A posting on a message board of the Toledo Blade on the closing of Fleeger's PRO Hardware reflected the challenges facing a small business in a down economy. It also shows one employee's passion for the business.
The employee's comment on his experience at Fleeger's PRO Hardware appeared in a long stream of comments regarding the closing of the store. Here is the note in its entirety:
"As one who has worked for Fleeger's for the last five years, I can give some insight on the value of my employer.
"About me: I have worked in corporate America most of my life. I was mainly, and still am a Fleeger's customer at heart. I will miss the paycheck, to be sure. But what will I really miss? Our customers who come in with the latest jokes, my fellow employees who lift me up every day I come in, who are honestly invested in each other's well-being and that of our Fleeger Family.
"Most of all, undeniably, I will miss working for a lady who treats employees with kindness, courtesy, warmth, humanity, generosity, offers great council in both business and our personal trials. Laura Fleeger-Koenig has been up front with us about the battles we faced as a company. She spent much time with our employees listening and helping get us ready for the inevitable closing. Laura has honesty and integrity.
"Customer satisfaction was priority number one, no question. It was ingrained in her by her father and uncle who started the business. We went out of our way to buy from local vendors whenever possible, and by way of our store newsletter we even promoted other local business -- at no charge -- only in hopes of helping each other out. In the end analysis, this may have been what cost us the war -- our uncompetitive nature. But we won many battles along the way. We never lost the battle with the big boxes. We are competitive, we had to be. We lost the war due to changes in buying habits, a throw-away society, planned obsolescence, and mostly this severe recession. How many large corporations can say the same?"
Proud Fleeger's Employee