Letter from Carrboro Store

[What follows is the letter presented to the September Board Meeting, by Lori Washington, a Worker-Owner Director, on behalf of a group of her fellow workers in the Carrboro WSM store:]

This is in no way meant to be an attack, but those of us who care about this company wanted to be sure you were aware of how we feel and how things really are. Most of this letter reflects, but is not limited to, the perspective of the Customer Service Department.

The Carrboro store should have had more support for the changes we have had to deal with. The Customer Service Department alone lost three leaders and one strong cashier to the HB store and were holding down the fort with no fewer than five new people. So far we have only been allowed to fill one of the leader positions.

Customer Service had to switch from cashier accountability to lane accountability and all we had in the way of support were some very unclear written instructions.

Many feel that the Carrboro store is being put on the back burner. Equipment is not working and no satisfactory solution is being given. Many of the machines that the front end uses on a regular basis do not work or do not work consistently. We have told the appropriate people about the situation but not much has been done.

We shouldn’t have to wait for new machines until the store is remodeled, especially since we’ve heard no concrete date for when that is going to happen.

It feels like the focus is more on how pretty the store looks and less on how it actually works. It’s nice to have things look good, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the ability to do our jobs.

Employee morale is down. Customers complain to us (sometimes abusively, at great length and while other customers are waiting) about changes that we had no hand in making and don’t always agree with ourselves. We do our best to listen and be sympathetic, but we are starting to become numb.

I’m sure that every department is fielding complaints, but the Customer Service department is getting the brunt of it. One customer said she stopped shopping here for two solid weeks because every time she came in she heard a customer yelling at a cashier.

Customers are telling us that they are buying less and less here because there is no one to talk to about their meat, and that the meat that is here doesn’t look fresh, isn’t what they’re looking for or is packaged in an environmentally unfriendly way. They feel that they may as well shop at a regular grocery store if this is all we have to offer.

Many feel that the store is becoming more and more impersonal, losing its uniqueness and its community feel – essentially, it’s Weaver Street Market-ness.

Baked goods and prepared foods are not getting here on time from the Food House and foods that people are coming for are still not being prepared. The still-abundant flies and the unfortunate timing of the price increases are not helping the situation any.

Customers don’t feel listened to. The ‘We Respond to You’ customer comments and questions often go unanswered – leaving customers feeling that no one really cares.

Some say they are thinking about refunding their owner share.

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 7:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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