Monday, December 16, 2013

12.16.13 Bee-otch of the Day: Meijer

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on



Name: Meijer
Age: 79
Occupation: major retailer
Last Seen: Walker, MI
Bee-otched For: firing a man who put out a fire


Once upon a time, the city of Gaylord, MI - pop. 3,600 - was a great place for retail that wasn't totally from a big box.

The town, known for being "The Alpine Village", lined with buildings resembling Swiss chalets, had several stores downtown, including several clothing stores and an IGA, plus a K-Mart that sadly shut down recently. Supermarket-wise, it had an A&P, Carter's and its most-popular store, Glen's, which was born in Gaylord in 1951 by its namesake, Glen Catt. It moved into its present location in the early 1970's, making it one of the biggest supermarkets in northern Michigan history.

Sadly, Glen's sold out to Spartan Stores - now SpartanNash - in 1999 and recently changed its name to Family Fare. (The remaining Glen's stores might become Family Fares in the near future.) Carter's went belly-up 10 years ago and A&P is now a Save-a-Lot. Like many small cities, Gaylord is now stuck with a Walmart Supercenter and Meijer.

And like most other big boxers, employees are stuck with archaic rules.

Last week, the chain received tons of flak from the online community and even on their Facebook page after they fired David Bowers, a greeter at their Gaylord location. One day, a customer's truck dashboard caught fire and Bowers quickly and swiftly took a fire extinguisher out to the vehicle and put the fire out. He knew that he might lose his job over his actions, but he would doanything to assist customers and prevent neighboring vehicles in the parking lot from catching fire, too.

But the final nail in the coffin was nailed shut. David Bowers was shown into his boss's office and was fired.

Ken Kuzon, whose truck was saved by Bowers, told Traverse City's WPBN-TV 7&4 that he was baffled that any company would fire anybody for being a good Samaritan. If it weren't for Bowers, his truck would be a total loss.

IMHO, if Bowers worked someplace else, he'd probably still have a job. I think Meijer would have wanted him to call 911 and have firetrucks sent out. But by the time the red wagons showed up, his truck would be gone and the fire would have spread to other vehicles. Bowers did his job by making a customer happy, even though his truck is now damaged.

But, that's how big box stores work. They pay their employees a shit wage and expect them to be happy and robust while the bosses rake in the profits. It's sad that Fred Meijer is dead and gone. I think if he were still around, Bowers would still be employed by the company. David deserves a reward for what he did, not a trip to the unemployment line.

But what do you expect from a big box company?

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