Friday, November 28, 2008

Valley Stream, NY: Shame knows no bounds

The news that a rabid mob literally broke the doors of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream and trampled a 34-year-old greeter in their bloodlust for bargain-priced merchandise is not just sickening, it clearly illustrates the level this country has sunk to when it comes to the value of courtesy, decency and human life.

What is wrong with people?

I witnessed this type of mob violence at an early age when I was a teenager working at K-mart. At that time, K-mart had blue light specials that ran for seven minutes each. The blue light box was on wheels, rolling from department to department. One of the store managers was pushing the blue light while another employee marked the merchandise, and a third employee (me) was assigned to assist the manager and the "tagger" keep things rolling smoothly by passing the tagged merchandise to the shoppers and warning shoppers that they must have the merchandise tagged with the special price or they would not receive the sale.

On this particular night, people were literally chasing the blue light from area to area. One shopper brazenly locked her fingers under one of the belt loops on the evening manager's pants (Angels Flight - they were practically sprayed on), which caused our very sassy manager to turn around and remark, "Lady, my ass is not up for grabs. Please let go." She complied, but she continued to follow closely and when the blue light arrived in the toy department, the employee began marking the dolls with the sale price and the ass-handling woman put herself in charge of handing dolls out to the right side of the crowd while I handed to the left side. She was handing them off to some other woman behind her, who was handing them back through the crowd. Everything was going fine, if maniacally, until the end of the doll supply was reached, and the tagger shouted, "last one!" Ms. Grab-ass tightly clutched the doll in her grip. Trouble was, the woman who was behind her hadn't kep a doll for herself and she was determined to have one. So she shouted at Ms. Grab-ass, "that one is MINE!" and attempted to snatch the doll from her. Ms. Grab-ass yanked back and beat the woman over the head with the doll, as she screamed that it was hers. Others began to try and take the doll from the woman.

I ran to the nearest phone to make an overhead page using the store code for all management to report to the area...which they did, and fortunately the fighting was quickly quelled. But the two women wound up in a police cruiser giving their reports to the officers, and all because they couldn't stand losing a good deal on the dolls, which were $3 off. The woman nearly put out the other woman's eye for three damned dollars. I never forgot that night. It demonstrated for me how stupid and pathetic people can be in the quest for themselves.

I have to praise the Wal-Mart trampling victim's father, who was incredibly composed and didn't rebuke. He stated that he could not speak against anyone, that it would not be appropriate. He praised his son as a kind young man, and I marveled at how he truly lived his beliefs by refusing to call for vengeance.

This brazen disregard for the welfare of others is becoming more and more prevalent, and it shows up everywhere, especially in traffic. People are too selfish to go around the block when they discover they're in the wrong lane, so they cut off a number of other drivers to crowd into a lane to make a turn. They value their own time more than everyone else's, so in a long line of traffic, they suddenly pull out of the line into heavy traffic, causing everyone else to stand on their brakes, while they run up the line and see if they can cut in fifteen cars ahead. They pull out into busy roadways from side streets and leave their front ends hanging out there so as to cause the oncoming traffic to have to swerve away, endangering others. It's really sickening.

Last week, I was in a Wal-Mart and was standing in the line for the self-serve checkouts. There's a single line that forms for all four registers so that the next person on line has the benefit of being able to go to whichever register clears next.

I had just progressed to the front of the line when a man brazenly walked by the entire line of waiting people, of which there were about seven of us, and walked up behind a man at one of the other self-serve checkouts, as if he would wait behind that man. I was just about to tell him where the line was when another register cleared, so I was directed to it by an employee who was watching the line rather irregularly. I went, but as I did, I motioned to the employee that Mr. Line-cutter had bypassed the line. The employee went over to the man and showed him the line, at which point the man in front of him finished and the line-cutter basically told the employee to kiss his ass and started to try to initiate his transaction. At this point, the next person waiting in line (who had been behind me) arrived at the scene and told the line-cutter to go to end of the line. This distraction gave the employee the break he needed, and he quickly touched the screen and did a transaction to close the register, forcing the line-cutter to leave the register. The fact that the line-cutter had the balls to wave his self-importance like a big flag to the rest of the people in the line really surprised and annoyed me. But I was glad the timing worked out as it did. I rarely shop Wal-Mart, and this type of activity is a very big part of the reason. It seems to be where this particular breed of person hangs out.

I don't know what the world is coming to, but this kind of activity almost makes me ashamed to live on Long Island tonight. This certainly has nothing to do with the spirit of Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or any other holiday. The evil that men do...


At 11:52 AM, November 29, 2008, Blogger TigerYogiji said...

And it looks like you got some spam for your trouble as well! What a world! :(

At 9:38 AM, November 30, 2008, Blogger Marc said...

Thanks, Tiger, I fixed it!

At 12:16 PM, November 30, 2008, Blogger TigerYogiji said...

Me again! Now there is "Content Warning" screen from Blogger that comes up before people can come to your site. What's going on?


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