Lately, I have a hard time giving my business to establishments that hang a “Vote Yes” sign in their window. On every other issue, I don’t care at all if we disagree, I’ll still support your business. But on the Maui County Initiative, I just can’t make it through the door of a ‘yes’ business. They are advocating for the loss of my husband’s job, which means no income for us, which means I can’t shop in their store anyway. They might as well not have my business now.
This week my kids started asking to carve pumpkins and I immediately thought of the charming farm up in Kula that advertises a pick your own pumpkin patch each year. My parents are visiting, so I figured this was a great opportunity to take the morning off and have some family time.
When we arrived we were directed to the only entrance, and just outside the gate, was an individual handing out ‘Vote Yes’ literature and DVDs. I immediately thought, I can’t support this business. I told the kids we would look around, but that our pumpkin purchase would be made at a grocery store down the mountain.
Luckily, I stopped in the produce stand before we left. As the nice lady at the register started talking to me about the best way to cook Kabocha (and even gave us a sample from her lunch!), I casually asked about the individual at the gate. She informed me that they don’t want her there, but she wont leave, even when asked. Most businesses are smart enough to know that bringing politics on their site will alienate at least a portion of their clients. It doesn’t even matter which side they fall on – they’ll make someone mad. This business is no different. Leave politics out of it.
While I was chatting up the produce gal, my mom, Ruth (who is older and bolder than me), was visiting with another employee of the farm that had the same story. They have asked these people outside the fence to leave, but they wont. About that time, the vote yes lady herself walked through the farm and mom decided to have a word with her. Towanda!
The activist’s response to Ruth was, They can’t keep us away from here. We have a right to be out there on public property. This did not sit well with my mom as she was once a small business owner that understands how damaging a demonstration in front of a store can be. She politely told the activist that it was inappropriate for her to be at the gate when the farm didn’t want her there, and that handing out ‘yes’ literature was giving customers the misleading idea that the farm supports something they may not support at all.
Most importantly, this activist chose to not leave when a business asked. Where’s the aloha? I couldn’t have been the only person to assume that this individual was with the farm. She stood two feet from the only entrance, how could anyone assume otherwise? I almost left without a purchase. Thanks to my feisty mom and an impromptu conversation about kabocha, I found out my money would be well spent at this farm stand. We left with 6 pumpkins, a bag of green beans, and… one perfect kabocha.