Stamford, CT–In the wake of last week’s terror attacks, some catalogers hired grief counselors to be available for staffers.
“This past Monday we brought in a counselor for our employees to talk to,” says Dina Dubey, marketing director of St. Johnsburg, VT-based food gifts cataloger Maple Grove Farms of Vermont. “A lot of our employees did not use the counselor, because they may have felt embarrassed to. But we wanted to do something to let our people know that if they were having trouble coping with the tragedy, they can talk about it. I have a cousin missing as a result of the attack, and even if I didn’t, the tragedy would have affected me more than I could have imagined.”
Ann Arbor, MI-based food gifts marketer Zingerman’s hired a counselor as well. “We had group counseling for our staff the week of the attack,” says catalog director Maurice Frechette. “And this week we brought a counselor in to present our order-takers with techniques for talking to people who are going through the tragedy.”
According to Frechette, New York is the cataloger’s third-largest market, behind Michigan and Ohio. “At first we were receiving calls from customers who were sending gifts to people with messages such as ‘Thank God you’re okay. Here’s some comfort food for you,’” Frechette says. “Now we’re getting calls from customers sending gifts as bereavement packages, and it is trying for our phone reps to talk to some of the customers who are very upset.”