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November 22nd, 2018

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Right to Be Grumpy | Leading Economic Indicator

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published May 12, 2017

Right to Be Grumpy | Leading Economic Indicator

Trader Joe's has gained popularity among grocery shoppers in large part by having relentlessly sunny employees, but now that the firm has expanded from mellower California to more brusque New York City, it is learning that cheerfulness is harder to find. The company fired Thomas Nagle recently because, though he said he frequently smiled, he was told his smile was insufficiently "genuine," and, backed by several colleagues, he has filed an unfair labor practice charge (and union organizers have taken notice). The National Labor Relations Board has already ruled (against another employer) that workers cannot be forced to convey that all-important "positive work environment" because they are entitled to have grievances. [New York Times, 11-3-2017]

Doughnut lovers have legitimately mused for years how U.S. law could condemn, say, marijuana, yet permit Krispy Kreme to openly sell its seemingly addictive sugary delights on America's streets. Sonia Garcia, 51, realized a while back that residents of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, so much needed Krispy Kreme fixes that she earns a handsome living running a black market from El Paso, Texas, bringing in 40 boxes at a time and re-selling from the trunk of her car at a 60 percent markup, pointing out to a Los Angeles Times reporter in January that her trafficking has already put one son through engineering school. (Mexico City now has Krispy Kremes, but apparently the company's distribution system cannot yet vanquish Sonia Garcia's car.) [Los Angeles Times, 1-6-2017]

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