I hope my video made some waves in your life. As you may recall, a few months ago I made a video asking everyone to help make a bit of difference for Addie, and other LP children and adults in the US.
I was hoping to have a few thousand views and that would help us make a difference, but we didn’t get to that goal. Still, I persisted. In fact, I called Gedney Foods multiple times (until I reached the very understanding Peg, of customer service), and plead to them to watch my video and hear me out. That was in December. I heard nothing back, so four weeks later I began my calls again. My message was (finally) passed onto the president of Gedney: Mr. Barry Spector.
And last night, at 5:15, he called me.
In his first few words, Mr. Spector requested I not record the call. I had my video camera rolling, but I stopped the recording and asked if I could take notes. He encouraged me to do so. I felt my heart in my throat. I was scared he was going to be mean and hurtful. To tell me I was being overly-sensitive and ask if I thought the world revolved around me…
But he never said that. He just asked to not be recorded. And so I didn’t record him, although I wish I had. His words would have made you all soar, like me. I feel free, relieved, elated, and most of all: proud.
I We did it! As I compiled my notes together to form whole sentences, I wish I had gotten his word on record, but I hold much hope. He did, after all, promise me (multiple times) during our conversation to hold true to his word.
Mr. Spector began telling me that the person or people who named the pickles never meant harm, it was just a word when the marketing was done for the pickles. He agreed that in these times that same word is offensive, and he and the company would never want to offend anyone. Because of this, he sent my video to the company’s board who voted to… CHANGE THE LABEL! There’s about 6 months of stock already packaged and labeled, but the unused labels are going to remain as such: unused. New labels are be designed now- currently waiting on a new name. Mr. Spector pointed out some companies use “baby”, but he didn’t seem sold on it. I think “lil’ bits” would be fun, but I didn’t say that! He did promise to send me the new label in goodwill! I am SO excited to see it! I plan on buying one jar now to a) get them off the shelves faster and b) have a comparison for the future.
I want to brag: I am proud of myself.
Mr. Spector noted that he realizes consumers have more power over companies (I’m assuming he meant due to social media outlets, etc.), and that he, like every company, needed to listen and respond. I was shocked he had said that. Many companies don’t listen to their consumers, especially if it’s not something that personally touches them. Many times, a company simply doesn’t want to change- they think there is too much cost and hassle, but not this one. This company assures me that change is good and keeping with with the times is important to them.
Gedney owns their own brand, as well as Cains’ and Del Monte. I do hope that all of these brands will be renamed, but we did not (regretfully) discuss that. As a final closing, Mr. Spector said (AND I QUOTE VERBATIM) “I promise, what I’ve told you is what we’re gonna do.”
M-word pickles, BE GONE! But, the tiny gherkin lives! (Vlasic brands their pickles as Sweet Midgets; tiny, sweet, crunchy. That just sounds kind of gross to me. “Midgets” are defined as unusually small people according to Webster. Who sells a pickle under the guise of a sweet small person. CRINGE)
I wanted to write all this last night and celebrate a better tomorrow with Addie and Dave, but after a litany of incoherent text messages from my hubby and one voice mail, I hopped in the car with my MIL and FIL and made the 50+ mile journey to Dave’s work to pick him up. A list of ailments included numbness and tingling in the arm, at which point Dave felt it was a migraine and took Excedrin. Then he felt strange and we spoke a few times, but he seemed confused and disoriented. After not understanding him in a cell phone conversation, I called his desk and spoke with his co-worker. He checked on Dave, who was resting, and agreed he sounded “confused”. Then, I panicked. Not having health insurance, I knew that Dave would not agree to calling 9-1-1, so I asked him to smile in the mirror and make sure his face was moving on both sides. I asked him a few questions (dates, names, places). I made him say “The sky is blue”. His speech was slow, but seemed to be becoming more coherent with time.
When we got to work, he was half asleep, the president of his company came out to greet us and told Dave to work from home (pending blizzard!) tomorrow, if he could, but to call him no matter what, and let him know how he was feeling. Dave’s boss (also a Dave) is a wonderful man, and truly cares for our family (if only the company offered insurance!)- for this we are truly blessed. I know that Dave will not be docked salary for the day, or for the snow day- Dave (boss) is just that kind of guy.
All-in-all, I wish we had a chance to celebrate last night, but when I said to Dave, “Remember I had that call today?” He looked up at me from under his blankets and pillows. I continued, “We did it.” He raised his hand weakly for a high-five.
We all did it. Thank you Gedney Foods, Barry Spector and each and every one of you out there who have read and supported. We hope to remove the m-word from more products in the next year, too, but I will always remain forever grateful to the man who recognized that my little girl, though only one, means a lot in this world.
Hearing a total stranger tell me, “You did a good thing for your daughter,” gave me a warm glow sure to last me through Nemo!