Thursday, August 20, 2009

Boycott Whole Foods Market!
Try Trader Joe's instead!!!

While perusing for graphic design employment in the state of Connecticut, I noted a position for the soon-to-open Milford location of Whole Foods Market (Ref ID 40844).

After reading the WILL DOs of the position, I thought I'd take a look at the requirements for the position.

Of course, Mac proficiency was listed, with specific mention of Quark XPress (sic), Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator, Microsoft Excel and Word. FileMaker and InDesign knowledge were listed as a "plus."

The typical "strong artistic and creative skills, eye for detail, excellent organizational and time management abilities" were also referenced, along with all the other items on the ideal corporate super-hero wannabe listing.

But of particular notice was the following, which is here presented as a screen-cap, and typed out for easier reading legibility:

• Able to communicate, read, and follow instructions in English.
• Able to work 8 - 10 hours per day. Able to sit, stand and or walk for extended periods of time, up to 4 hours, without a break. Able to bend/stoop to grasp/lift, objects not to exceed 50 lbs., unassisted.
• Art degree or formal artistic training preferred.

Yes. You read that correctly. Ok, I'll give them the English communications skills. After all, I didn't have to surrender my passport when I moved back to Connecticut.

And, yes, I'll allow that they are looking for someone with an art degree or formal artistic training (preferred).

But the following line is nothing short of discriminatory, and reprehensible in its inclusion, especially since it's listed BEFORE the requirement for an art degree or formal artistic training (preferred):

• Able to work 8 - 10 hours per day. Able to sit, stand and or walk for extended periods of time, up to 4 hours, without a break. Able to bend/stoop to grasp/lift, objects not to exceet 50 lbs., unassisted.

Any reader of this blog knows I have a debilitating history of spinal problems, most recently manifested in my neck, requiring an ACDF of C4 – 5, C6 – 7.

Just to add a little bit of a visual here:
* note: all x-rays herein are x-rays of my cervical region,
barring the x-ray marked NORMAL,
which was obtained from a neurosurgical department
of a national hospital on the internet.

Cervical problems manifest themselves in any number of ways: blinding headaches, the need to lie down...flat, and, oft misdiagnosed except for those in the fields of orthopaedics or neurosurgery, severe pains in the arms and hands. Severe enough to make signing your name on the back of a check a real chore. And, for the artists amongst us, severe enough to render your traditional trigger finger (the right index finger, for photographers) immobile, or severely weakened. And for those talented enough with pencil, pen, and markers, try adding more than a bit of a "shake" to your renderings, and see if your client will understand. I doubt it.

Glaring in its absence in this ad is the following phrase:

People with disabilities and/or minorities are encouraged to apply.

Not to point fingers at anyone, but I did speak to an HR rep for Whole Foods Market in Connecticut, and he quickly tried to couch this oversight with the inclusion of the phrase "Our team members represent over 50 different nations. We are people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, yet all work together to meet the needs of our customers."

Forget the need for employment by others. How would Whole Foods Market handle a brilliantly talented graphic artist who was confined to a wheelchair? Perhaps a paraplegic, unable to stand, unassisted?

Better still, how might Whole Foods Market handle an Iraq vet who just happened to lose a leg to an IED? Or maybe a hand?

You might have a Purple Heart or a Bronze Star for bravery in action, but don't think about applying for a job with Whole Foods Market. After all, they've got requirements, and sitting, standing, walking for extended periods of time, up to four (4) hours, without a break, and bending, stooping, grasping and lifting objects not to exceed 50 pounds, UNASSISTED, well, it just won't cut it.

So how about a boycott, at least in Connecticut, of The Whole Foods Markets:

1. Darien (soon to open)
2. Glastonbury (860.625.9800)
3. Greenwich (203.661.0631)
4. Milford (soon to open)
5. West Hartford (Bishops Corner) (860.523.7174)
6. West Hartford (Raymond Road) (860.523.8500)
7. Westport (203.227.6858)

And while you're at it? How 'bout giving a call to your local Whole Foods, and let them know that you are wholly disgusted, and you'll be shopping at Trader Joe's instead!

113 Mill Plain Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 203-739-0098

436 Boston Post Rd.
Darien, CT 06820
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 203-656-1414

2258 Black Rock Turnpike
Fairfield, CT 06825
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 203-330-8301

560 Boston Post Road
Orange, CT 06477
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 203-795-5505

West Hartford
1489 New Britain Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06110
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 860-561-4771

400 Post Road East
Westport, CT 06880
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 203-226-8966

1 comment:

One Ordinary Woman said...

Considering that someone who is deaf in one ear is considered disabled, it makes sense that people with disabilities would be encouraged to apply even though it's a physical job. It is not uncommon, illegal, or wrong for a company to specify that they need someone who can actually physically do the job they are asking them to do. It's like you getting mad at the logging company because they won't let you operate machinery. Or getting mad at an installation company because they won't let you install dishwashers that you have to physically move around yourself. Or getting mad at a prison that won't let you be a guard because you can't manhandle violent inmates. Why aren't you also mad at jobs that go to the disabled that non-disabled people aren't allowed to get into? Like Goodwill?? My friend has a terrible hip that she recently had replaced--but only a year ago Goodwill said she wasn't 'disabled enough' for her to get a job. All of the things they are asking for (like working 8-10 hours without a break) are the descriptions of CNAs, nurses, child care providers, soldiers, and more. These people would not be doing these jobs if they had the injuries you have--because they couldn't do them. They adapt instead of getting outraged! CNAs become med-aides or phlebotomists, nurses go into management, providers find other jobs less physically demanding, soldiers do the same. You need to stop seeing this as an attack on you. If a doctor can't even crawl to work--he'll have no patients. That's the way it is. Why would they want to hire someone who can't do the job? Why wouldn't they want to WARN people ahead of time that the job requires a physically healthy body so that people who couldn't do it would know better than to apply and get their hopes up for nothing? And then to BOYCOTT an entire chain of stores simply because you had ONE bad experience with them--one bad and LEGAL experience??? It sounds like you like to sit around feeling sorry for yourself rather than making things possible and better for yourself. Get a grip.