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An event at my grocery store.

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:30 AM
A severe storm came through my town last night and it knocked out power in my local grocery store for a bit. This was no big deal, as it has happened before. There was, however, a bigger problem we discovered very quickly: The credit and debit no longer worked, and checks couldn't be used. Foodstamps and WIC did not work either.

Coincidentally, there was a rush of people in the store at this same time, and the lines began to clog very fast. People in line joked about how anyone ever did this 100 years ago, things like that. Everyone figured the glitch would be ironed out momentarily. Since nothing else worked, those people who were stuck were forced to use the store ATM that would charge them to withdraw money. They weren't happy but they got in line and started to get the cash they needed.

Until the ATM froze up.

Now the fake smiles and annoyed chatter had disappeared and reality struck for a lot of people, they had no way to access their money, they had no way to pay for their food. Those who unloaded their carts were completely stuck and the ones waiting in line didn't want to give up their spot to go to the bank. People became vocal very quickly.

"There's no way the whole system can go at once!"

"What the Hell do I do now?"

"I'm not leaving without this food."

People started pointing fingers at the cashiers, THEY must have done something. When the manager tried to explain it was not the cashier's doing, the company was to blame for making such a flawed system. Soon enough, with no knowledge of how the system actually worked, people began blaming others for buying too many groceries in the first place. In the span of a few minutes, perfectly calm, content people turned on those around them and eventually each other because food and money weren't immediately available to them.

About that time the manager announced that the debit and checking was back up, and the ATM unfroze and people got their money.

All of the things mentioned could have been causes for the glitch, but how the customers reacted was stunning to me. I can't say what would have happened if the problem hadn't resolved itself, but I know that in a situation where other variables were involved such as a national crisis or mass panic, there would have been chaos.

If people react in such a way when a small wrench is thrown into the works, what reactions would come from a multitude of things going wrong all at once? After what I saw last night, I wouldn't want to be near a public place should the house of cards topple over, and I don't recommend anyone planning a trip to the store that day.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:34 AM
That was a gut wrenching story. It is frightening to watch the mob mentality form, grow and take over otherwise amiable people.

Thanks for telling us what happened. Its a wake-up call.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:44 AM
My apologies if this is in the wrong forum, perhaps a mod can direct me to the right one.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by TeddiRevolution

What a great example of just how quickly things can fall apart. Just think what it will be like when the end really does come.

+3 more 
posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:59 AM
I experienced the same thing a few years back and I WAS the cashier!

It was really scary; it got to the point that I grabbed the mic and screamed at them to shut up and listen or leave the store right then!
I told them it took all of 5 minutes to reset the system and if they had not left themseleves that minute amount of time in their day to wait. They were to push their carts aside and leave the store!
My manager had no balls and well it is a womans' intuition to calm down the children and give them a talking too.

Needless to say it got deathly quite till I was able to get the system back up, then it was biz as usual!

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:20 AM
Nothing worse than upset sheeple...Pure panic...

We live in the mountains of CA, & frequently get evacuated for forest fires....They ALWAYS warn us to keep 1/2 tank of gas in the vehicles so we can get down the mountain....During an evacuation in 2003, I witnessed fist fights @ the gas pump...Normal neighbors were yelling & screaming @ each other, pushing, & slugging it out....WE WERE WARNED!!! I drove by the mess which had reached into the street, and was 'sadly happy' that I heeded the warning....Sheeple are going to go CRAZY!!!!

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by TeddiRevolution

I have always believed that if a situation was to occur where basic service were rendered useless, Humanity would revert back to its true colors. And 10,000 years of advancement would come screeching to a halt. We have built a thin vale of lies for ourselves your example is a fine way to illustrate what may be to come.

I live in Cincinnati, and during Hurricane Ike we got those strong hurricane winds and power was knocked out. Some parts of the city were without power for five days, while it was relatively peaceful there were acts of looting, and if the power would have stayed out much longer in the whole city I believe Cincinnati would have descended into Chaos.

I hope all of the things that are mentioned here on ATS will never come to pass, because you will truly see human nature for what it is.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:28 AM
What I am curious to know is how the ATM worked and in the other posters case how the microphone worked when there was no power in either case? Did the electric come back on and the store's computer system didn't work?

