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  #1  
Old 30 July 2011, 03:12 PM
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Shout Whole Foods employee's rant goes viral

A Whole Foods employee has sent a blistering 2,343-word email to staff after quitting his job, describing the company as a "faux hippy Wal-Mart."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...oes-viral.html
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  #2  
Old 01 August 2011, 04:01 PM
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I want to hurt hir for the gazillion unnecessary "Ohs" at the start of each sentence, but let's move on...

Quote:
Oh, you let some customers abuse your employees and then actually reward the customers for their behaviour and then trample on the integrity and honour of your abused employees? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Yeah, it's called reality and happens at every store. There is always going to be that one dickweed who insists it be their way like a five year old, and management will come in and give in to their demands because no one wants that kind of crap going on in their store, possibly taking more customers with it. Presuming you kept your cool while the asshat was yelling at you, you did all was needed of you, and the other customers will take note that it was the asshat who started it, not you.

Quote:
Oh, you actually think being 20 minutes late matters? You know Whole Foods Market is just a grocery store, right? (Supporting team member happiness and excellence)
Uh, yes, it is late, and it matters. Even if you do call and say you'll be late (presumably not at the last minute), someone is still put out having to work a longer shift til you get there.

In the "O, Irony!" Department: While blasting at different employees,s/he says:
Quote:
Stop taking your personal life out on everyone and have some compassion for the team members you disregard so much.
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  #3  
Old 01 August 2011, 04:43 PM
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Being 20 minutes late has mattered at every job I've ever held. Even in my personal life, I consider it something to be avoided.
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  #4  
Old 01 August 2011, 05:38 PM
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Well, I agree with the idea that Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck as I call it) is a Walmart-like enterprise that tries to fool people into thinking otherwise, but the rant as a whole sounds pretty stupid and petty.

I mean, really, on what planet is it okay to show up 20 minutes late?

That said, I do choose to refuse to shop at WF. Thankfully, living in CA, I have multiple legitimate options for finding local, organic foods, and premium dietary supplements. I just have to go to my local health food store or the farmer's market. We've got fresh, organic produce available locally and year-round. If I was in a different locale, I might find myself having to swing by WF occaisionally for various items you just can't get at the grocery or Target.
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Old 01 August 2011, 05:38 PM
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I'm extremely lucky to be at a place that being 20 minutes late doesnt matter and I know that. I still make an effort to be on time. I'm usually the first of my team to arrive. I've been in jobs where time is extremely important. What this person doesn't seem to understand is yes they're a grocery store, and grocery stores have set hours. They open at a specific time, not 20 minutes late... That's why policies exist. This person is in for a very rude awaking when they get into any other workforce, the two manager "gang up" that they talk about is actually standard for most places, for the safety of the employee to prevent a single tyrant from harassing and potentially breaking laws feuding the diciplinary action.

It is a grocery store, and it's primary function is to make money, and this guy seems not to understand that concept. He or she is in for a very rude awakening when he gets out of school. All companies and corporations, and pretty much every person on the face of the planet is trying to make as much money as they can. And they will do what they can to do it.
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  #6  
Old 01 August 2011, 05:47 PM
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It's Trader Joe's for me all the way. One of the factors in how I choose to take my business somewhere is how well they treat their employees. It just translates into a much better service. You should see the employees at TJ's. They are happy, genuinely happy, to load your groceries for you.
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  #7  
Old 01 August 2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
Well, I agree with the idea that Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck as I call it) is a Walmart-like enterprise that tries to fool people into thinking otherwise...
In what way? I mean, yes it is another (relatively large, although not nearly as large as Wal-Mart) corporate grocery store. But that's a relatively superficial similarity. What else is there?
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  #8  
Old 01 August 2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullMetal View Post
It is a grocery store, and it's primary function is to make money, and this guy seems not to understand that concept. He or she is in for a very rude awakening when he gets out of school. All companies and corporations, and pretty much every person on the face of the planet is trying to make as much money as they can. And they will do what they can to do it.
While I think the author's rant was very eye roll worthy, his main point seemed to be that WF beats its chest regularly about how charitable and friendly it is while its "behind the scenes" actions do not match that image.

Here is the authors response and a bunch of former WF employees emailed Gawker their experiences:

http://gawker.com/5825451/the-whole-...-writer-speaks

Including:

Quote:
I got pregnant while working there. I'm not even going to get into all the passive aggressive, verbal & emotional abuse that took place the entire time I worked there. Anyway, I had to bring in two doctor's letters to state what was obvious & legal to everybody else. The first letter at 7 months along, stating that I could not be on ladders or step stools. The second letter while I was heavily knocked up at 8 months stating that I couldn't lift or push anything over 35 lbs. My "team leader" continued to disregard these letters.... bitch "forgot I was pregnant, since she never has been pregnant herself."
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  #9  
Old 01 August 2011, 06:02 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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I spread my grocery dollars out, depending on what I want. What disappointed me about Trader Joes was the lack of bulk. I was staying in a hotel and wanted to buy 2 days worth of coffee, but I could only get whole pounds.

