Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coincidence and Irony

I was watching the CBS Evening News last night and on came a story about small towns and how businesses have been affected by this current economy. The reporter was in a small town in upper Indiana. It was a local "mom & pop" restaurant. During the interview the reporter asked the owner when he noticed things turning bad for his business. The owner replied, it started with $4 a gallon gas and then with the financial Wall Street/banking fiasco it was really a very noticeable drop in his business. He indicated that he had not yet told his employees the magnitude but was going to be having that conversation with them shortly. It was one of the worst conversations he said he was ever going to have. The next image on the screen was in the restaurant, with all the employees seated at several tables and the owner telling them that in 1 month they would be out of jobs. Naturally, this was very upsetting to many of them, who were already struggling economically.

What brings this to mind, the irony of how this scenario compares to a similar situation that affected me not so long ago. Not that I want to rehash old meat, but let's compare for a moment:

1. Small independent business owner closing business - plans and provides time to get all the employees of the company together to discuss as a group what this decision means for everyone.

2. Provides them with some small amount of notice - 30 days - to begin to find other employment.

3. Communicates with them in a compassionate and heartfelt manner that he realizes how difficult this is for all of them.

Why do these things strike a cord?

Because, when faced with this same situation, Bob McCreary who is the poster adult for Bi-Polar Disorder could do none of these things when this same scenario faced his business. I don't know all the reasons why all of the Scrapbook Garden East store employees were not brought together to advise us of the news of the store closing but they weren't. For those of us who were present, Bob read from a script. Yes, you heard me right. A piece of paper of talking points if you will. And Kathy, the supposed person who began this business had absolutely nothing to say to any of us. She kept her head lowered practically the entire time. Oh, except when one of the employees indicated they wanted to buy something, and Kathy told her she would have to buy it at the West location at another time.

Then we are told our jobs have ended immediately. No notice whatsoever. And yet, now as time goes on, I have heard that Bob and his dad (who apparently has some ownership in Scrapbook Garden) had been searching for other locations for some time prior to the employee announcement. But apparently every location had many of the same issues that the current location had.

And finally the lack of compassion expressed to the employees affected. Again, I know, why should this surprise me? After 3 years of dealing with Mr. Roller Coaster I should know better. What gets me is from the day one at Scrapbook Garden we were told it really is like a family and very close knit. I guess that applies only to the West side store since they have been there since the beginning and they have "traditions" that don't include the East store ----- and everything! In fact, I have heard that the West Store employees knew of the East store demise before any of the East store employees did.

I have to say I do not miss dealing with Bob and his BPD mood swings on a daily basis. That has been a total joy to not have to get the barometric temperature before even saying "Good Morning", never knowing if you are going to be given a glare, a very gruff, mumbled morning or be greeted in a personable manner.

I have moved on with my life and I believe I am going in a good direction. Some things leave a very definite impression on one's life.


Kimpossible said...

Amen Sister!!! Its funny that you would post this today. Yesterday I was at Scrapfunattic and ran into Sara, who taught classes at SBG East. She said that Bob has told her that if she does not want to continue teaching at the West store she needs to remember that she signed a contract with him. A contract that states she can not work at or teach scrapbook classes for anyone else for 3 yrs. She said she was never given a copy of this contract. She said that Bob told her that he intends to hold her to this contract.

Good Grief!! This man is a legend in his own mind! Let the woman go teach somewhere else, let her get on with her life. She shouldnt be held hostage by some tyrant who closed the store without warning or thought to how it would effect his LOYAL employees. She has been offered a new job teaching somewhere else but is afraid to take it because of him.

Oh also Mary she wanted me to tell you that her sister passed away recently. She said that you were a great comfort to her when she was upset that day.

I appologized to the wonderful ladies at Scrapfunattic for Sara and I having an impromptu gritch fest about Bob and SBG. They said they perfectly understood and sympothized with us.

I miss everyone from the east store any chance we might get together for dinner or lunch or a crop?

Mary I have an email that I want to forward to you, you will love it!! I dont have your email address though.

Ok Im done venting and sharing
Toodles Poodles

Michelle said...

There's an lss closing here and they not only gave the employess notice before they told the customers but they did tell the customers too and are giving them time to come in and say good-bye. What a concept!

Sarah :) said...

Poor Sara. I'm sad to hear about her sister. And now she's got this to deal sad. :(

Oh and I'd like to add that customers enrolled in classes that were cancelled as a result of the East store closing got GIFT CERTIFICATES as an apology for the inconvenience. And what did WE get for the extreme "inconvenience" of losing our jobs? Squat.

a chick named Toni... said... jaw is on the floor! You call em' sista! I really don't understand this man one bit. Poor Sara. I am so sorry to hear about her sister passing.