Guest post, Dan Perkins Dairy Manager Wilmington

  • Hi,
    My name is Dan Perkins and I am the Dairy Manager in Wilmington #3.
    I’ve been with the company since I started in this same store back in May of 1984,and with the exception of a six month hiatus back in 1988 when I thought that installing cable t.v. was my calling in life,i’ve been at it ever since. Thankfully,Jack D was good enough to take me back and give me another shot. I’m eternally grateful to him.

    There’s not really too much more I can add to what has already been stated on here in support of Arthur T.,so I will take this opportunity to thank him.
    Everything I have,from being able to afford a nice house,to the car I drive,to being able to take nice vacations every year,is a by-product of this man’s generosity.
    I want for nothing. I owe him everything.

    There really aren’t too many companies out there that take care of their employees as well as Market Basket does,where you can work hard and be well compensated for it – Google comes to mind.
    I’d like to tell you a story of another great company that shared pretty much the same philosophy that we have at Market Basket,but was essentially ruined by hiring someone to take over that had no idea of the culture that had been built over decades.
    ( BOD,pay attention please.)

    My Father worked for Polaroid for over 35 years,and like me here,started at the bottom and worked his way up the ladder. Employees there were loyal and well taken care of because Dr. Land – the founder and CEO – believed in investing in his employees.
    Polaroid sat on top of the world for years,my Dad was always coming home with new work clothes and shoes that the company sent each employee out to buy every six months. Once a month,every department in every building could go out to lunch and bill it to the company. Christmas parties at the buildings that once stood off of rte. 128 were legendary.
    As a kid,I was amazed at all of this and almost wound up applying there too after I graduated High School,but my Father told me I had better stay at Market Basket because things were changing there,and not for the better.
    Back in the ‘80’s Polaroid was almost the victim of a hostle take-over by Fuji Film. Dr.Land asked his employees if they would convert their version of our Profit Sharing in to Polaroid stock to stave off the take over. They did. All of them. Why? Because they were loyal to the man that had taken such good care of them over the years,that knew them by name,that shared the company’s success with them.
    Polaroid was saved,but sadly,in the early 90’s,Dr. Land passed away.
    An interm CEO was appointed – a man that had been by Dr. Land’s side for years and knew what made the company tick.
    After a year or two of dwindling profits because the company was slow on the uptake in entering the digital photography market,the larger shareholders hired – yup,you guessed it – an Executive search firm.
    The interim CEO was replaced by a man that had run Black & Decker for a while(and not in a good way). This man knew nothing of the culture that had been built in this company and was brought in to take things in a new direction. That direction? Away from what they were known for. What they did best. What worked.
    I’m sure you all know what happened to Polaroid in the past 10-15 years. They’re gone. They only exist in name alone and the entire company now consists of about 20 people.
    Tens of thousands of people were either forced in to retirement or left before things went really bad. My Dad? He stayed until the bitter end. By then,Polaroid stock was worthless. His retirement money was gone. He,along with thousands of others,lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money that was supposed to be there for them to enjoy in their Golden Years,gone .
    Why did he stay? Because he was loyal to the man and the company,just hoping for some miracle to bring Polaroid back to what it once was.
    Both of my parents continue to work even though they’re both pushing 70. Not exactly how I pictured them enjoying retirement.
    How could this happen? Because the vision was gone.
    I can’t help but think that this same thing could happen to our company,to all of us,if Arthur T. and his vision and leadership in this company is replaced with someone that doesn’t know us or how we operate at all.

    What we need here,BOD,is for you to just sit back and collect your checks like you’ve been doing for years and let Arthur T. get back to doing what he does best – Running our company without restraints.

    I’m also attaching a letter Dr. Land sent to all of his employees back in the day concerning a mailing they had received from a Union.
    I’m sure you’ll notice some similarities with how he addresses his people.

    Thank God for Market Basket!!!

    Dan Perkins
    Dairy Manager Store#3


    “August 20, 1970
    My dear friends,
    I have just seen a letter sent to many of you by some Polaroid
    employees, written on U.R.W stationary. I am sorry that they chose to
    invade your privacy by taking the mailing list without permission. I
    assume you may expect to hear more from these sources. To those of you
    who have worked with me, and grown up with me, and created an industry
    with me, I need not recall that our proudest product is not our film,not
    our customers, but it is the kind of company in which you are not
    “workers” but men and women. It is a company in which, meeting with all
    of you together, I have again and again shared with you our plans, our
    problems and our hopes. It was in these meetings that I encouraged you
    to stand proudly on your own feet as individuals, to “train” your own
    supervisors in letting you take responsibility. It was in these meetings
    that I as president of a small but confident company had the courage to
    announce medical plans, and vacation plans and policies, participation
    plans that made you partners in profit when we became successful, as
    well as partners in the risks, the hopes and the technical success. This
    is no ordinary company that we have built together. It is the proud
    pioneer that sets out to teach the world how people should work
    In all this I have been supported by not only the thousands of you but
    also by most of my colleagues in management. Our determined purpose is
    to carry Polaroid through the rest of the way to the full realization of
    the dream: ten thousand individuals, every one different from every
    other, every one bringing his special talent and his special wisdom to
    our tasks.
    Polaroid is on its way to lead the world – perhaps even save it – by
    this interplay between science, technology and real people.
    I have waited many years for this next great step in our growth toward
    the perfect scientific – human company. I cannot imagine that many of
    you could turn away now. This may be a movement in which the thousands
    of you who know should teach the few who have not been here long enough
    to understand.
    With warm regards,
    Edwin Land”

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