Compassion is missing

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    The news of the two longtime employees being summarily dismissed with no hearing or investigation is heartbreaking. The morale of the staff is extremely low. As one checker told me, “We feel like someone died.”

    I don’t believe the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) requires firing as your article indicated when assistant manager Mary Dubrowski was quoted, “It’s not a Ralphs thing. It’s a law thing.” The president of Ralphs, John Burgon (310.884.9000) refuses to take phone calls from customers. His secretary, Vicki, refers calls to customer service (888.437.3496), which is located in Cincinnati, where representatives claim to know nothing of the Malibu problem and can’t even spell “Malibu.”

    The policy of Ralphs is speed when checking and clerks are rated and graded on it. This can cause errors as not everything is scanned. No time for 20 seconds of social amenities! The scenario of the incident seems too coincidental and smacks of a setup, sting, conspiracy, entrapment.

    In our disastrous economy it might be understood that a mom-and-pop store might bend the law when every sale is a small step towards survival. But these are salaried people with nothing to gain and everything to lose, which they have.

    Pepperdine, a purportedly Christian university, is also culpable. Instead of instilling principles like “Do unto others,” it seems to be “Do in others” as they’ve abetted in the firing of the two clerks who’ve been “done in.” If clerks are fired, are not the lawless students expelled? Of course not; Christian ethics welcome a healthy tuition. Are they offering jobs to these two clerks?

    I’d rather deal with students of an atheist university because then the adversary would be a known quantity and spur wariness.

    Perhaps Mr. Burgon won’t accept phone calls because he’s reviewing the diminishing sales at the Malibu location. Savon drugs, next door, carries most of the items Ralphs offers and has sales booming due to the silent boycott of Ralphs by disappointed and enraged locals who are ready to fight.

    Trudi Dieterle