Monday, February 28, 2011

Some Thoughts on Working/Shopping at American Companies

The other day at work, a colleague and myself were given the task of "cleaning" one of the rooms at work. It wasn't a great experience.

I put "cleaning" in quotations because according to this business, "cleaning" means that we had to make sure that all supplies in the room were according to company policy. Basically, some people in Texas have decided what supplies should be in that particular room. What happens to all the items that aren't on the company-assigned list? It gets thrown in the dumpster. That's right- straight into the trash.

This is where my sense of good morals start to kick in. All of the supplies in this room were, at one point, assigned to that space by the company because of various projects done there. Any left over materials were kept for future use. But now, we are throwing them out.

These items are in great condition and some of them are even brand new! It pained me and my colleague to throw these things out. We asked if we could donate some items to schools or other charities. The answer we got was, "No."

Someone had told me it was because this is an American company. In the USA, items cannot be donated because if a person harms themselves with a donated item, then the person who donated the item is liable to be sued. In order to prevent this, companies simply throw items out and make it their policy. In many American chains, such as the one I am working at, policies are kept the same across the border.

It has really made me think twice about working and shopping at American companies.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some Sad News

I know it's been a little while since I posted. It's been rather crazy around here with work, moving, company, getting internet, etc. I think everyone can relate to how life can seem to just get away from you and fly, but sometimes the reality of life comes back and knocks us to our senses and makes us realize how fragile it really is.

I received some sad news that a fellow coworker from the garden center that I worked at last spring passed away from a brain aneurysm. She had worked there for many years and in a family-run business, all of the staff were like extended family and quite close.

She was one of the healthiest people we knew. She exercised every morning, always brought a home-cooked lunch (which always included a glass of banana-milk which we thought was weird) and always brushed her teeth after every meal. We used to tease her about bringing her toothbrush to work.

To me she was a fellow crafter and lover of music and a good teacher as well. We would have crafting nights and she make embroidered cards. At the store we would play 'name that tune' and dance around to whatever was on the radio. Most of what I know about growing veggies, I learned from her. She was always in good mood and we shared a lot of laughs.

I remember that just before I moved, I went to the store for something. I don't even remember what I had to go for but I was looking for the store manager. The store was quite empty and instead of finding Gail, I found Deb in the stock room. I chatted with her and said goodbye not realizing it was for the last time. Now I'm glad I had the opportunity to say bye.

Deb you will be sorely missed by all of us xx

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