOCK for the customers.

In spite of all this planning and organization, there was still a clip of a young
man dashing to the aisles and grabbing as much as he could in the shortest
amount of time. He looked like he was either looting the place, or running the
clock on one of those " win as many as you can grab in two minutes" contests.

The clerks stopped him, asked him to slow down and he did.

No one got hurt, customers got their specials, and everything ran smoothly.

Gee- what a concept!


Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for helping the young man's family.

Wal-Mart needs to scrap their crappy, life endangering Black Friday opening practice.

My anger for Wal-Mart is way beyond 'they suck' or 'fu*k them'.

They should be criminally prosecuted for creating life threatening conditions for their
employees and customers.

:(

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bobshin Donating Member (165 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
102. Funny, I went shopping in a few locally-owned shops...
there were no lines and I got friendly appreciative smiles from the proprietors. To top it off, their prices were lower(!) than the local chains on some of the few common things they sell. Walmart, not my America.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #102
105. Welcome to DU,Bobshin!
I'm glad you had a good experience shopping.

Supporting local businesses is great.

:) :hi:
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ksimons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
103. it is no different than yelling 'fire' in a crowded movie theater

they just reverse it, shout 'fire-sale' and try to cram hundreds, if not thousands. of people through a single opening promising a clear path into the store in a matter of seconds. they had this happen before, again and again, and therefore their corporation is blatantly responsible for it repeating itself. they will be shown to have clear and obvious history of the event happening prior and demonstrating no interest in preventing the situation in this case again. this is not an isolated incident.

i hope the court and the families get enough money from that store to put it out of business forever. it should be closed out of disgust by that township when someone is killed, literally trampled to death, for a discounted TV or CD. what criminal minds are at work when they could have prevented this but chose not to. there is something wrong with the company that arranged for that killing field, and they should be held accountable and punished by criminal laws.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #103
114. No it's not.
A BF sale is not a life-and-death situation.

People did not used to be like this, but it has been years in the making. Why do Americans act like they are fighting over a bowl of rice from the UN relief truck?

G R E E D
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Iodine99 Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
104. Wal-Mart death
I think that the metal doors (or door) collapsed and that was a major cause. I could be wrong, but that is what I remember. That would certainly put Wal-Mart 100% liable in my opinion.

But, I got to the Wal-Mart in Sugar Land on W Airport, around 5:45 a. m. The parking lot was full and it was hard to find a place to park. I believe that they had policemen in the store. The store was full, as was all stores yesterday morning, but the people were helpful and well-behaved. They had a lot of store clerks to help people also.

At Toys R US it was also full of people - and I went there around 12:30 p. m.

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ailsagirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
107. Why is it called "Black Friday?"
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #107
113. It's the traditional day that the retailers go from being in the red
to being in the black. It's an accounting term. Black = profitable.
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ailsagirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #113
117. Ah... black as in "not in the red"-- thanks
Somehow it sounds somber-- which it turned out to be :(
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Zombie2 Donating Member (678 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
109. I hope they prosecute the nuts who....
murdered him (and the prego lady), too.
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
112. They did that last year on "Chuck"
The joke's not so funny now.
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-29-08 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
115. They had to pass laws against General seating for concerts after what happened in Ohio
Would this be the same thing? Looks a hell of a lot like it to me.

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mackerel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #115
121. Feck Black Friday!
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 03:35 AM
Response to Original message
122. Kick! nt
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
125. ...
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