This update is dedicated to a brother-in-arms who lost his life this morning.
As someone who has worked in a customer service position for over half my life (first as a restaurant employee, then manager, and now an inside salesman in the Industrial & Hydraulic hose & fittings industry), I know full well the things that face those of us who serve the public.
My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of the American Wal-Mart worker who was trampled to death this morning by a throng of bargain-crazed idiots who cared more about buying a cheap big-screen TV or being first in line for the "great deals" than about the life of a man, or even about giving the paramedics room to work on the man after they trampled him.
Equal blame and scorn should go to Wal-Mart as well, for not immediately closing the doors and stopping people from coming in (calling police if necessary to control the crowd) so paramedics could save the life of their employee.
But, it's astoundingly easy to play "WHAT IF?!" from several thousand kilometres away. I wasn't there to see the incident, so for all I know, the Wal-Mart staff and management tried valiantly to fight off the aforementioned throngs of materialistic, simple-minded, bargain-obsessed sheep.
However, I highly doubt it. Perhaps more info will trickle in proving me wrong. More than likely not.
** UPDATE **
I am very happy to report that, yes, I was wrong. According to the latest update on this story, the staff at Wal-Mart did indeed close the store while the paramedics and police did their best to save their (Wal-Mart staff's) fallen comrade. Good on them, and I will happily retract what I said in the previous commentary. My faith in humanity (BUT NOT SOCIETY) is restored, somewhat...