So I was busy chasing wild geese on Friday (it involved a electric company, a new residential building site, a current commercial building site, 1 check, 3 building permits, a trip back to the office for another check) and had time on the road to listen to the news and formulate opinions.
The story about the Columbus, OH Burlington Coat Factory episode came up. We are supposedly one of the most “most civilized” countries of the world but an incident like this just goes to show that civilized or not, the human nature is often uncivil toward fellow humans.
In case you haven’t read the story, a lady entered the story, claimed to have just won the lottery and offered a $500 per person shopping spree. People went wild trying to get stuff to buy, plus they called their friends and family and another boatload of people tried to get into the store to take part in the shopping spree. After they found out the lady didn’t win the lottery and had no money to pay for the shopping spree, they left the store in shambles.
“Everybody was like, ‘I still want my free stuff,’ and that started the riot,” he (police detective Steven Nace) said. “It looks like (Hurricane) Katrina went through the store.”
What is it about greed that makes people lose civility? Remember the Black Friday episode where a security man was killed in NY because of people trying to enter a Wal*mart for sales?
And what would you do if you were in a store and a legitimate announcement was made for a $500 shopping spree by someone who won the lottery? Would you participate? I think the first thing I would do is head out the door, taking the above story in consideration.
And the lottery … now there’s another topic for discussion. Or not. Mostly not. Lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. Or like a t-shirt I just saw: Play the Lottery. Learn Statistics.
A GM salesman stopped in at the office today. He was talking about how many people are scratching for work these days. We spoke of some of the benefits of the economy taking a downturn, most which tie into evaluating what’s really important in our lives and what we can live without. He said that it’s been good for him and his wife to take a look at things. “I have 9 televisions in my house,” he said, “and there are only three of us living there. We really don’t need that many. My son is in high school so he’s not home much. We cut out cable since we get our news on the internet and rarely watch tv anyway. But we have 5 computers in our house. That’s one for each of us plus 2 extra.”
You know, there are times when being rendered speechless is a good thing.