Exhausted Target worker's Black Friday crash defies Star Tribune's bizarre "be happy you have a job" editorial

target400.jpg
Target workers had a Black Friday alright
An exhausted Target worker in Palm Beach, Florida, crashed her car into a canal at 7:46 a.m. after working the midnight shift on Black Friday.

The accident is notable because it shows the potential danger for workers forced to work the midnight shift after Target decided to open its doors earlier than ever on Black Friday. The new hours triggered a backlash from employees, who delivered a petition with 181,000 signatures to CEO Gregg Steinhafel asking the retailer to "Save Thanksgiving."

The petition was met with a bizarre editorial from the Star Tribune that told workers they should shut up and just be happy to have a job in a bad economy.

targetsinkingcar.jpg
PBSO
The car of an exhausted Target worker who plunged into the water after working the midnight shift.
For those who missed it, here's what the Star Tribune editorial page wrote about workers who complained about having to work at midnight on Thanksgiving:

So please, protesting retail workers, stop whining about having to work holiday hours.

Be grateful to have a job.

And now here's the harrowing experience of one exhausted worker, who should apparently just be "grateful to have a job":

The woman's car began sinking in 20-foot water, and she called 911. A Sheriff's deputy had to jump in to save her. Frank Mayo, the deputy, freed her from the car and the woman grabbed on to him. Afraid she might drown them both, the deputy let go, but didn't see the woman come up after him. After taking a breath, he dove back down, calmed the woman down, and brought her back up to safety.

Just another day at work for those lucky enough to have a job! What's to complain about? Now let's talk about scheduling you for a double shift on Christmas ...

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mmarks
mmarks

Working the graveyard shift can kill you. Seriously. Working nights turns your body clock upside-down and everything is out of whack. Most people can't sleep 7 or 8 consecutive hours when it's daylight outside so arriving at work exhausted is the norm. I worked 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. for two years and rarely got more than 4 hours of decent sleep during the day, even with sleeping pills and ear plugs. I also gained 75 pounds (I had to eat constantly at my desk all night to stay awake) and wound up with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Bad, bad, bad.

StevenMN
StevenMN

This employee might not be the only casualty.  There were reports and some speculation that lots of customers were hitting the roads after a day of partying.  It was too tempting go out and get the bargains rather than staying at home to sleep off the booze.

Guest
Guest

If anyone actually cares to read the "news" article...it's here:http://www.palmbeachpost.com/n... where...NO where does it mention that she was tired, exhausted, worn out, worked to death.  NO WHERE...  she could have been as alert as anyone else.  I am not on anyone's side on this thing but shouldn't the start of any argument be based in fact?

Rant away if you want about Target being evil or whether a person should be thankful and prepared to work a late shift.  Just know that it has nothing to do with this article or event.

Michael
Michael

I think Eric said it best...the details surrounding the accident were not provided.  It could be a simple excuse for making a stupid mistake (ex. texting, radio, eating, etc.) that has now been blown out of proportion or she could have just fallen asleep and crashed.  She could just as easily been "exhausted" going to work at 3am (had Target kept their original black Friday hours) or 5pm coming home from her normal shift.  No matter where you work you are given a schedule and you plan around it if you'd like to receive a check.

Luis
Luis

This is RIDICULOUS! We are not going to stimulate the economy by sitting on our asses, decorating Christmas trees and eating like pigs. Seriously people, for some reason dinner on thanksgiving is at 2PM! I don't know why, but it is. We all know that by six every one is done and either going to bed to work on the NEXT BUSINESS day or at a bar. Saving Thanksgiving? please, retail workers, like the star tribune says, need to stop complaining and be grateful they have a job! All in all, I agree with a lot of these posters, she should've/could've taken a nap before work. Geez it's not like they made her work thanks giving DAY!  and like one said a couple posts back, what about nurses, doctors and all the people that work OVER 12 HOURS on a holiday DAY. I rather spend time with my family than get double the pay, but as a nurse and having worked AT TARGET ON THANKS GIVING NIGHT a couple years ago I say... somebody has to do it! oh and shame on you, city pages for vilifying the star tribune!

JK
JK

MAYBE OBAMA was Right when he said American's ARE LAZY...... thats all Im gonna Say!

Budster55113
Budster55113

So many are LAZY and want FREE money.Some need HELP but way to many are LAZY and think they are entitled.

Phoenix Woman
Phoenix Woman

I can tell by the virulence and number of conservatives swarming this thread -- then again, it could just be the same two guys putting on new online identities like sock puppets over and over again -- that it's hitting them right where it hurts, the poor things.

Eric
Eric

Nice journalism...did you actually READ the news article or did you read the headline from another editorial?

