Published DateTo the editor,
As the chef manager for the J.Jill distribution center café for the last five years, I have forged many relationships with many good people. After hearing the news that my company was being dropped, it has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions leading up to my last day. I am happy and lucky to have a new job ahead of me, my employee does also, and I'm optimistic and ready. However, as I am now removed from what was my home for half a decade, I have a few things that I feel I must say.
Corporate America is a hard thing to be stuck between. While serving you all, I had to strive to not only to give all of you a great lunch experience, but also appease the financial expectations of one boss as well as the service expectations of another. In my opinion, the departure of a great HR manager and liaison to my company as well as poor communication between the powers that be are what truly ended it. Not to be overly dramatic (if I haven't done so already), but more than once I felt like a kid whose parents were getting a divorce.
I believe that after this change, things will be overall better for the associates, and for that I'm glad. My company managed from afar, and their vending and coffee services were not satisfactory to me, and I'm sorry that I couldn't fix that. That aside, it bothered me that my skills and dedication were not acknowledged by the J.Jill hierarchy and the opinion of the employees were also left out of the process. A conservative guess would be that two thirds of that building would have liked my employee and me to have stayed, even after going through a company change. Probably, a deal could have been brokered. In my opinion, corporate money wanted a new company, new upgrades and new faces. I was led to believe things which were not so, by a certain always-grinning corporate spokesman. That certainly left some desire of professionalism, of which I was once lectured on by that same individual, but I digress...
What I really wanted to say is goodbye. I believe the people who I feel wronged by know it and I believe in Karma. In the last five years I have gained some real friends. From the sports water cooler talk gang and the Facebook buddies to the friends whom I have been to birthday parties with, fishing trips and weddings. You have all been a pleasure to know and it's been an awesome period of my life which I will not forget. There are some great people in that building, and all the Hallmark and gift cards, along with more than one bouquet of flowers for my co-worker were proof that we didn't fail. It also is flattering that more than a few of you vowed to boycott the new company, thanks, but that's really not necessary! Be well.