Sunday, November 30, 2003

Extreme Shopping

A woman was trampled while trying to buy a DVD player at Wal Mart Friday morning.

This disturbs me on so many levels: why in the name of God were all these people shopping at 6:00 AM? Did anyone notice the speed bump as they herded up the aisle towards electronics? And why in the hell did no one in this herd stop to help her out? Sadly, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

I used to work in retail, and I dreaded the day after Thanksgiving, like many holiday workers do. I just spent a pleasant holiday with my family, and I would have to wake up at 4:30 AM to make it into work, so I could watch thousands of people, wild-eyed with cold and exhaustion, bottleneck through the doors and fight their way to the electronics and toy departments. Thank God I worked the service desk, so I had a seat from the sidelines.

Shrieks and cries would fill the store as the manager would unlock the doors and fly back before the flood. Men, women, children flew in through the doors and like water through a channel, shot straight to the back of the store. Children would be crying in the aisles, separated from their parents, and God help you if you tried stopping in the crowd to go back to them.

Call me crazy, but I don't think that's any way to live - flying from store to store hoping to find a bargain. I'm all for saving money, but dying in a Wal-Mart to save a buck is a crappy way to go.

The real tragedy here is that the DVD player the woman will end up buying will probably last about three weeks before it burns out. At least she can enjoy it while her bruises heal.

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