I went in the Subway Sandwich-teria in beautiful downtown Millstadt, Illinois. I selected the chick-a-boom-boom on pumpernickel and walked the line picking sandwich accouterments. I got the provolone, and asked for baby spinach on the cheese. The young lady was indignant. “That’s not for sandwiches, it’s for salad,” she said. I begged a little, but she got mad and called the manager over. He got all upset that I wanted spinach on a sandwich. I offered to pay extra and he really got his knickers in a twist. I told him to stuff the sandwich and I left hungry. I emailed the company and started a boycott of Subway. It probably cost them $2 or $3 over a year. Nobody cared.
An overpriced and overrated tennis shoe company called Nicky or something like that has riled up people all over the country. They jumped right into controversial politics and made the most spoiled and controversial athlete on the planet their spokes-mutant. I assume they want everyone to think that somehow, miraculously they’ve grown a soul. They care deeply if you believe them, but I’m not buying it. My opinion is that they’re worried about inevitable civil unrest and want to get on the side of those that probably will win. If they’d really grown a soul, they wouldn’t have their shoes made by slave labor in 3rd world countries. They wouldn’t charge $120 for shoes that cost them 86
Many people with my value-set are boycotting this company. They have about $30 billion and most of that came from the USA. If a million people that think like me neglect to spend $100 this year for their overpriced uncomfortable shoes that’ll be $100 million they won’t get. That’ll be a few of their factory workers that will have to go back to the rice paddies. I’m thinking the CEO won’t feel a thing.
Last year I went to a local business and things went awry. In my opinion I was treated badly so I quit going there. I spend my hard won money somewhere else. I drive by the offending business almost daily and the lights are still on and the customers are still inside. My boycott has no effect other than to give me a self righteous feeling. At one time I was boycotting so many places it was getting hard to buy food and gas.
In February Dick’s Sporting Goods angered most regular folks in the USA. They made a political anti-gun choice that their “base” didn’t like. The boycott was swift and decisive. Their stock went down for a nanosecond and bounced right back. The boycott accomplished not a thing.
It’s kind of like Facebook and Twitter censoring conservative subscribers. We whine and complain and maybe even threaten but the billionaires calling the shots brush us off like we’re a pesky gnat. They know we’ll disappear just like the gnats.
The way I see it we have a couple of options. The boycotts obviously don’t work. The $3 my boycott cost Subway had the same affect the shoe boycott will have. We can continue to not get results. We can grumble along and be dissatisfied until we all fade into oblivion. We can even buy stock in the offending companies and try to influence policy or eventually take over the corporation.
We still can take our business elsewhere. I think the experts call that “voting with your feet”. Maybe we can look to free enterprise and the market to adjust these companies out of business. In our society someone is always eager to do better. Maybe one of our talented youngsters will make athletic supplies while showing respect for our feelings. If the newcomers “just do it” better customers will move.
I bet someone has an alternative to social network engineering and can replace Facebook with Geezerlink or PiePlay and reverse-engineer our culture to accommodate everyone. I still don’t spend money with local businesses that don’t value me, whether they care or not. Maybe it makes a small difference. Subway now offers spinach on sandwiches. Did my boycott in the Metro-east years ago put that in motion? We may never know, but I’d like to think I won. Take that, sandwich girl.