Jeffrey Jahelka sent a message to Robert Niblock that said:
Thank you for your time Mr. Ellison and I promise not to waste it.
I resigned my position within your company yesterday due to a complete leadership failure at the District level (District 14). The issues I was running into were safety related. I truly want to stay with your company because my passion is working with customers and helping them with their home improvement needs. I simply could no longer stand by and watch safety violation after safety violation without correction from store leaders.
At Store #2419, there are Associates misusing power equipment (untethered harnesses, not blocking aisles with the reach forklift), throwing mallots and store phones in anger at each other (during open store hours no less), the use of the discontinued red knife all over the sales floor, to name only what I saw. Your store level leaders at #2419 do not have the personal courage to correct safety issues. I do, but the leadership team undermined my efforts to correct these situations, creating a toxic environment for the ones who actually care about having a safe environment for Associates to thrive.
At one point, I decided to take photos of the infractions. I have a photo of Store #2419 MSM Steven Doizeki standing next to another MSM associate wearing the Order Picker (OP) harness disconnected from the OP on the sales floor without correction.
I forwarded this photo to Mr. Doizecki's superior, Mr. Todd Sears, who leads the MSM teams in District 14, to inform him of the safety violations I witnessed and to see if these safety issues could be resolved. All Mr. Sears did was give me excuses for it. Direct quote from Mr. Sears: "Sometimes as the years pass we see things that we know are wrong and come to accept them." I was not impressed. I feel because I do not have a true "leadership position" within Lowe's that my words are not taken seriously. That is unfortunate.
As the leader of a large organization, you deserve to hear about what is wrong with the organization and how we can fix these issues. Unfortunately, I have to reach out to you because your subordinate leaders do not have the courage to stand up to poor safety behavior. The only recourse I have now is to reach out to you.
I was raised in the Department of Defense, and I am a retiree of the U.S. Army, so I do have a very strong leadership and safety background. Lowe's Home Improvement spends millions of dollars each year to study and promote safety for associates. As God as my witness, those standards and guidelines are simply optional in Store #2419.
Thank you for your valuable time Mr. Ellison, and I wish you the best.
SFC (Ret), U.S. Army