I shopped at Whole Foods occasionally in the 80's. I went into the Austin Mega Store once. I was out of there in 5 minutes with nothing purchased. It was loud and crowded. I walked back to my car (nearly two blocks) from the Intersection from Hell. I'll take Central Market or Sun Harvest Farms any day.

And I agree that whole foods seems to have forgotten where it came from. A year after it opened in 1980, it was wiped out by the Memorial Day flood of 1981. They didn't have insurance. Friends, volunteers, vendors, etc., came out and cleaned the place out, rebuilt the shelves and donated time and money to get the inventory back up. John Mackey has long forgotten those days.
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  #10  
Old 01 August 2011, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayle View Post
I spread my grocery dollars out, depending on what I want. What disappointed me about Trader Joes was the lack of bulk. I was staying in a hotel and wanted to buy 2 days worth of coffee, but I could only get whole pounds.
For bulk items I go to Costco. Costco treats it employees quite well too. Costco employees complain about things that Walmart employees would love to have. I think the only complaint I have heard about is that they keep the employees 15 minutes after the store closes while they close the store. 15 minutes!
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  #11  
Old 01 August 2011, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PallasAthena View Post
I mean, really, on what planet is it okay to show up 20 minutes late? .
I've known some people who think being that late, or even much later, is just fine on this planet, at least as long as they're the ones doing it. They're not necessarily as forgiving of others' lateness as they expect others to be of theirs.
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  #12  
Old 01 August 2011, 06:33 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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By bulk, I mean scooping spices, beans, rice, coffee, noodles, flour, peanut butter, oil, tea, liquid soap, and candy out of large bins and buying exactly how much or how little I want. I'm one person; Costco bulk is wasted on me.
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  #13  
Old 01 August 2011, 06:42 PM
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Bulk buying was all the rage in the 90s, but it died out for some reason. I loved it and think of how much packaging it saved. I'm not sure why it went away though. We can buy candy and snacks that way, but nothing else.
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  #14  
Old 01 August 2011, 06:54 PM
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Bulk died out? This is news to me. I have several containers of bulk items on my kitchen counter.

As for the OP, I think there are a couple of legitimate complaints buried in a mountain of self-entitled BS. The one about management allowing customers to abuse employees is one of the more valid points. The proper response to a customer abusing your employee is to remove the customer from the premises, not encourage their behavior by giving in to them.
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  #15  
Old 01 August 2011, 07:55 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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Right, bulk like this:
http://www.boisecoop.com/wp-content/...other-bulk.jpg

Not like Costco.
A lot of people are icked out by the idea that other peopleís hands might touch their stuff or things could crawl in or something. Depends on the bin, really. The spice jars have tight lids. I have a co-op across the street where I can buy spices, nuts, cereal, flour, snacks, dehydrated beans (great in fall soups), honey, oil, beeswax, tea, coffee, olives, pet food, and my summer staple peppermint soap by the oz. I can bring in the bottles Iím going to store them in (get them tared at the front first) and put it directly in there or use the containers they have. Itís great buying 36 cents worth of oregano to fill up my spice jar instead of a $3 plastic bottle that Iím going to empty out and throw away.

And Dr. Bronner was pretty whackyóhave you ever read those labels? But peppermint soap in the summer is HEAVEN. It strips off the sweat and leaves you tingly. Careful of tender areas.
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Old 01 August 2011, 08:26 PM
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I shop at different places depending on where I am and what I need. I enjoy Trader Joes for some of their more unique items, I like Whole Foods for their cheese, seafood and meat departments, I like Fred Meyers for day to day stuff (plus I live less then half a mile from one) and I like Cash and Carry for bulk stuff (Costco bulk, not scoop bulk).

I do enjoy the bulk (as in scoop) options and I don't know about elsewhere but the Fred Meyers near me has a fair amount of bulk dried fruit, beans, peas, rice, etc, a whole aisle of it. And the Winco in Vancouver has a large amount of bulk stuff including rice, pasta, candy, dried fruit, beans, etc, etc. I think they both have bulk coffee too but I'm not a coffee drinker so I don't always pay attention.

