Dear “A” Shareholders,
Under ATD I have learned the following:
I work hard for DSM, I do not need to worry about my health insurance, profit sharing, and bonus’. The health insurance that we have is a great plan which keeps me on track with my doctors staying healthy so I can perform my duties without worry.
The profit sharing plan as it was is the best in the country. Why change it? ASD did not have faith with the past trustees one of which was Mr. Marsden so they were replaced them with Weiner. Watching Mr. Weiner’s views about Babson College on youtube reminded me how myself and my fellow associates feel about DSM, but when approached by Cindy Whelan before a BOD meeting he responded to her asking if he would answer some questions, “You can ask, but I won’t answer.” HE doesn’t seem very approachable and this is one person who could decide if someone had a hardship and requested money from the profit sharing plan on whether or not that associate would receive it. Even though the 2008 economic meltdown caused the plan to lose money for the second time (first was after 2001), why hire a firm that will eat more money out of the profits. Firms lost money too (my brothers company lost 22%).
The bonus’ have been more than generous. Work hard and we will be rewarded for all of our efforts. Some have said that we are overpaid. I work over 50 hours a week not including the 3 or 4 hours that I do my schedule at home. I am paid for 45 hours. In times of crisis like the freak October snow storm, I worked about 70 hours (my store director worked close to 90). Feeling appreciated by your CEO and having the benefits that we do made it easy to work those hours. Before the snow started that Saturday in October, I worked 13 hours. I left at 10 PM and received a call from my assistant store manager, who started his vacation 7 hours before and was the first one there when the power was lost at midnight that the store lost power, and he needed me in. There was no sleep that night and I did not leave the store again until about 8 or 830 Sunday morning. ATD has our back and we have his.
The most important thing I have learned is take care of the customer. Keep the prices low and give the customers the best service possible and they will return. THE BOD does not understand this fact. According to Mr. Rockwell’s sworn deposition last year, ASD went to his house and said he (ASD) thought the prices were too low. Does he know DSM’s clientele? At Billerica #17, I have customers traveling from Waltham on 95 which without traffic is roughly 20 minute drive. They chose to shop here because the alternative is more expensive even when you factor in the price of gas. They also ask when the Waltham project will resume? I hope the BOD has an answer for those customers. You raise the prices, you price out your customers and lose them. Have you ever gone to Stop n Shop that has a Market Basket next to or across the street from it? Who’s parking lot is full and who’s is empty? Are you going to allow that to change. In 2007 when I was working in Leominster, Shaws started a promotion that from 4-7 or 8 pm every register will be open so you can get in and out. Mr. Don Foucher (retired grocery supervisor) mentioned it to me and I told him I found it quite humorous as I went to Shaws every Thursday. They have a TD Bank branch inside so I would go there after to work to deposit my paycheck. I walked though the store and all the lights were on but no one was at the register. The employees were gathered together talking to each other. When was the last time you saw a DSM associate wearing his/her uniform while shopping at Shaws? NEVER! When I worked at Fitchburg 14, I would see Shaws employees shopping in uniform all the time. The BOD needs to know the clientele. They don’t!
I almost forgot to the mention the 4% savings. The customers have been very excited about the extra savings. This past Monday, I went to the dentist and Kathy the finance coordinator was telling me how great her shopping experience was last week. She save $20 in coupons and $10 because of the 4% so as she described it was like getting $30 in free food. I love seeing the excitement that the customers show when they see the circled savings on their receipts.
I urge you to throw your support behind ATD. 25,000 associates do. The competitors employees do. Our loyal customers do. There’s room for more supporters so come join us and let ATD lead DSM into the centennial.
Lawrence “Larry” Frost
Head Cashier Store #17
21 Years and Counting