Welcome to the online diary of the “London Ziegs,” as they journal their experiences relocating from the balmy climes of sunny Orlando, Florida to the more chaotically cosmopolitan environment of London, UK!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Practice Safe Shopping

One of the neat things about working in the defense industry was that I knew many of the projects I worked on would help save lives.* I admit that I really didn't think working at Amazon would provide quite that same perk. However, reading today's news makes you wonder if e-commerce doesn't offer long-term public safety benefits as well:
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

Jessica Keyes was among the shoppers. She told the Daily News she saw a woman knocked down just a few feet from the dying worker.

"When the paramedics came, she said 'I'm pregnant,'" Keyes said.

Paramedics treated the woman inside the store and then, according to Keys, told the woman: "There's nothing we can do. The baby is gone."
Now I've shopped at Wal-Mart thousands of times, and am perfectly aware from personal experience that this story is in no way reflective of that company in particular, nor American consumers in general. But I also admit that, reading such things from overseas and without the context of first-hand experience in America, I can see how some people develop an unfortunately biased view of our nation :-(

* For those who think this is an oxymoron:
  • it is called the Defense Department for a reason
  • better equipment helps keep our own soldiers alive longer
  • when weapon delivery can be made more accurate (through improved sensors, guidance systems, fire control, battle command & communications, etc), the military can (and does) use smaller and fewer munitions to engage the same strategic target, which (besides being cheaper) directly results in reduced "collateral" civilian casualties

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