Letter: Local business puts people before profit

I certainly don’t expect a business to reach out and support [a drug addicted] individual but this man astonished me…

To the editor:

There has been a video getting a lot of hits on the Internet about a hotel chain that poured water on a homeless man to discourage him from loitering near their property.

We are easily drawn to stories that highlight the wrong doings of others. Perhaps it helps us to feel better about ourselves in a neurotic sort of way.

It made me remember that I caught a Kelowna business doing something very admirable just a few months ago.

My very successful son had fallen into the clutches of a terrible addiction. He is very smart, very capable and very well socially adjusted when he is clean and sober, so he landed a job at The Mediterranean Market at Gordon and Lawrence.

After a few days of work he disappeared into the darkness of his addictions and didn’t show up for work.

After a couple of days, the manager of the store called us up since we were listed as the emergency contacts. I explained the situation to this man, as I had done before to other businesses in other similar situations, and expected the usual response.

I certainly don’t expect a business to reach out and support such an individual but this man astonished me by saying: “You tell your son that when he comes back from his fall, he still has a job with us and we’ll be glad to do what we can to get him through this.”

I couldn’t help but challenge the manager by saying that I was very surprised and that I understood that we could not expect him to keep our son employed and that he had a business to run. I was flabbergasted to hear him say: “There’s more to life than operating a business.”

In a world made all too dark with obscene profits, financial fraud, goods produced in oppressive working conditions and where the CEO of Kinder Morgan recently pocketed annual compensation that came in at over $81,000 per minute, here is a ray of light from this local businessman who would stand in such defiance to the selfishness that pervades our society at the higher levels. His kindness has inspired my family and it reminded us that there are still many regular—and usually local—people still out there who will agree that there’s more to life than making a buck.

If Mediterranean Market shows such concern for the people who are needy, how much more genuine respect will they have for their customers?

I for one, will be happy to support this local business for a long time and I hope others will read this and do the same. My son is in long-term rehab and well on the way to recovery and when he finishes, he will definitely look to becoming a loyal employee of this company while he completes his studies.

Name withheld by request,

Kelowna