Open Letter to Giant Eagle Regarding Northside Store

(I am posting this letter to be transparent about my concerns around microaggressions, trolling and corporate influences. You can read my original post here. – Sue)

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Sue Kerr and I am a Pittsburgh based blogger at pghlesbian.com. I wrote a blog post describing a positive interaction I had with an employee at the Cedar Avenue Giant Eagle on Pittsburgh’s Northside. I live nearby.  That interaction was significant to me so I wanted to share it with my neighbors and readers. I also did call the store manager and discuss my experience as well, suggesting that Elizabeth be recognized with whatever internal process is in place. You can find the entire post here: http://www.pghlesbian.com/2016/11/giant-eagle-cashier-elizabeth-reminded-me-that-at-least-sometimes-it-can-be-okay/

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The post has received praise and positive feedback on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as on the blog itself.

Today at 12:04 PM, a commented using the name ‘Racheal Scottsdale’ left a comment. As is my habit with comments, I looked up her name and email. I could not verify the name and the email was invalid so I looked up her IP address and it was registered to Giant Eagle at your corporate headquarters. See the attached screenshot of the IP address.

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So I’m reaching out to determine if this is an official statement by Giant Eagle about my blog post from your team. If not, would you like to issue an official statement about my blog post AND the fact that a member of your corporate team used a fake name and fake email address to post this comment using corporate resources?

The entire comment can be found below (and on my blog where I am also publishing this letter.)

I look forward to your official and timely response.

Sincerely,

Sue Kerr

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents

Racheal Scottsdale

There are some highlights in your blogs that are great points. The only point of view your readers are honestly getting is yours. I thinks you should actually have a sit down with the owners and speak to them. they are very great people and despite not being a union store they treat their employees like they are family. In your blog your putting one person up while putting everyone else down. she has great customer service skills we all understand that those who shops at the giant eagle on Cedar Ave. But you put down the whole store. There is just no way I would praise you for the blog you wrote. you wrote good and bad things and then you just complete went of context. in this day in age nobody cares what your sexual orientation is now if your old black white or just about anything. sometimes you just have to know you good you good cashiers and you will get your bad cashier. but you should know they probably don’t teach them how to be rude. that they learn from the ignorant customers they may get at sometimes. how does that line go “treat others the way you would want to be treated”. your blog is ignorant. yes its used in the right way. your lacking some knowledge in your blog. but I respect that some finally did recognize someone at the Giant Eagle Store on Cedar Ave.

 

 

  • I derived neither admonition nor attribution by Sue to any negative act or omission toward any other Giant Eagle employee at the Cedar Giant Eagle Store. I found her original letter to be a substantial praise for a very patient employee at Giant Eagle, Sue’s acknowledgment of that good act by the employee, and her taking time to thank that Employee for that act when it was Sue’s turn to checkout. I also found her blog to be a very positive piece toward Giant Eagle, showing compassion and good employee service. Regarding the comment attributed toward Giant Eagle, nothing cogent nor compelling, a bit dis-jointed, and rather base.

  • Seriously you try to do a “good” thing by writing this article about a good employee and somehow bring race and sexual orientation into it? You’re part of the problem this nation is facing the fact that you managed to slip that very NON important issue in bewilders me as to your real intent with this article. Also this is America and even if someone works for a “corporation” they are still entitled to their opinion regarding such things. I saw nothing wrong whatsoever with the so called “employees” response besides some grammatical errors but leave it to what I assume you a “liberal” to make a huge deal out of it since her opinion opposes yours. My advice is for you to stick to the facts and the real goal of your article if you had one regarding Elizabeth and quit your race bating and sexual orientation bating. No one in 2016 cares that you’re a lesbian so get over it.

  • The email wasnt a fake. The name is an allias. But there is a such thing as freedom of speak. You spoke what you thought was right. I spoke what i thought was right. But lets just agree to disagree on this subject. Because your just trying to make something out of nothing. There is no hype around here. Your fishing for a story in a little small pond not an open ocean. Your points that you write about are just that “Your Point of view” There was no disrespect toward you. But if you felt that way i do apoligize.

  • Dear Sue,
    I am the owner of the Cedar Avenue Giant Eagle. One of my employees wrote that letter to you. I did not have knowledge of the letter until after it was sent. Her reason was that although you acknowledged Elizabeth’s great service, you said that we do not maintain the store and don’t care about investing in the customers or the employees. She found that to be an untrue statement.
    When we took the store, it cost over 2 million dollars to clean it up store because of the deplorable condition. We have an older store, it will never look like a Market District or one of the newer stores. We clean the store daily, pay a company to come in and do it, along with having someone on the payroll clean throughout the day.
    It is not an easy location. We hire people who live in the neighborhood. We give people second chances, hiring people who have made mistakes in their lives, and we feel they deserve a second chance. People who have come from violent neighborhoods, and unimaginable family home lives. Employees who have been “assaulted” just for walking down the street, or have seen a loved one shot and killed in front of them. Cashiers, and other employees who are always on the defensive because they have grown up with violence and fear. It is a defense mechanism. It is frustrating to hear that we don’t care about employees or customers. I have given people money for buses, jitneys, food, etc. I have paid out of my own pocket. These are customers who need help.
    I have helped my employees keep from being evicted, paid to keep their utilities from being turned off, helped them get into apartments, given them bus passes, money to buy food for their families, etc.
    It is not easy to watch people eating food through the store, and throwing their chicken bones, or wrappers on the floor or on the shelf.
    Our bathrooms are destroyed at least 2 or 3 times a day. Theft in the store is out of control.
    We have a lot of good employees, some bad, as with all locations. I wish I were able to pay them all what I truly think they deserve, but I would be out of business in 6 months. In the same regard, we do offer a full benefit package our employees at no cost to them and paid vacations.
    My employee used a false name because she did not want me to know that she sent anything. When I approached her, she said it upset her that you would say we don’t care. We try. We have call offs constantly.
    We hire people that never show up their first day. There is so much more to running a grocery store than opening the doors and selling groceries. It is not an easy location, but we have always liked being in the city stores and we do the best we can with what has been given to us.
    Please don’t judge my employee harshly, as you don’t want anyone to judge you. She was trying to defend her employer, and I find that a little rewarding to know that someone acknowledged that we do care about both customers and employees.
    As for Elizabeth, she will be recognized. I talked to you on the phone the first night when you called and complimented her. We do not always hear about good customer service, but we talk to employees about giving good customer service when they are hired. It truly is the way we always expect the employee to act toward a customer. Doesn’t always happen, but we want that kind of service. Have always wanted to be that friendly,neighborhood grocery store, where people feel welcome and known.

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