My favorite part is that the bulk stuff is that not only is it often tastier then the packaged stuff but its also often cheaper. I get dutch dried apricots from Fred meyers that are far (YMMV I guess) tastier then the standard packaged dried apricots and for about half the price. As for people's gross hands touching stuff.. Its just not something I worry about, but then I also eat berries off the raspberry bush in back even tough who knows what has crawled on it and work in an ER where, well, grossness happens. Plus a lot of bulk stuff you cook in some way (coffee, beans/peas/rice/pasta, etc) so I don't see why it would be a major issue, though I would support cutting off then hands of anybody who digs the stuff out with their bare hands.

ETA: As for the OP (or rather the letter the OP is based on), most of that stuff is true at most work places and whining about it seems odd and in many cases nitpicky (such as being upset at getting free corporate tshirts, though to be fair I don't know what the examples of it are. I have an awesome tshirt I got from the ambulance company I worked for in VA and yes it has some sponsors names (advertising) on it but its comfortable and a great color blue, I love it, it has a hole in it now and I'm sad..). As for being late.. Depends on the circumstances. Sh*t happens sometimes and you are late, if you call it in then I don't think its appropriate for people to get bent out of shape about it provided A: Its something you cannot control and B: It isn't a frequent occurance. Example, my first week in the ER (a place that its not good to be late to) I was very late due to a problem with the train I was riding on. I called the charge RN, told them that I'd be late and why, and went on. I was nearly an hour late but I would have felt somebody 'jumping on me' for it would have been inappropriate because what else can I do? I cannot 'make' the train not break down. I was late one other time about six months ago because there was a car accident on the bridge I have to take to get to work that backed up traffic an absurd amount (rush hour plus bridge plus car crash = late). Again, I cannot control that. That said I am almost never late and build in an extra fifteen minutes to my commute to compensate for minor problems, I think that is the compromise that an employee and employer need to reach. The employee needs to build in some safety time for their commute and if they are going to be late make sure to give their employer a heads up and the employer needs to understand that sometimes sh*t happens and you are late for something you didn't foresee or could realistically hav prepared for and not bring it up when they arrive. Seeing as the details on why the employee here was late its impossible to say which side broke that (IMO reasonable) agreement.

Last edited by Mickey Blue; 01 August 2011 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02 August 2011, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayle View Post
By bulk, I mean scooping spices, beans, rice, coffee, noodles, flour, peanut butter, oil, tea, liquid soap, and candy out of large bins and buying exactly how much or how little I want. I'm one person; Costco bulk is wasted on me.
I've seen (and purchased, on occasion) most of those things in bulk, but I've never seen peanut butter or liquid soap. Does the store provide little jars for you to put it in? I'm trying to picture how that would work.
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Old 02 August 2011, 03:36 AM
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IIRC at Whole Foods you can grind your own peanut butter & put it in a plastic container. I like the bulk bins although I've only purchased a few items out of them.
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Old 02 August 2011, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
I've seen (and purchased, on occasion) most of those things in bulk, but I've never seen peanut butter or liquid soap. Does the store provide little jars for you to put it in? I'm trying to picture how that would work.
Usually, you can bring in your own container and just have someone write the tare weight on it, or you can use one of their containers. For things like soap and shampoo, they usually have plastic squeeze bottles, and for peanut butter, usually plastic tubs similar to what you get deli food in.

I live in the same state as MB, and in addition to the places he mentions there is within a few blocks of me a New Seasons market. They are similar to Whole Foods, but are locally owned. I also live quite close to a Whole Foods, and I'll stop there if I need something on the way home and I'm coming home that way. Otherwise, I do a combo of Fred Meyer, New Seasons, Safeway, Costco, and Trader Joes, all depending on what I need and what other errands I'm running.

erwins
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  #20  
Old 02 August 2011, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Oh, you actually think being 20 minutes late matters? You know Whole Foods Market is just a grocery store, right?
Twenty minutes late is just unaccceptable, and I say that as a former employee who always had difficulty getting to work on time. It matters not if the place of business is a grocery store, a vet's office, an accounting firm, or a landscaping company, lateness is just not acceptable. It's to be tolerated if it's only occasional and only five minutes or so, but if it's habitual (which was me) and/or egregious (fifteen or more minutes tardy), then there should be a talking to from management and a note made on the transgressor's file.

Quote:
Oh, you want us to politely call and let you know if we'll be late... but you'll still write us up when we arrive? Kind of a dick move, guys.
There's nothing of "a dick move" to this. Employees do not work in their own little bubbles - their being there or not being there affects others. Of course you call in when you know you're going to be any more than ten minutes late because you're not being there when expected creates problems for others, problems that can more easily be worked around when some advance notice is given. And of course you're going to get written up for being late, because whether you gave folks a heads up or not, you were late. The one does not undo the other, nor should it.
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