I just read an interesting article today about a man who had a disagreement with a TV which was, unfortunately, contract-bound to follow the laws of gravity… and not that of butter-fingered Best Buy employees:
Texas Best Buy customer Sam Fisher recently found himself at the center of a slightly more perilous problem than a dubious intranet site, when an employee at the store accidentally dropped a 27-inch from the top shelf straight onto his head.
Ouch… That’s gonna leave a mark…
…the man… …is now suing Best Buy for gross negligence, although not the individual employee, who he says was simply following the store’s policies. – [Engadget/TG Daily]
OK, look. As much as I can sympathize with the man for having to bear a blow upside the head from an wayward 27in. television set, this case brings to mind a similar incident with a not-too-bright lady and a hot cup of coffee…
Look, if you go to a store and see a heavy item on the top shelf, when you finally get a person to bring it down for you, do you:
- Get out of the employees way, and stand where nobody will get hurt if it falls, so they can retrieve the item safely.
- Stand behind, beside or under the employees ladder, as they attempt to retrieve the item.
- Stand directly under the item as the employee pulls it down from the top shelf.
Now me personally, I’d choose option #1. Generally because I’d like for my noggin to remain in one piece, thank you very much. Apparently this guy didn’t think that far ahead. And now he wants to sue Best Buy for his lack of foresight. And I don’t mean the clairvoyant type either. I mean the “Let- me- give- this- area- some- room- just- in- case- this- large- object- should- happen- to- slip- and- fall” kind of foresight. But that could just be me.
And then there is the idea that “people” are no longer at fault. Or can’t make mistakes. It’s always the “business” or the “company” who is to blame. Given the comments of Best Buy employees that weighed in on the article, it sounds as if fingering Best Buy for this is illogical. Is he trying to say that an employee couldn’t possibly have violated company policy? Or that the employee couldn’t have accidentally dropped the TV? The employee was superhuman, and was therefore in no way to blame?
Hogwash! IMHO The real reason people in this situation don’t want to hold other individuals accountable for their mistakes are twofold:
- If they hold others personally accountable for their mistakes, then others must hold them personally accountable for theirs. And we can’t have that because… *ahem*… We are all “perfect”.
- Businesses are wealthier than individuals. And that’s the “bottom line”™. He couldn’t have gotten much out of that poor Best Buy employee, but the business, well, now that’s a horse of a different color… Green.
It seems we live in an age where common sense must now be dispensed, vending machine style, at every turn, because people don’t seem to carry any around with them anymore. It amazes me that we seem to have blithely accepted the constant barrage of signs, images, warning labels and so on telling us things, (in high visibility yellow and red), that any person with an adequately functioning brain should be able to figure out on their own.
How many of you are unaware that plastic bags are a suffocation hazard? Or that the cables for your blinds are a strangulation risk? Or that you are not supposed to eat the toner from a printer cartridge? Or that hot beverages can scald you? Or that fingers and moving lawnmower blades do not mix?
Do you really need to be told these things? Are you really OK with the fact that it is necessary for anyone to have to be told these things? Or are we simply allowing the non-thinkers of our society to dictate how socially acceptable common sense should be, for fear of having to own up to our individual mistakes?
Ok, fine. I’ll stop asking stupid questions and dismount my soapbox…
Best Buy customer sues after being clobbered by falling TV – [Engadget/TG Daily]