Time to bend a little

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    “Tolerance” used to be a virtue, a quality of mature people who were open to humanity. So the recent fashion of taking pride in “Zero Tolerance” is utterly confounding to me. Sure, our country was built on the Rule of Law, but it also depends on tolerant judges and juries who interpret that law.

    It has been two months now since Ralphs exercised its Zero Tolerance Policy by firing two of its finest employees, Harry McDermott and Nancy Cicatelli. True to the doctrine of Zero Tolerance, no one took into consideration their huge contribution to Ralphs over the years. No one called me to the witness stand to testify about how Harry would always remember my name and ask how my writing was doing, or how Nancy’s smile could brighten an otherwise glum night. No! Harry and Nancy simply fell into the cold gears of the Zero Tolerance machine, and were neatly obliterated.

    Ralphs seems to believe their employees are expendable, and that we local consumers will simply forget their absurd policy enforcement in time. Let’s not forget. Here’s my own Zero Tolerance Policy: under no circumstance will I buy anything-not one kumquat, not one stick of gum, not even a toothpick-at Ralphs until I see my friends back at the jobs they so richly deserve.

    Dave Marfield