Monday, November 10, 2008

Albertsons rejects the Knights of Columbus

I recieved this letter in my in-box, with a cover letter from another friend who lives in Carlsbad. I did not see this incident, and only know about it second-hand.

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to you about the management at the Albertson's store located in Carlsbad CA at El Camino Real and La Costa Avenue.

I am a patron of this store and have been shopping there every week for the past four years. Today the store manager, Alan, made a decision that makes it impossible for me to ever shop in that store again.

The Knights of Columbus were conducting a fund raiser for The Mentally Challenged. The funds raised for these adults stay in our community and all the proceeds from the three day fund raiser are given to this organization, the Arc of North County. I realize that Albertsons and their competition hire mentally challenged adults and I have shopped at Albertsons in part because of this policy.

The Knights of Columbus had obtained permission from store management to conduct the fund raiser in front of the store on El Camino. Friday's fund raiser went well but on Saturday several customers confronted the Knights and complained to Alan, the store manager, about the Knights presence in front of the store. These people were upset because the Knights of Columbus had supported Yes on Prop 8. The fund raiser being conducted had nothing to do with politics. However, the store manager decided that he didn't want to have complaints and told the Knights that being in front of his store was a privilege and they were to leave immediately.

This was not a political rally. The Knights were not making a political statement and they were not harassing any Albertson customers. Your store manager made the situation political by evicting the fund raisers and interjecting politics. This is a country where people have freedom of speech and I respect that, however, can you explain how supporting Prop 8 has anything to do with raising funds for the adults in our community who are mentally challenged? The Knights inability to fund raise at this location for the next two days will seriously impact the amount of funds given to these people.

I feel that Alan made a poor decision and does not support your corporate policy concerning mentally challenged adults. I would like a response to my complaint other than this was a privilege and he was denying this privilege because four customers complained.

This incident has motivated me to inform my fellow church members, my neighbors who shop at Albertsons, and the Mormon churches in the area so they can decide if they will continue to support your store at La Costa and El Camino after this politicized decision. I would hope that the your company hired store manager who could think logically and respond to complaints from customers with facts. The Knights were not acting politically and denying the fund raiser only hurts adults in our community who need help.
Barbara N. (wife of a Knight)
Carlsbad CA

I wrote to the manager about this incident, saying, among other things:
I do hope Albertson s won t be drawn into taking sides in something like this. If you have a handful of customers who don t like the Knights, tell them their organizations are welcome to conduct their fundraising projects as well.

Please reconsider and allow the Knights to collect funds in the Tootsie Roll drive again.

I got a reply that suggested there were two "groups" involved and that both "groups" were asked to leave. I replied to the manager, saying that I was not aware that there was a second group involved. I asked them what was the second group. I have not yet heard back.


Jamie Gruber said...


I have no problem posting opposing comments to our blog. However, we will never publish blogs that use bad language or that disrespect a particular person, race or religion.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

The store manager was right. His responsibility is to his customers, misinformed though they might be, and not to the Knights of Columbus. Four complaints for one location is pretty significant, too. He's also right, it is a privilege to fundraise in front of a store. Boycotting Albertson's because of the actions of 1 manager is also unreasonable -there are jerks who work for every large company. Also, a manager is under no obligation to explain to his customers what is and is not a political issue.
-- 3rd Degree K of C member

Richard Welty said...

I used to like that store, when it first opened but have watched it steadily go downhill over the years.

Thanks for the notice - that's just another reason why I won't shop there anymore.

Richard Welty
3rd Degree, council 1200