Black Friday not a good deal for employee

“Everyone knows the drill. After Thanksgiving, as we’ll all settle into our turkey comas, there are commercials flashing on the television advertising black Friday sales starting as early as four a.m., displaying a variety of their best sales. Bargain hunters wake up while most of us college kids are still awake from the night before, heading off to various stores, such as Kohl’s and Macy’s – both of which advertise black Friday sales starting at four and five a.”

Everyone knows the drill. After Thanksgiving, as we’ll all settle into our turkey comas, there are commercials flashing on the television advertising black Friday sales starting as early as four a.m., displaying a variety of their best sales. Bargain hunters wake up while most of us college kids are still awake from the night before, heading off to various stores, such as Kohl’s and Macy’s – both of which advertise black Friday sales starting at four and five a.m. to score the best deals and get a head start on Christmas gift shopping. Many college kids wouldn’t even consider heading out to start Christmas shopping at four a.m. and most of us probably won’t even finish Christmas shopping until the last minute.

We all know someone who does head out while it is still dark outside, to fight alongside the other extreme bargain hunters to get the best prices on the best gifts for Christmas. But when is it too much? On black Friday, a Wal-Mart on Long Island was one of the many stores opening at five a.m. with the best deals of the holiday season. When a store employee opened the door at 5:03 a.m. the bargain fevered crowd caused a stampede, killing the employee. There was video footage of the stampede everywhere. America watched as a police officer tried to give the employee CPR, but to no avail. Even more shocking however, is the reaction of the shoppers when the Wal-Mart closed its doors that day to clean up the mess and reopen to a calmer crowd at 1 p.m. As Wal-Mart announced that it would be closing temporarily, customers continued shopping, stating that they had been in line for a long time and were determined to get what they had come for. According to the National Retail Federation, this has been the only retail related death on Black Friday, but certainly not the only case of injured employees.

What has our country come to that we value material objects and money over a person’s safety or even their life? This Wal-Mart example is not rare. We have all heard stories about groups of angry, bargain minded shoppers fighting over the last few items that are on sale, but usually this does not end in the loss of a life. The stores are always packed to the brim, even in Akron, but no one ever dies. We could blame the poor economy, since people can’t afford to spend as much on Christmas, or we could blame the American way of life.

Americans are now judged more on what they own and how much money they have than anything else. We continue to allow ourselves to be judged and to judge this way,. As a society we tend to place importance on personal possessions and wealth and less on personal achievements, things that really matter. It’s a shame that people care so much about what they are able to buy this holiday season – and how much they pay for it that they don’t even care about the fact that they have caused someone to lose their life. These shoppers had to have known they were stampeding on someone as they rushed into the Wal-Mart. According to surveillance only other Wal-Mart employees tried to come to his rescue, not a single shopper stopped and tried to help him. I hate to say it, but I am sure people are sitting back, reading about this story and thinking, stupid Americans.