Monday, September 24, 2018

Black Friday Stomp

Long Island Wal-Mart worker didn't deserve to die.

On Black Friday, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour never knew what hit him. Frankly, that’s not even Wal-Mart’s fault. Damour was working at a Long Island, NY Wal-Mart when the doors opened at 5:00 to allow shoppers into the store to begin the Christmas Shopping Season. Throngs of bargain-seekers clamored through the doors when they opened and Mr. Damour’s life came to a very abrupt and tragic end.

There is only one word in the English language that even comes close to describing this incident: stupid.

It isn’t Damour’s fault, he was doing the job he was told to do. It isn’t Wal-Mart’s fault, they were just trying to make their money, like every other store that opens at the God-awful hours of 4 and 5 in the morning. No, the fault of Damour’s death lies squarely on the shoulders of the idiotic morons who stampeded through the doors of the store in order to by a 50” flat screen television so they could impress their friends at next year’s Super Bowl party.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because that is the day most retailers finally make enough profit to cover all their losses throughout the year and they can begin operating in the black. Steep discounts for merchandise are what draw people to participate in this American “running of the bulls.” Saving money is what it is all about. Get to the store early so you can get that big TV or that hot new video game system or whatever else it is you want before someone else gets it. What a way to live.

Personally, I hate commercial Christmas. Don’t confuse that with Christmas. I love Christmas. I grew up where there is supposed to be snow on the ground, the temperature reaches a high of 20 degrees Fahrenheit and there’s a big fire in the fireplace. Sure there’s presents under a tree, the house has more lights on it than the runways at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport and Christmas music all around. But that’s Christmas. I’m talking about Commercial Christmas where every store in town has Christmas decorations up the day after the Fourth of July and keeps them up until the day before Valentine’s Day. Commercial Christmas has people clamoring through stores and malls looking for that “just right” gift to give to that persnickety mother-in-law who couldn’t utter a kind word about her not-good-enough-for-my-son, daughter-in-law. Commercial Christmas turns otherwise mild-mannered citizens into raging animals capable of committing random acts of brutal violence in an attempt to secure some worthless piece of electronic equipment made in a country that doesn’t even celebrate Christmas.

Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, I hole up in my house and venture out only when required to sojourn to my place of employment and to return to my domicile when I have fulfilled my commitment to providing eight hours of unappreciated labor for an amount of money equivalent to a proverbial kick in the crotch.

I avoid stores that do not exclusively sell foodstuffs. As much as I like Wal-Mart, I avoid Super Wal-Marts during Christmas as if these places were leper colonies. I just go in to get what I need to survive that week. I’m not there to buy a big screen TV; I don’t care if you arrived first, just shut the hell up and leave me alone and let me buy my bread, peanut butter, toilet paper and orange juice. And quit coughing on me you inconsiderate imbecile – I don’t want or need your sinus infection. Tell your bratty little mini-me’s to quit kicking my shopping cart because if you don’t, I’m going to pick them up and toss them head first into the two-for-five-dollar DVD bins and then probably launch you into the hanging bicycle rack. I have no patience for Christmas shoppers. They are most often rude. Their eyes are open wide like they are some crazed zombie searching for human flesh. They drool at the “45% Off” sale racks and they howl like hyenas at anyone who comes within 250 yards of “their” parking spot.

These are the kinds of people who stepped on Jdimytai Damour in Long Island. Correction, these are the animals who trampled Jdimytai Damour to death because they were only thinking of themselves. No one even stopped to help Damour. They went on their way looking for their bargains. Even reports coming out of Long Island, NY say that the store was closed due to the incident and that people who were waiting outside for paramedics to bring out Damour’s body were upset that they weren’t being allowed to go in and shop. Talk about cold, cruel and heartless. They’re more worried about not being able to buy an X-Box than they are the fact that their selfishness brought a tragic end to an innocent man’s life.

I’m more than justified in hating Commercial Christmas. The violent death of Jdimytai Damour is just another reason. Why would any sane human being want to be involved in that kind of crap? If I can’t buy it when it’s convenient for me, it isn’t worth having.

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D. E. Carson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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9 comments on Black Friday Stomp

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By D. E. Carson on December 02, 2008 at 09:18 pm

Thank you Dean.

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By D. E. Carson on December 03, 2008 at 02:59 am

"Wal-Mart's blatant disregard for the concern and safety of its workers and customers.”

Uh, right.  Big talk from a website whose sole purpose is to take pot shots at the world's largest retailer.  WMW has nothing better to do than sit around and just wait for another reason to bash Wal-Mart -- a company that has done far more things right than wrong.  But you'd never know that by reading WMW's comments.  BTW: that isn't directed at you specifically Craig -- I give you credit for being much more intelligent than the bozos at WMW.

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By AmyO on December 03, 2008 at 03:45 pm

I actually saw an article that blamed the media for the madness of Black Friday. Apparently the media has perpetuated this problem by advertising sales and encouraging people to go out and get them before they are gone. Of course, it is always the fault of the media - everything is - and not the fault of greedy people who get up at absurd hours to buy STUFF that they cherish more than human life. I personally would rather spend an extra $10 or $20 on my Christmas presents a week later than get up at dawn and wait in line and then watch the madness that unfolds. It really is a sorry sight to see. There were actually 3 people that died nationwide on "Black Friday". As Jon Stewart said, "3 PEOPLE?!" This is just crazy.  I suppose the media doesn't help the situation but people need to take responsibility for their own behavior.  Until our society realizes that material goods are not a measure of someone's worth, this will not get any better.

