I want to say thank you to my community, for the friendships, conversations, and smiles we have exchanged throughout my 45 years of service at our local grocery store. My career started when I was 14, working after school and weekends as your grocery clerk for $1/hour at O.O.Ware. You saw me stocking the isles of Grand Union for over 33 years and my last 11 years have been under Shaw’s management.
On Friday, I was informed that due to my “position, location, and length of service,” I was being laid off immediately. There was no notice, there were no options, I was not to finish the work day.
My brother, Walter, was also laid off three years ago after 45 years of service. We have been proud to serve you, we love this community and hope to continue the relationships we have formed with all of you outside of the store.
Shaws claims to be your neighborhood store, but gone are the days of experienced workers, company loyalty, and proud employees. Welcome to the new neighborhood store, where money can be made off part-time help with fewer benefits. It used to be if you were loyal to the company, they were loyal to you, not anymore. To Shaw’s I was a number and that number was up.
I look forward to the next chapter of my life. You will see me around town, continuing my service on the fire department as I have for over 40 years, serving my town as a budget committee member, playing softball in Brattleboro, or better yet, climbing Haystack. (Today will be trip #100 this year.)
So the next time you shop at Shaws, be sure to thank the management, if you can find anyone, and tell them how much you enjoy their neighborhood values. Oh, and be sure to check the dates on your milk before you buy.