If you don’t live in New England, chances are you don’t give a shit about what’s going on with one of our major supermarket chains, Market Basket. If you do live in New England and particularly if Market Basket is where you typically do your grocery shopping, chances are you are following the story closely and probably boycotting (by choice or because there is nothing left on the shelves at your local Market Basket) the chain.
Basically, the place where most of us shop is being crippled by a petty feud between relatives. This is inconvenient for many of us who have gotten used to getting the shit we want when we want it. It is also very difficult for many of our friends and neighbors who work at the chain because no doubt their hours are being cut back and/or they are being let go. But nobody, as far as I know, is in any imminent physical danger because of the Market Basket situation. At this point, it is simply a pain in the ass for many of us. We have to change our habits and shop elsewhere. Boo hoo.
I don’t really care which of the Demoulas cousins runs Market Basket. I do, however, care that workers at the stores keep their jobs and I do care about the convenience and cost of my groceries. What I can do to make a change is to continue to boycott until those making the demands have their demands met and things go back to normal. I have a feeling that things will get back to normal soon. No company can live for long when it is taking such a financial hit as this one. You’re a grocery store and your shelves are empty. It’s time to open your ears and listen.
When I told my son we weren’t going to be shopping at Market Basket for the time being, he naturally asked me why. I explained to him that there are these grown ups who are fighting over who should run the company and that one of the grown ups got a group to help get the other grown up fired from his job of running the company. Now all of the companies who provide their food products to Market Basket aren’t providing their food anymore and the employees who love their old boss are upset that he is gone and so they are taking to the streets and asking people not to shop at Market Basket until he is brought back.
My son asked me a legitimate question: “Why are the grown ups fighting?”
My response: “Because, as you know, sometimes grown ups aren’t very bright and they act worse than small children fighting over a toy.”
We then got into a lengthy discussion about war. My son understands what war is but he does not understand why war is and, frankly, neither do I, which makes it really difficult to discuss. The squabble between the Market Basket people provides a good place for us to start. That people who want change (for the original leadership to be reinstated) are stepping back and standing up and peacefully boycotting and letting their voices be heard until there is change (and there will be change) provides an excellent example of how to resolve conflict without violence.
So thanks for the lesson, Market Basket, but how about you each take a turn with the toy and learn to share.