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Whole Foods hates kids?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by rico_the_redneck, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. I live in a town where grocery stores are abundant. We get most of our groceries at Publix, but we're on the yuppy side of the spectrum (despite my handle here) and we like our Whole Foods meat, produce etc. The closest Whole Foods to us is about 40 miles away, so we go up there when we can and of course spend an a-load of dough since everything is so expensive.

    We've also recently discovered Trader Joes, which opened a location up the street from the Whole Foods within the last year. We decided to hit both places yesterday since we'd driven all that way and went to Trader Joes first for a few things. When we checked out, the cashier gave our 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son Trader Joes balloons.

    So, we head down to Whole Foods, where we ended up spending 5 times the money (~$180) we spent at Trader Joes. Before we got out of the store, the assistant manager/team leader approached my wife and asked if he could confiscate the Trader Joes balloons because it was advertising for the competition. I was already checking out and Mrs. Rico was grabbing a few last minute things we forgot so I didn't witness this but as soon as I heard the story I was pissed (the team leader "let my kids off" since we were already on the way to checkout). After we checked out, I went to the customer service desk where I learned that it had actually been the manager and not just some random employee trying to take my kids' balloons.

    I couldn't believe the guy would have the audacity to try to take away a balloon from a kid. He gave me all sorts of defenses: They wouldn't want a Trader Joes  truck parked out front (I told him we weren't carrying around a TJ banner or a megaphone announcing that better deals were to be had at TJs and that we had spent a lot more money at his store than we had at TJs); and that he wouldn't let kids roller skate through his store (what does that have to do with anything?). It was all just company policy according to this big-shot a-hole. I asked for contact info for his boss and he gave it to me and then made the snide remark that he would call his boss to let him know to be expecting me.

    My thing is:  A: You're picking on my kids by taking their balloons away from them and that's never going to go over well with me. My daughter asked why that man wanted to take her balloon and my wife told her he was rude.  B: Who hasn't taken their Wendy's meal into an Arby's because the person you were with didn't agree with you on your food choice. Does Arby's kick the guy with Wendy's out or try to take their food away, or are they glad somebody's in their store eating Arby's?  C: Along the same lines, who hasn't worn their Tony Stewart Home Depot Racing shirt into a Lowe's (OK, I personally haven't ... NASCAR isn't my thing unless it involves Ricky Bobby ... But I doubt Lowe's makes you take your Tony Stewart shirt off). It's stupid. I held some Whole Foods stock until recently when I needed the cash (and their stock was going south). Now we may never go in there again. Lots of regular grocery stores are carrying the same stuff Whole Foods has at cheaper prices.

    I'll await a call from the regional VP. Of course he wasn't around Friday afternoon. Going by consumer expert Clark Howard's advice, I'm going to ask for an apology from the manager involved in writing and a gift certificate. If the VP defends this as some BS company policy, we'll go to Publix and Trader Joes and boycot Whole Foods. Like I said, this just strikes me as insane company policy ... McDonald's hit the jackpot with the Happy Meal, which gets the kids in the store and mommy and daddy buying more and more of their delicious food. By the same logic, if Whole Foods wants to pick on the kids, mommy and daddy won't come there either and WF will lose.

    OK. End of rant. I'm open to suggestions or even opinions on whether or not I'm over-reacting here. Those with kids I suspect will at least get where I'm coming from. I'm usually very even-keeled, but this really upset me and the wife and I'm curious what others here think.
  2. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    I wold have left the Trader Joe's balloons in the car.

    But that's just me.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Did you give up the balloons? Or offer to shove them up the guy's ass?
    I don't think I've ever been in a Whole Foods. I have been in a Trader Joes, with my kids (who, alas, were both over 20 at the time and didn't get balloons).
    But I got your back on this one. Let us know how they respond.
  4. Thanks for the backup. The manager, who stepped in front of my wife as she was looking at bread to confront her, didn't take the balloons because we were on our way out of the store ... and presumably couldn't do much more damage to their bottom line with the balloons "advertising" for Trader Joes. I will update Monday when I expect to hear from the VP.
  5. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    That manager is a Bill Lumbergh piece-of-flea-shit. You're absolutely right. How many times have you taken your kids' Happy Meal into Taco Bell? I too would demand an explanation and gift card, and if not, you can let the bastards know that word is quickly spreading about the kid-hating policies they have.

    I'd even go with a couple friends to TJ's and get some balloons and return to WF and see how long it takes them to tell you to leave.
  6. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Something Whole Foods and I have in common.
  7. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Trader Joes is better anyway. Even if I don't get a balloon either.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, but Whole Foods doesn't have crass sig lines so you are ahead of them there! Points for you.
  9. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

  10. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Is there a rule against sig content? I ask in all honesty, because you've made cracks about people's sigs before. I figured if the posts could stand on the board, they could be in a sig. All on the board seemed fair.

    Am I wrong? If so, I'll change. But Jones' post was quoted and praised and all that, so I figured it was fine...
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, there are rules.
    No, you are not in violation of any of them. Not at all.
    In violation of taste? Well, there's another issue for you. But not my issue.
  12. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Good thing I have no class, then, huh? :D
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