Not the rule, and that’s remarkable

BRATTLEBORO — RE: “Visions, values, and tragedy” [Special Focus, July 17]:

Congratulations to Joyce Marcel, for writing, and to The Commons, for publishing, the story-beneath-the-story surrounding this unfortunate event. My guess is that you'll catch a bucket-full from various people and organizations, and that you knew you would going in, which makes your efforts all the more commendable.

After reading the story, and taking in both Alex Gyori's reported remarks and actions, along with the reported conduct of Michael Martin, it is clear that:

1. There is no excusing Richard Gagnon's actions. However poorly he was (or felt himself to have been) treated, you just don't shoot your boss because he's been mean to you.

2. The unhappy confluence of three incompatible personalities primed Mr. Gagnon's inevitable dismissal and raised the odds for a bad ending. And the reported inept, venal and all-around unprofessional actions of the co-op's middle and upper management in dismissing an emotionally fragile employee, all but guaranteed a stormy (but not murderous) conclusion.

We all tend to view an ending this bad as anomalous. In the grand scheme of the millions of deserved, undeserved, or otherwise firings that occur at businesses small or large each year, the Brattleboro Food Co-op is indeed the exception, not the rule.

Given how many of those other, similar dismissals are engineered no more competently than was Mr. Gagnon's, the truly remarkable element may be that there aren't more stories ending like the co-op's, not that there are so few.

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