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:33 AM
reply to post by damwel

I guess the power just flickered off quickly, enough to render the system useless for a period of time.

+12 more 
posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:40 AM
Convenience is a curse when it disappears.

Always have a C note tucked in the back of a purse or wallet.

Always have a few days of food, fuel and water available at home.

If you can't get through the next 3 days without food,fuel water or cash then you just aren't ready for the real world.

Nope, we don't live in the real world. We live in a fabricated dream world that can go away in an instant. Don't take it for granted.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:42 AM
The sheer idiocy of the common man never ceases to amaze me.

To see this happen must have been quite a sight...for people to ignore thousands of years of evolution and adaptation and give in to instinct over loss of control (which is what many conflicts boil down to, if you stop and analyze the situation)

A psych professor of mine used an example to support his theory of man's basic need for control - he laid his infant son gently on his back, and just as gently held his arms down, restricting his ability to roll over. It took less than 10 seconds for the child to fly into a rage. Fights in long lines at the bank, grocery store melt-downs and even road rage all stem from from a loss of internal locus of control, even momentary. Throw in the mob mentality, and you have the fixins for a potentialy dangerous (and actually embarassing) bout of anarchy.

The human race has SUCH a long way to go.

+1 more 
posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:43 AM
In a world as we have established, where we are on the umbilicus of The System, these things will happen.

Now... Imagine the difference if there was free energy flowing - Zero Point Energy tapped and available to all of us to run refrigerators, cars, TV's, stoves, A/C units, heaters, hair dryers, ad infinitum...

Imagine if no money was needed...

Imagine if food was distributed logically, rather than via profit motive...

All this would eliminate the issues seen in the OP. And we can put this together if we get enough shifted into the abundance paradigm. To see how, to understand the need to spread the paradigm... I offer my book, a tool to illustrate how we can change things. It's linked in my sig.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:58 AM

Originally posted by poedxsoldiervet
reply to post by TeddiRevolution

I have always believed that if a situation was to occur where basic service were rendered useless, Humanity would revert back to its true colors. And 10,000 years of advancement would come screeching to a halt. We have built a thin vale of lies for ourselves your example is a fine way to illustrate what may be to come.

I live in Cincinnati, and during Hurricane Ike we got those strong hurricane winds and power was knocked out. Some parts of the city were without power for five days, while it was relatively peaceful there were acts of looting, and if the power would have stayed out much longer in the whole city I believe Cincinnati would have descended into Chaos.

I hope all of the things that are mentioned here on ATS will never come to pass, because you will truly see human nature for what it is.

I have lived in south Louisiana all my life, and hurricane season is the price we pay for Christmas picnics in T-shirts and shorts.

I'm sure Katrina was discussed at length here in it's time, but I can promise you, the complete de-evolution that occurred in New Orleans during that fiasco fostered atrocities that the general public will never hear about. I have friends that suffered through them first hand, and it is hard to believe some of the stories...given that the then chief of police of NO supressed alot of info to protect himself and his department. Of course, you have to take into account the type of person that remained in the city despite the many warnings to evacuate: excluding the elderly and the indigent that had no means to leave/ place to go -some, maybe most, but not all were:
-thugs that knew if they stayed, looting ops would be incredible
-drug addicts that couldn't leave their source
-homeless schizophrenics
-gang bangers
-"street" kids / runaways

even these didn't deserve the lack of effort by FEMA and Uncle Sam, but leave them to their own devices and...well...alot of bodies recovered were anything but drownings and natural causes...women, children...I gag just thinking about the stories I heard from that time.

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Cole DeSteele]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by TeddiRevolution

Reminds me of an original Twilight Zone episode ( Season One, #22 ) "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street".

Rod Serling, writer, creator of the show, was extremely plugged in to the psychology of his fellow Man.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:09 AM
reply to post by damwel

In the event of a power outage there is a back up system to keep emergency lights on and most stores have the pa system hooked to it so they can safely get people out.
The power in my case had come back on. It had only gone out for maybe 3 minutes; but it downed the system. Just a bunch of childish adults making a bad example for all the children present if you ask me.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by Amaterasu

You know AM I have read yours and many others post's about the need for energy not dependent on a controlled system.One that more times than not crashes over stupid things. Not just when there is a bad storm wind or Gawd forbid a bad hurricane.

