Thursday, January 24, 2008

Letter to a Supermarket: Update

I got a very interesting call from Sobeys today.

I noticed a call from the Sydney Sobeys on my Call Display when I got home. I asked my life partner about it; she said that a guy had called looking for me and he said he'd call my cell phone. So, I checked my cell phone voice mail (I keep it off during the day). It was a message from Assistant Manager Terry MacLeod asking me to give him a call; so I did. He tells me he got my E-mail. Not sure what to expect, I polarize the hull plating, preparing for the worst.

I was not prepared for what happened next.

He started by asking me who I was speaking to. Puzzled, I explained that the gentleman who I spoke to identified himself as "Terry MacLeod." "That's me," says the gentleman. "The thing is, it was not me you spoke to."

As it turns out, Mr. MacLeod was at his son's guitar recital on Saturday afternoon; he was not in the store that day. The gentleman I spoke to was, in fact, the bakery manager, not the assistant store manager. The thing was, when I went over to him, I asked him specifically for his name, not the name of a manager. He said "Terry MacLeod;" that was absolutely clear.

I felt bad for Mr. MacLeod. When he arrived at work today, he had an E-mail in his inbox from the President of Sobeys Atlantic asking him to explain what happened on Saturday. The poor guy didn't even know about the whole thing until he got there today.

He also said something else that caught my ear; his exact words were: "Bringing bicycles in is no problem."

It wasn't bad enough that the guy I spoke to didn't even have the honor and decency to give me his real name but now, to top it off he was doing exactly what I suspected all along: making up a policy on the spot to intimidate me. Mr. MacLeod was very clear on the matter: Sobeys has no written policy whatsoever on bicycles and, in fact, provided you don't ride them inside, Mr. MacLeod has no problem whatsoever with bringing a bicycle into the store.

Mr. MacLeod asked me to come down and see him in person so, next time, if someone ever tries to claim to be him, I'll know. I went to see him a couple of hours ago. He was totally apologetic promising he will address the gentleman I spoke to tomorrow (I'd love to be a fly on that wall ;)) and let me know the results of that meeting. In the meantime, to make up for my inconvenience, he presented me with a $25.00 Sobeys Gift Card.

In the end, I wheeled my bicycle right past that security guard who initially approached me and turned into the store to go pick up a jar of pesto.

Sometimes it seems, it pays to speak up. :)


  1. I bet that was good tasting pesto

    nicely done

  2. No shirts, no shoes, no service. No dogs, no cats, no roller-skates, and no bicycles. Private businesses that serve the public must meet the demands of all their guests, not just the ones that are pushy, and entitled. Ever hear of a bike-lock?

    It was really just about power and class though, right? I mean, you really showed that security guard, didn't ya? How dare anyone, so far beneath you, deign do their job, right? You're special.

    Vance Longwell,

    Editor, The Voice of the Oregon Bicyclist

  3. It appears Vance is a little socially challenged - ignore him.

    And congrats on handling this so well (and getting a good response).

  4. Class? I'm pretty sure John doesn't hail from a life of privilege.

  5. Ka-ching, That's money.

    Thanks for the posting these Fritz.

  6. Ya MB, at least I can get the contact-form on my blog to work. What's your problem? Flaming me for no reason, just like a little kid, troll.

    My observations are perfectly justified. Instead of posing a counter-argument, like an adult, you start name calling? What, are you twelve?