When Black Friday Comes

So last Thanksgiving I had been here in the South for about a month, still in pretty bad shape as I look back on it. Depressed. Sleeping a lot. I was still getting California disability checks so I hadn’t gotten serious about looking for work yet. I had applied at a couple retail places in hopes of getting holiday work, but hadn’t been hired. I had no interest in working at WalMart, that’s for sure.

On the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” we heard the news that an employee at a WalMart in Valley Stream, NY had been trampled and killed by eager Black Friday shoppers. The next day I read where some of the customers complained that the store had been closed during investigation of the incident. I hadn’t started the blog yet, but this is what I wrote on Facebook on November 29, 2008:

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, how in the name of God, Mom, and apple pie do you STEP OVER A FELLOW HUMAN BEING and then proceed to shop for Plasma TVs?
How do you complain when the police close down the store because A HUMAN BEING WAS KILLED?
Did you think that you were going to just purchase your cheap s***, go home and wrap it, and have it sit under your Christmas tree?
Your CHRISTmas tree?
You make me ashamed to be human.

Yeah, I was a tad angry. For a minute there I actually thought that this would mean the end of Black Friday as we know it, silly me.

Here we are a year later and I am going to be a part of it. Initially I had Wednesday off, working 8 hours on Thanksgiving, and wasn’t scheduled to come in on Friday until 6pm. That would mean that I would miss all the craziness, and I was actually disappointed. I figured this will be my only Black Friday at WalMart and I wanted to have some good stories for my fervent readers. Then yesterday the head DOJ of the store asked me if I could come in at (are you sitting down?) 2am to 6am and help out, and I said (are you still sitting down?) that I would.

Our store is open 24/7 so we’re not going to have people rushing the doors like they did in New York. From what I’ve been told they set up the sale items in the middle of the main aisles and shrink-wrap or otherwise rope them off until the appointed time, then shoppers line up and wait. From what the veterans have told me, this still does not completely eliminate shoving, pushing, and other animal behavior, but at least our store has had no deaths…yet. Apparently I am to stand there and look like a tough guy and keep people in line and away from the goodies.

I have also heard some talk that there may be tickets given out or random drawings, but I don’t know.  All I know is that this year you may be reading about me in the papers. Hell, at least I’ll finally get published.

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