As I noticed in today’s Ann Arbor News, an employee at the Ann Arbor Whole Foods store (aka, the Food (W)Hole) was fired for grabbing a “customer.” See the story here, but the brief version (as I understand it) is pretty simple: John Schultz, who was a fish monger at the ‘hole until all this, checked out of work and helped grab a dude who everyone agrees had shoplifted hundreds of dollars worth of stuff from the store. Some time shortly after this, Schultz was fired for violating a company policy on touching customers.
A few thoughts on this:
- My gut feeling here tells me there is so much more going on with this story that has not reached the regular media or the blogosphere yet. I don’t know John Schultz or know what kind of employee or person he was (though see below) and I wish him only the best in his future. But I am betting that someone at the local ‘hole wanted him fired for a while now and they used this as an excuse.
- As numerous others have pointed out, if you are a shoplifter, then it seems to me that you are no longer a “customer.”
- I saw this guy’s picture in the paper tonight, and I am quite sure I have purchased fish and other meat products from him. As I have mentioned in this blog several times before (I like this entry and this one too), I’m a regular shopper at the ‘hole, especially for their seafood and meat products, not to mention coffee, bakery items, wine, and “prep food” items. This is beginning to change a bit though– not because of this incident, but because it’s time to cut down on some expenses. In any event, I recall having good encounters with this guy. So, from a regular customer (e.g., someone who actually gives them money instead of stealing from them) POV, I think it was kind of dumb to fire him. But like I said, I am betting that the reality is that some manager had an “issue” beyond this incident.
- I know a couple of folks from EMU who have worked for the ‘hole at different times (summer work, part-time while they work part-time teaching, etc.), and I have to say that as much as I enjoy shopping at the store, none of these people seemed to enjoy working there.
- I’m sure I won’t actually do this, but I am very tempted to hug a Food (W)Hole worker the next time I am in the store, just to see what happens. Maybe even one of the cute ones.
Best of luck to John et al.