I like to take situations where people interact, watch how the people interact and then I make notes. As the level of stress goes up, the worse people seem to interact. A good example is Black Friday. For those of you who do not know what Black Friday is – its the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer some great specials. The companies offer specials to get people into the store. Hopefully the people will buy more then just whats on sale. These specials offer people a chance to snatch up some great deals. Considering the current economic times, there are a lot of people looking for whatever deals they can find.
Here at the local wal-mart, a couple of people got in a fight over some towels – 1 person was arrested and 1 person went to the hospital.
What can you “really” say about a society where people fight over towels that cost $1.33.
For the most part things went well at the local stores – some people got upset that there were not enough items for everyone. The local wal-mart had some Emachine laptops for $198. My daughter and I got in line around 11:15pm – the sale started at 5am.
People were showing up anywhere from 3am – 5am wanting to get in line for the laptops. One guy and his wife got there around 4am, saw the line was established and all of the vouchers for the laptops had been handed out. From there the husband got rather upset, got a manager over to the line and got a little loud. The manager said there was nothing he could do, that the people in line were there before he was.
There seemed to be 4 types of people:
Group 1 – Willing to fight over the smallest items. This is the group that bothers me the most. These are the people that are willing to infect physical violence to get what they want. We are not talking about fighting over food during some kind of long term disaster, we are talking about people fighting over towels that cost $1.33.
If the people of group 1 are willing to inflict physical violence over small value items, what are the people of this group capable of during a disaster? If their willing to fight over an item that cost $1.33, are they willing to kill over an item that cost $5?
Group 2 – Get there early, establish your place in line and wait. I would consider this an orderly group and abides by the rules and laws of the land.
Group 3 – Get there late, and complain that people are ahead of them. I would consider this a group of trouble makers. The problem comes in when people from the violent group 1 and group 3 are 1 in the same. Where the people of group 1 can show up at anytime – early or late, people of group 3 show up late. These are the people that fail to size up the situation, fail to plan, and then get mad at others for their own failures.
Group 4 – the people that shop online and stay away from stressful situations with the public. After some kind of disaster, these are the people who pull from their own resources and will not have to stand in line for food handouts.
To me, this provides examples of types of people that we might see in some kind of disaster. The 2 groups that I worry about are the ones that are willing to inflict physical harm for access to the smallest items. And the group of people that get there late, and are angry that they missed they failed to plan ahead.
Post your comments in this forum thread about Black Friday rushes.