Wednesday, March 26, 2008

People Who Definitely Totally Suck, Part I

A few days ago, I introduced a new feature here at Yankee Scum: People Who May Not Suck. Yesterday, a quick glance at the headlines indicated that a far more important feature might be: People Who Definitely Totally Suck.

Of course, given my outlook on humanity, one might think this feature could become somewhat overwhelming. You know, as in take over the whole blog and leave no time or space for my insightful commentary and pithy observations. But rest assured, dear reader, that my prudent approach to posting, née laziness, will rule the day. It's a foregone conclusion that posts here, including ones about people who suck, should stay pretty manageable.

But on with the show. How to pick a subject appropriate for the inaugural post about people who suck? The good news--it sort of picked itself. On CNN (sometimes I like my "news" in small, digestible bites--sue me) I read that Wal-Mart had successfully sued a severely brain damaged woman (and former employee) named Deborah Shanks, to recoup $470,000 in medical bills that the company paid after a debilitating car accident left Shanks brain damaged, disabled and penniless.

The problem, apparently, is that Shanks received a settlement from the trucking company at fault in the accident. The balance after legal fees, somewhere around $470,000, was placed into a trust to cover the astronomical costs of her future long-term health care. But according to the fine print of its medical plan, Wal-Mart (which netted $90 BILLION in sales in just the third quarter of 2007) doesn't have to pay health care costs for enrolled employees who've received a legal settlement. The policy apparently doesn't take into account how desparately that money might be needed, but what does Wal-Mart care? It also took them three years to realize that this woman was sitting back enjoying the spoils of Wal-Mart's hard work, but hey, justice doesn't punch a clock, right?

A week after the verdict, the woman's son was killed in Iraq. Her brain damage is so severe that despite being told about his fate, she regularly asks how he is doing. And did I mention that her husband had to divorce her so that she could qualify for Medicaid?

Who says corporate America isn't totally awesome? And congratulations to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott, who earns the honor of my first "People Who Definitely Totally Suck" post.


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