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Whole Foods Market, Inc. Message Board

  • as400_guru as400_guru Mar 11, 2006 8:27 AM Flag

    One way to get bad press

    From on Tues, 3/7

    There's a Whole Foods store about two miles from my home in Atlanta. I've shopped there a few times, and gave Belinda a $500 Whole Foods gift card for Christmas. Now it looks like I'm going to have to give the Fresh Market store on the way to the studios a stab.

    I've received a copy of an email to Whole Foods "Team Members" from the southern regional offices. Here you go ... read it for yourself.

    Good afternoon everyone.
    I need everyone's cooperation on an important issue that has come to my attention here at the regional office.

    Recently, on numerous occasions, I have found copies/printouts of articles such as: Today's Nuze, The Hill, and in either the TM break room or the restrooms. This is not acceptable and cannot continue.

    We have to ensure that this is a pleasant and welcoming working environment for all of our TMs and visitors. As you all know, on any given day, the regional office has a variety of different visitors (vendors, TMs from other stores/regions, central TMs, candidates for interviews, etc.). We need to make all of our visitors and TMs feel welcome here.

    If you have any questions, please refer to the "Solicitation and Distribution Policy" and "Offensive Material" on page 55-60 of our GIG (General Information Guideline).

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Vanessa Hall
    Team Member Services Director
    Whole Foods Market - South Region
    1180 Upper Hembree Road
    Roswell, Ga. 30076

    So, there you go. I guess Nealz Nuze is offensive material to the management of Whole Foods. Well, it's their company and they are certainly free to put in place any policy they wish as to what reading materials may be brought to their places of business. I do wonder, though, if TMs (another PC name for "employees") are allowed to bring newspapers or news magazines into the break rooms and restrooms. Are they forbidden also? Newspapers, you see, have editorial positions and a multitude of columnists expressing opinions from both the left and the right. Does Ms. Hall try to protect visitors and TMs from exposure to those opinions? Maybe she has an assistant that goes through the newspaper and cuts out any opinion pieces or editorials that might (gasp!) offend someone! In the sports section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution you will often find advertisements for "massage parlors" that provide something more than just a shoulder rub. Newspapers with advertisements for sexual services might be OK at Whole Foods ... or maybe Ms. Hall has her assistant cut those out also. While she's at it, she needs to cut out all of those announcements for religions services. We don't want Jews to be offended by announcements for a pancake supper at the local Baptist church, and everybody knows that we don't want Muslims to be offended by announcements of services at the local synagogue. Oh, the humanity!

    Maybe it's just the conservative and libertarian ideas that are put forth in the Nuze and that can be found on that bother Ms. Hall and the managers of the southern region. Maybe Whole Foods just has a very liberal corporate culture that is intolerant of divergent viewpoints.

    Damn. I really liked that store. It would appear, though, that I, and people who think like me, aren't exactly welcome there any more. Drat! Just when I was starting to eat healthy.

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    • Fair enough.

    • And you will not get an answer from me to that quesrtion because I am not the HR director and I am not responsible for making that determination. Besides, it doesn't matter.

      I was, however, defending the HR director for doing her job. It does not matter whether the material is personally offensive to YOU or ME - that is irrelevant. The HR director has a job to do and as long as they do it consistently, then I don't have a problem with it.

    • Actually, we aren't talking about the difference between nude pictures and written material - we are talking about whether or not people might find them offensive and whether or not a corporation has the right and responsibility to ensure that the workplace is free from distractions like this with a potential to bring about a lawsuit - naked pictures, anti-muslim rants - whatever it may be. The analogy is perfectly valid in that context.

      I have no intention on getting into a "debate" with you about what materials I may or may not find offensive. As I said, I don't have to justify that to you or anyone else.

      However, to answer your question, I would not object if I found any of those things in the restroom, Neal Boortz's writings included, even though I find him as offensive as the typical feces-flinging inmate at the DU. I am made of tougher stuff than that and tend not to let things like that get to me. The same can't be said of other people - likely the same people the HR director in the South is trying to keep from filing a lawsuit. Some people are that petty, or hadn't you noticed?

      This has little if anything to do with whether or not people are justified in their offense - it has everything to do with their reaction to being offended and the actions mentally weak people take in this lawsuit happy society. The HR director was doing her job - let's hope she does applies the same standards equally across the board.

    • If he is consistent, then fair enough. I am just trying to elicit from him what is acceptable and not acceptable material for distribution at work.

      I sometimes shop at WFMI and have seen some of the most vile, hate-filled, anti-Bush, anti-conservative, anti-American posters, papers, etc. in and around the stop (Chapel Hill, NC--what can I say?). If he is opposed to ALL political postings, fine. He just refuses to answer my questions. That is why I called him a coward.

    • In defense of element, he is not a coward, just a true believer in WF. a little to much as he blind to the markets view.

    • My question is not irrelevant but analogy is. You are trying to equate nude pictures with written material. There is no comparison.

      Let me ask you a few simple, easy "yes or no" questions. Would you object if any of the following were found in the men's room or ladies room?

      1. A post from
      2. A post from
      3. A post from the DNC.
      4. A post from the RNC.
      5. A post from the White House.

      If and when you have the guts to answer any of these, cite your reasons.

      If not, then admit you are a coward or don't understand the English language.

    • So what if he is a Libertarian? I am a Republican and there is plenty to find offensive about Pat Robertson and Pat Buchannan too. This is not about politics, but telling that you both have gone there to avoid dealing with the fundamental issue at hand: what is appropriate for the workplace.

    • Because your question is irrelevant. I don't have to justify why I find him and his rants to be offensive nor would anyone going to the HR department to make a complaint about finding a copy of Playboy in the bathroom at work. Another not-serious person.

    • Then why do you respond to my views if they don't interest you?

    • Slings and arrows baby.

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