The Lost City of Vanport: How a Flood and Racism Changed Portland
To my employer, Portland’s local “progressive” grocery chain: you are scaring me. You are scaring all of us. You are becoming a top-heavy behemoth, run at all top levels by white, privileged, out-of-touch outside hires. Outside hires who have been able to negotiate insane hiring packages for themselves, while we—the lowly proletariat of the company—struggle more and more to make ends meet.
Yes, this is a thing that happens with growing companies. We are not stupid. And yes, thank you for employing me and giving me benefits and selling me delicious vegan cheese. Appreciated.
But we can smell the rank odorous bullshit in the air.
And it's fucking weird, given what this company used to be, and what it once had the potential to become. We have a new C.E.O. who we never hear from. We have people at the top who have made fortunes ($1.5 million!) facilitating buyouts of former local companies. It’s gross! The people who are controlling us and steering the company are so CLEARLY interested SOLELY in their personal gain.
And we have no option but to watch in horror as you turn us into a less-interesting, paler version of Whole Foods.
You tell us we have a voice; you tell us we can ‘speak up’ and help positive change happen. But we know this is a lie. And that’s why you found “SPEAK UP.” tagged in huge letters on the exterior of your new store on N. Williams.
I feel used. I feel betrayed. I feel immensely disloyal. I think most of us do.
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