No where in the article did it say WHY she drove into the water.  How do we know she wasn't texting?  Changing the radio station?  She never once says that she was so tired from working that she drove into the water...damn guys...at least pretend to be responsible.

So let's say that she actually did fall asleep.  Do we know how much sleep she had before she went to work?  Do we know if she was on medication?  

How many people worked Friday/Night Saturday morning at Target across the US?  Somewhere around a bajillion I would think.  By your logic, there should be 20 or so of these extremely wet car stories all over the nation.

Here is what the story said.  

A woman drove her car into the water.

She works at Target.

A brave deputy saved her.

What you report the story said:

Target tries to kill little old woman and sheriff.

Ryan
Ryan

Find another job.S I M P L E

No one made them work at target.

Macho Muchacho
Macho Muchacho

She should be thankful she has a job...MN laid off 7500 people last month. In this particular instance, the STRIB does not lie.

Mrgasso
Mrgasso

I fucking hate Target Corp. Red Commy A$$holes! Their logo says it all!

Ef
Ef

What kind of cocksucker coward writes something like that editorial and doesn't put a name to it?

guest
guest

This such a poorly written article.  And I find it amusing how Citypages just couldn't resist throwing a shade at the Star Trib. 

Lothar
Lothar

Ugh.  A bad Strib editorial followed by a bad CP aricle about the Strib editoria followed by a bunch of bad comments about the bad CP article about the bad Strib editorial. Kinda early for the Minnesota Winter Crazies, isn't it? 

twisted0220
twisted0220

My co-workers sister was so exhausted she fainted on an escalator and hit her head so badly she had to under go brain surgery.

All so someone could get a deal on a tv

Findago30
Findago30

the great bear in the east is no longer sleeping.wake up you will be in bread lines soon.

Findago30
Findago30

there,i'm so pissed at you ignorant americans i cant type.

Findago30
Findago30

did you know the russian navy is sending ships to syria,or do u just pay attention to ur consumer world.way bigger issues out their people

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

What is Syria?   Is that like a new store in the mall or something?   Why don't you cool it with the America bashing bud?    Are you forgetting how America saved your ass in World War 2 against the French?   If it wasn't for my grandpa your ass would be speaking french, smoking clove cigarettes and wearing a beret like an asshole!  

bloodbath
bloodbath

Thank you Kevin Hoffman and looney tune bloggers for making my afternoon. You all make Bachwoman look smart. Your stupidity is what "the greedy corporations" get rich on. Now to come up with a useless item to get you idiots to buy...

Miaren Crowsdaughter
Miaren Crowsdaughter

For those people pointing out that fire/PD/EMT work every holiday - yes, they do.  And we all know that fires, crimes, and medical emergencies can't be told to 'wait until normal business hours.'

I commend our first responders - who put their lives on the line EVERY DAY (and not just on Black Friday in front of a seething mob), but you have to admit, this year's hottest X-Box game is quite content to stay on the shelf until the store chooses to open its doors.  You can't say the same about Aunt Edith's myocardial infarction.

Right-Wing Tool
Right-Wing Tool

Whatever happened to personal responsibility?  Why should it be Target's fault that an employee had a car accident on their personal time?

If you don't want to work crazy hours, don't work in retail during their peak season and don't work in the 24/7 service industry.   There are a lot of people who would be happy to work those jobs and work those hours. I did because those were excellent hours to work while putting myself through college.

peon
peon

Well, that's the point. This person didn't sign up to work in a 24/7 job.  She didn't sign up to work these hours, but Target decided that she would have to that day.

I don't really blame Target for the accident, but the point is that she never signed up to work those hours, but Target changed the deal unexpectedly.

Albatross
Albatross

The Star Tribune featured a live on-line chat with editor Doug Tice, and I had to forcibly restrain myself from logging in to it because the only thing I could possibly have done was posted "Why are you such a right-wing tool?" over and over again.

ShelleMN
ShelleMN

Corporate is not the only one to blame, your peers were out shopping at the same time. When you get your schedule in advanced (weren't they complaining well OVER a week ago?) then you should have time to prepare. EMT's and Fire Fighters and our boys serving overseas do not have this luxury and they all chose these jobs and work the hours given to them to make ends meet. You have the freedom to quit and look else where if you don't agree, unfortunately the jobs are sparse and you get what you get (or lack there of).

ae_umn
ae_umn

These people don't exactly have a week off to readjust their body rhythm. They're busy working their normal shifts, so at best they could have napped earlier on Thanksgiving day, missing out on whatever festivities, and STILL ended up tired because their body would be used to sleeping! EMTs and firefights choose jobs that come with the expectation of working odd hours. Target is not 24 hours, so pretty sure that nobody is expecting to work overnights EVER except...well...the overnight crew.

