Thursday, December 13, 2007


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I once worked several years
for a New England based toy store chain. At the end of the
Christmas Party my first year there(this would be the year before
the incident with the car and the tractor trailer box)I was called
into the warehouse office and told that they didn’t need me there
after the holiday but they could use me at the Dedham
warehouse where they stored all the returned damaged toys.

So the week after Christmas I found myself in a small warehouse
amidst stacks of Chatty Kathy’s and See and Say’s and Barbie
dolls. Sleds that just needed to have a screw or bolt replaced
were broken up with sledge hammers.

It seemed like such a waste when I found out the other toys
would be returned to the toy company for credit. Couldn’t they
be repaired and given to kids?

No, I was told. I won’t tell you the reason I was given because it’s
pretty disgusting but given the nature of retail it’s not surprising.

So I went from being a Santa’s helper to being the Grinch’s

Eventually I was sent back to the main warehouse. A year later I
left the company and found another job.

And the toy store chain? It went out of business a year or so

I like to think of that as a cosmic lump of coal in their corporate


Apple said...

Waste is a very American thing. It's easier to toss than repair and there probably was a tax write-off involved too. Seems like the toy company could have gotten a write-off for donating them to a charity. I was a bit surprised (although I shouldn't have been) when Jasia wrote about the department store that destroyed the Christmas decorations each year rather than pay to store them. Surely some charity could have used them.

Thomas MacEntee said...

I agree with Apple - but I'm not sure from your post how long ago this was. I think that more recently, many businesses, at least those with a conscience, realize there are many ways to help others with overstock items, damaged items. Etc.

One way that I like is Foodrunners - in major cities they make arrangements with restaurants and food stores to transport leftover or slightly damaged food to shelters and soup kitchens for use.