1) I had to bag my own groceries today.
2) They didn’t have my favorite yogurt.
3) It was slim pickings in the meat department.
However, it wasn’t any of these things that caused me to have a lump in my throat as I walked up and down the aisles of my favorite supermarket, ridden with bare spots, where groceries should be.
It is the turmoil behind the scenes at Market Basket which has caused me to feel like crying instead of smiling on my usually enjoyable grocery shopping jaunts. Because I know that the message being sent out by the board of directors in their recent firings of Arthur T. Demoulas as well as other employees is a complete contradiction to the culture of Market Basket. The message they are conveying is simple—Money matters most. Apparently, it matters so much that the board of directors and recent new hires are willing to bring down a multi-billion dollar organization that has prided itself on low prices and quality customer service for decades. And even worse, the firing of Arthur T. shows that in not all, but most cases, nice guys finish last. It’s such a sad commentary on society and that is what really gets to me. It’s about so much more than a supermarket.
What do I tell my kids? They watch the story on the news and ask me what all the fuss is about. I tell them, “Money.” Plain and simple. How can I possibly instill in my children the value and importance of doing the right thing for the greater good of all, when we are constantly being bombarded with stories of corporate greed, especially one which hits so close to home. How will they believe me when I tell them that there is merit and value to looking out for someone other than yourself? Arthur T. Demoulas has spent his entire life talking this talk and walking this walk, and he has been fired. It seems as if the bad guys may win after all.
My one question, no wait, make that two—for the board of directors would be, 1) “How much is enough?” and 2) “Is it worth it?”
I think I already know the answer to both:
1) It’s never enough.
I will now boycott my beloved Market Basket, where I worked as a part-time check-out girl as a teenager, and now shop at as a mom trying to maintain a family budget.
I do so with a heavy heart.
I hope and pray that the good guy wins in the end.
If he wins, then we all win.
Christine D. Kuchar
Great Hill Road