Akilah Davis/Contributing Writer
I work part-time at the Coral Square Mall, in Coral Springs, FL. where there was a fatal shooting episode this past Thanksgiving. And yes, I was at work that day.
There is nothing I love more than love itself and its many forms. Love in the form of my family is always refreshing, inspiring, and warming, especially to my heart and especially after a long, stimulating semester. But unfortunately, I had to leave my family that Thanksgiving evening to fulfill my responsibilities as a mall employee and returned with a lesson on corporate greed.
It happened at one of those little kiosk booths in front of Spencer’s Gifts, only a few stores down from my own. According to the Sun Sentinel, a dispute broke out between one of the employees and the owner of the store, Gus Kiriazis, and ended with Kiriazis shooting the employee before killing himself. Whatever disagreements or differences the pair could’ve had that incited such violence and tragedy I could not even fathom.
Whatever thoughts Kiriazis could’ve had that encouraged him to risk the safety of civilians — children, women and families alike — I could not fathom. Whatever relief or remediation was worth his life, the employee’s’ life, and the well-being and safety of so many others I cannot understand. All I know is that it should have been avoided altogether and completely.
I thank the “Most High” for allowing me to have had a later shift. I thank God for not allowing more tragedy to ensue. Ironically, I was late, and learned of what happened after I clocked in. I was mortified and disgusted; why wasn’t the mall closed? Why were people still shopping here two hours after someone just lost their life here?
Money. Americans can’t stand the thought of not making any money. Not as a thought of stability or need but because of greed. Businesses couldn’t consider the safety of everyone in the mall, that the moments people had before and after the incident was more valuable than the money you could potentially lose in that one day?
As if people don’t shop online. As if there aren’t a thousand other venues perfectly capable of providing the same services and products.
“It’s because it was only one person who died,” my coworker, Marissa Yannayon, said. “If it was a mass shooting, no one would be here,” she said. “And I find it ridiculous that we’re even here working right now. Because of all these people here wanting to shop.”
I just hate how money is the sole reason or purpose for anything anymore. Thanksgiving, a wonderful, loving, heart-warming holiday, reduced to violence, tragedy and profit. When did life become so expendable that others feel the right to take it away or disregard it altogether?
D is for does, as in does my life not mean enough? Does it not mean more than people’s anger, their emotions or their pockets? I’m disgusted. I’m revolted. I’m not sure if I should ever work a Black Friday weekend again. Things are only getting worse.
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Image retrieved from 401kcalculator.org/Flickr.