David Tesch
David Tesch

I fully agree:  It's your peers that are to blame here.  We as a society are endorsing this kind of corporate edict because we're the idiots willing to cut our OWN Thanksgiving holidays short to do what? Save some some money on a flat panel TV or get a cheap DVD?  The real disgusting beast in this story is you and me.  Wake up America, we're becoming everything we were created to stand up against, bit by bit.  

NO ONE'S LIFE is worth a cheap price on a TV.

Budster55113
Budster55113

If I Read you right: YES it is the shoppers fault.If they wouldn't shop on those nites,the store wouldn't stay open.I have never shopped on one of those late nites.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

HEY! The at-will employment gambit! I was wondering when we'd get to see this line of bullshit. Cheers to Shelle the shill!

ShelleMN
ShelleMN

Isn't all employment at will? It just depends on how you want to look at it, glass half full or glass half empty. Yep, proud to post that bullshit for you. My husband chose to be an EMT, Fire Fighter and is enlisted in the service - all at will. He doesn't complain at 1 a m when he has to save a person having a heart attack or save another persons house from burning down. Those aren't scheduled, he could be sleeping in bed but "at will" he chooses to work. He's not paid minimum wage, but less because it's not hourly pay to begin with when your paid per call. But when ignorant people don't understand and they want to lip off that their peers are consumed by the Black Friday craze (and no I didn't participate in the shopping) people are quick to slam a one day event and not considered how the real world works. Get over it.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

"Isn't all employment at will?" Uh no. Are you serious? Do you not understand how contract employment works? A large portion of Americans are not employed at-will.

I welcome your husband to try and leave the military in the same manner you've just suggested for non-contract employees, "I quit." but I digress. I do not give a shit if and when he complains, he chose positions in which an expressed expectation exists that his hours may include shifts and hours that can vary wildly. He is also compensated in a manner consistent with those expectations and his education. I agree, consuming is sickening, and while watching it overcome fools is entertaining, watching it overcome workers is not.

The real world does not require most of us to suddenly work 12 hour overnight shifts (suddenly being a month of notice let's say). To think it does is to fundamentally misunderstand how corporate stewardship and responsibility work.

Albatross
Albatross

Why are you such a right-wing tool?

ShelleMN
ShelleMN

For the same reason you're so darned closed minded :)

Simpsycho
Simpsycho

We're gonna blame Target for some woman crashing her car? What ever happened to personal responsibility? She could have gotten a cup of coffee or an energy drink to help her stay alert. She could have pulled over when she felt herself starting to nod off. She could have asked a coworker to give her a lift home. But she didn't do any of those things and she put herself and every other driver on the road at risk that day.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

" She could have gotten a cup of coffee or an energy drink to help her stay alert."

What the fuck? You have clearly never been exhausted in your life. There is no amount of coffee that keeps your eyes open...you blithering idiot.

bloodbath
bloodbath

I'm a wealthy industrialist looking to create a new useless item idiots will buy. Is "shiny" or "blue" more appealing to you?

David Tesch
David Tesch

" She could have gotten a cup of coffee or an energy drink to help her stay alert."

This message brought to you by the makers of 5 Hour Energy -- responsible for just 60% of adrenal system failure in the country

Albatross
Albatross

Why are you such a right wing tool?

guest
guest

Why can't you argue your point like an adult and stop name calling?

Pandoramn
Pandoramn

This article is SO poorly written, it's not really even worth commenting about, but since lots of people will be using it as an excuse to trash Target, I'll take a minute to offer some common sense in rebuttal.

Shift work is tough, no doubt about it, but the fact is, it is not Target's responsibility that this woman drove when she was incapacitated.  I haven't been to Florida in a while, but I'm pretty sure they have public transit there.  Many years when I worked two jobs on a regular basis, I was thankful to be able to take the bus home and snooze on the way.  If you know you're not used to staying up late, take precautions!  Drive to the "park and ride" if the local bus doesn't stop nearby.  Take responsibility for your own safety, as well as the others on the road with you. 

And, Mr. Hoffman, I wish for Santa to enrole you in a journalism class...hopefully before you inflict another biased, inflammatory article such as this one on CP readers.  Sheesh!

ae_umn
ae_umn

Florida has among the worst public transportation in the nation and most cities that do have it don't necessarily run at late hours. Sorry, but not everyone can snooze on the bus like you did.

Bee
Bee

People need to shut the hell up about all this!!  Boo whoo you had to work on thanksgiving, i dont feel sorry for anyone!  im in the service industry and have to work holidays, late nights and weekends.  Get over it!!

BTH
BTH

My sentiments exactly.  I had 12 years of that as well.  It's the job, deal with it. 

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