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By D. E. Carson on December 03, 2008 at 11:05 pm

"Why would anyone who invests in those mongrels believe they are responsible for anything? That is a no-brainer."

But on the other hand, why would anyone want ALL of the blame to go onto Wal-Mart unless they happen to seethe with the same hatred for Wal-Mart as liberals have for George W. Bush.

I think it's sad that a city would actually ban Wal-Mart but have no qualms about allowing in a Sears, K-Mart, JCPenney, Target, Home Depot or Lowe's.  All of those retailers operate on the same model as Wal-Mart but no one excoriates them for their practices.  They all work their employees to death for minimum wage and spends almost nothing on benefits and no one complains about them, but those stores are all over your precious Los Angeles.

Little hypocrisy there dontcha think?

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By Seema Upadhyay on December 04, 2008 at 01:35 pm

Well written article D.E. The retail boom is a global thing and it's the company that plans their advertising and PR strategy and not just the PR agency. Every company wants to increase their bottomline and therefore one sees commercialization of Christmas, Diwali, Valentine's day, Friendship day n lot more days invented by the retailers to make some quick cash.

Its a vicious cycle of demand and supply, if there are no consumers then obviously the retailers will stop the commercialisation as they spend lot of money in advertising and PR.

What lesson one need to learn from the above story is to shop smart and not be taken for a ride by the heavy discounts by the retailers, infact some or most of the products sold at heavy discounts are of either mediocre quality or are older versions or models.

Having said that, its really sad that we see a stampede everytime a big retailer offers discounts, Yes it happens in India, though we still don't have a Walmart here but we have similar format stores. I still love those pop n mom stores; as there is a connectivity and personal touch with them, alas not many exist now thanks to the boom in retail sector which is one of the sunrise industries.

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By AmyO on December 04, 2008 at 03:08 pm

Actually Joseph, I was being sarcastic in my statement that it is the media's fault, which I guess wasn't clear. Of course it is not the fault of the media, it is the fault of those who care more about things than people, which I thought I had expressed in the rest of my comment. I thought it was stupid that someone actually wrote an article saying that what happened is the media's fault.

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By AmyO on December 04, 2008 at 04:26 pm

Um, ok? I don't know how you got me being a Wal-Mart shopper out of that... but for the record, I don't actually have a Wal-Mart close enough to me to shop at. Sorry to disappoint you.

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By D. E. Carson on December 06, 2008 at 12:40 am

Amy: Don't worry about Joseph calling you a "Wal-Mart Shopper".  He's just jealous that he can't darken the door of one himself.

Hell I figure if Joseph is going to call me a liar, I might as well actually put a lie out here so he can feel justified -- oh, wait, Joseph just hates Wal-Mart out of spite and for no actual reason and doesn't care if what he says has any fact to back it up.  Nevermind that business schools actually use Wal-Mart's model as a case study in economics.  But again, people who bash Wal-Mart are the same people who know absolutely nothing about economics and try to tell you that the best way for the government to raise revenue in a recession is to raise taxes on the rich and cut taxes for the middle class and the poor.  Yeah, that'll really work well, won't it President Kennedy???

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By D. E. Carson on December 08, 2008 at 03:04 am

If these people who work for Wal-Mart can't say anything good about Wal-Mart, then why the hell are they working for Wal-Mart?  If the working environment at Wal-Mart is so bad, then stop working there!  If you're so desperate for money (and I'm not saying you work there Joseph, this is what a generalization looks like) that you'll work somewhere that treats you as bad as you say then you must either be really, really stupid or the working environment at Wal~Mart isn't as bad as you would have us believe.

I have a real problem with people bemoaning how horribly they're supposedly treated at Wal-Mart yet they don't have the guts to walk out the door and not come back.  If it's so damn bad there, get the hell out!  Thing is, I'll bet that every single one of those people who bad-mouth Wal-Mart walk out the front door and straight to the bank with their checks on payday.  They're cashing the check so it must not be as bad as they'd have the rest of us believe.

I count my two years working for Wal-Mart the greatest experience in my life.  They were more than fair to me.  They gave me every opportunity to move up in the company and I did.  I started out working in the stock room, moved up to front-end cashier and then became the closing electronics department associate and I did it in less than 24 months.  I was well taken care of by my managers and assistant managers -- if I had a problem no one ever showed me the door.  The assistants would listen to me if I had an issue and they would help me get that issue resolved in a way that was acceptable to all.  I never felt threatened to work overtime off the clock.  I was always paid for every minute I was in the building as an employee (sorry, associate) and I learned some valuable customer service skills that I still use to this day even though I haven't punched a Wal-Mart time clock in almost 20 years.

The only reason I don't still work for Wal-Mart is that I can't live on what they're paying.  I could if I were to move under a bridge and divorce my wife and daughter, but I will always count myself fortunate to have been a Wal-Mart Alum.

Sounds a whole lot different than the crap you're being fed now a days, doesn't it Joseph?

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