Wednesday, December 10, 2008


THE KING Rules with a big stick and a even larger heart. After posting the PUBLIX blog on November 29, 2008, the King received two emails from Leslie Spencer of Publix, and several phone calls. The emails apologized for this lapse in service from and otherwise excellent organization, and try as they might, the excuses for not having milk added up to a perfect storm of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Former Albertsons grocery store being closed, and milk being used for baking.
Still unacceptable since no other Publix in the entire state of Florida seemed to have this particular problem. I accepted a meeting with store manager Darryl Johnson who again apologized and offered the King free groceries for my inconvenience. Of course the King could use free groceries, but this is not about me, its about my constituents and my community being disrespected.
See, the King and his organization King George Advisors specializes in turning negative situations into positive outcomes and since Publix has plans to reopen the former Albertsons as a new store, I insisted that this apology be made to the community, not me. I explained to Publix brass that my favorite charity is the Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast and that the Royal Theater managed by Charles Murph should play a prominent role in this store opening. I also called my good friend Carl Lavender, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs to make sure there was proper followup.
A lack of milk will now turn into a private public partnership to support one of my favorite charities. Who knows, maybe Publix will donate a year supply of milk to the Boys and Girls Club along with other valuable consideration.
If you think that was a positive outcome, become one of our clients.
Many of you think the King walks around looking for discrimination because I am the authentic Angry Black Man. I do not. Maybe I am more sensitive because I served as Commissioner of the Florida Commission on Human Relations and learned that the business with the most discrimination complaints during my tenure in the state of Florida was the St. Petersburg Times. However, just when I think everything is euphoric in the United States and that discrimination may soon be a thing of the past, a minor irritant just smacks me back to reality.
Sure, we have a Black President-elect, but can a brother get some milk in the Publix Grocery store in a predominately Black Neighborhood. Today, November 29, 2008, there was no milk in the Publix (store 00259) located on 5295 34th Street South in St. Petersburg, Florida. Me being the outspoken person that I am, I let the store manager know of my frustration. Milk is a staple of the American diet and Publix is supposed to make shopping a pleasure. Their advertisements always emphasize how well stocked their stores are so I cannot accept any other reason for this lapse of product except discrimination or gross incompetence.
This irritated me to no end because I had just left a Publix located at 7999 9th Street North (store 00688) in the very same city and that store was overflowing with milk of all kinds. Also, I routinely visit store 001339 in St Pete Beach and milk never seems to be a problem.
I visit Publix stores all across the state of Florida from Miami to Jacksonville to Tallahassee to Orlando and have never noticed this issue. But wait, those other stores were always in predominately white communities. As a matter of fact, when I visited store 00751 in Seminole, Florida, I was greeted with food and wine while walking through the isles.
Is it too much to expect quality treatment and service from a grocery store which operates in four states at all locations? I think not.
Good King George
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