A journalist observes life in the far north.
The tiny little store in the Goldstream Valley where you can buy milk, Oreo cookies or a bag of flour is being boycotted.
The story goes like this: A man who bought the store recently had a feud with the employees he inherited, including a woman who had worked at the store for more than 20 years.
The employees reportedly walked out. The new store-owner hired other people. When the disgruntled employees cooled off and came back to work, their jobs were gone.
One person told me the feud had to do with over-time.
Another version of the story is that the man fired a popular employee and the rest of the cashiers quit.
Either way, folks are discouraging each other from shopping at the store or buying gas.
As far as I can tell, the boycott is largely being promoted by customers and employees at a nearby bar. Not coincidentally to me, the bar has an attached liquor store and is a competitor of the Goldstream Store, which also sells liquor.
I was curious about the boycott so I went to the store yesterday looking for facts. I also needed to buy beer, marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate.
My bill was $26 so I don’t shop at the store very often, but I like knowing it’s there should I need a few things and lack the ambition to go to town.
The store is located in a log cabin next to a laundromat. The bar is on the other side.
The shelves weren’t very full but I got what I needed.
I asked one of the two cashiers if they had heard of the boycott.
They had, and the store is suffering for it, they told me.
“We’re on the edge,” one of the cashier’s said.
The new owner reportedly owned a health food store, but his wife got that store in a divorce. He bought the Goldstream Store in an effort to start over.
The new employee admitted that maybe the new owner had made a mistake in his dealings with his inherited employees. But she also said it’s a common business practice for people who buy a business to clean house and bring in their own people.
I’d like to hear what the disgruntled former cashiers have to say. Even so, I like having a store in the valley and I’m not inclined to follow the boycott.
I’m also uncomfortable with helping ruin a businessman, even if he made a stupid mistake.
One thing I’ve learned in life is that few people get to pick their own boss. Someone else picks your boss for you and you deal with it.