When my Albertsons store on Steilacoom Boulevard became a Haggen store, favorite food items were replaced by different, not necessarily better, ones. The deli reduced the variety of meats, cheeses and salads it carried, and the fresh sushi was gone, too.
I was sad, but at least "my" customer service buddies were still there to help ease the transitions.
These people had become like family over the years; we shared our kids growing up, marriages, our vacation news, new jobs, retirement, passings, happy times and sad times.
When news of store closures hit, our Steilacoom store was spared. But not the staff.
Longtime employees had hours cut; old faces were replaced by new ones who don't know me or even seem interested to even find out who I am.
Two great guys, Steven and Malcom, have left. I am so sad. Those who remain are afraid they will be next. This is the hidden cost of failed acquisitions: People's lives have been turned upside down.
To those who remain, thank you for your dedication, my friends.