I have been looking into how solar and wind power is generated. Then went into how to construct said items. I have found that we are being GOUGED to the hilt for these things. (For sure there is a reason; like keeping most people off it.
But what I found is that I could construct that 5-7500 dollar solar panel for less than 500 dollars. GO FIGURE! The best part for me and well it is somewhat vindictive is them having to pay ME if I produce and over abundance that gets fed back into THEIR system....

I would take the time to do it just to make them have to send ME a check every month!

yeah I am having a bad spelling day sorry!

[edit on 10-8-2009 by xoxo stacie]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:21 AM
I was the Manager of Information Systems for the nations largest Natural Foods Cooperative. All it took was an incident like you were describing to happen one time for the Board of Directors to grant me an annual budget of $750,000 to make sure that it never happened again.

We had tertiary systems in place. If a Server went down, two others would take it's place. If the power went out, every system had two forms of power backup. If our local 100MB/s Internet connection went out we still had Satellite Uplink and Dial-Up to handle all transactions at the PoS Cashiers.

Yes, before Point of Sale Systems and UPC Codes everything was marked manually with a price tag. However, now days no store that does > 6 Million per annum does that. Without your Point of Sale System, you can't scan or weigh any thing. In the good old days, before Credit Card Fraud, you could manually take a carbon of a Credit Card. Now, not only do most businesses not have these devices, but their Merchant Accounts won't allow them to process Cards manually anymore. Without some kind of Internet Connection, you cannot process Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Food Stamps or WIC. ATMs are the same way.

When it came time to get a Backup Generator our company had to make a tough decision....keep power running to our Server Farm and our Point of Sale Systems, or keep the power running to the Refrigerator and Freezer Units. Our company decided that the Servers and Point of Sale Systems were more important. We could write the contents of the Refrigerators and Freezer Units off as a loss and Insurance would cover it. You can't write off people panicking and business lost from not being able to check people out during an extended Power Outage.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:22 AM
when it gets to that point in a real shtf scenario, you need to wait in hiding nearby the parking lot (preferrably walmart)
Throw all your morals out the window
Get mean, angry, hungry, animal insticts.
Wait for a porky "walmart family" to exit the store with substantial food in cart
fire a few rounds at father figure
wait for family to scatter
move in with your well armed convoy scoop up your red baron pizzas and sunny delight
return with your unemployed ex con roomates to your duplex / halfway house

[edit on 10-8-2009 by patientobserver]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by Cole DeSteele

Now I am interested in what happen fully durning Katrina, after what 4 years? We still hear rumors of things, I would like to hear first hand accounts.

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:20 PM
Awesome thread!

I have said for several years that if a terrorist really wanted to disable the United States and cause the needless deaths of millions of people, they need not even come here. A simple computer virus would work better than a bomb.

Think about it: We have become so dependent on computers and Internet communication that we can't survive without them. Computers and the Internet can't operate without electricity. Mass electricity is dependent on computers. What would you do, for instance, if the power went off and stayed off? Most people wouldn't have a clue. How many people use heat pumps or electric haters for climate control? How many people carry no cash and depend instead on that credit card? How many people are unable to walk more than 100 yards? How many people do not own a simple transistor radio? How many people have no candles or oil lamps for light? How many homes would be defenseless if the power to the alarm system were to run dry of electricity?

How many businesses are simply unable to operate without the POS terminals? How many warehouses depend on conputerized systems to perform the logistics of moving their product?

How many people own hand tools: hand drills instead of power drills, handsaws instead of circular saws, hammers instead of nail guns, wrenches instead of impact drivers? How many homes have no dependable flashlight? How many people one hand-powered lawn tools, push mowers, scythes, etc.

Precious few.

The power companies are run by computer as well. That means one virus that can target them and it's all over. People will panic and begin to loot and pillage, fighting over the smallest things. People will die in such an event, in the millions.

Me? I'll be sitting here grumbling about not being able to get on-line, while I play a family game by lantern light and then head out to do some yard work. I have hand tools to work with. I'll be able to build a fire to cook food. I'll be able to get food, whether from a garden, cans in the barn, or wildlife. The one thing I will probably miss more than the Internet would be the TV.... might be fun to watch the news reporters trying to cover this story.

Oh, well, I have my little transistor radio in case any stations manage to stay on the air.


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