In the wake of a terrible tragedy that occurred involving a West Plains resident, there were some actions taken that seemed to create a great negative response to some of West Plains’ local businesses. These businesses expressed sincere sympathy for this family’s loss, but also expressed that their businesses have been targeted as “uncaring”. Often, in this type of situation, employees have corporate policies they are required to follow, which was the case in this situation.
An overflow of attendance at Carter Funeral Home, located at 1316 Porter Waggoner Blvd. in West Plains, caused attendees to park in surrounding businesses. It was reported that one of the businesses interrupted the funeral to ask the funeral attendees to move their vehicles. However, the business did not directly notify the funeral home. Instead they contacted the West Plains City Police, as mandated by corporate policy, to help with the situation.
This has caused some negative reactions to these businesses. The Quill contacted these businesses to find out their position on the matter. One of the businesses had no comment on the situation and said that it was being handled by the corporate headquarters. Another of the businesses said that one lady asked if she could park on their parking lot, which they allowed, but soon, other cars started to fill the parking lot. When attendees from the funeral started parking where their own employees needed to park, one of the employees asked that the employee spots remain vacant, and was met with hostility.
The fact of the matter in this situation is that the community suffered a horrific tragedy and many experienced great emotional turmoil. As both businesses’ employees were personally sincere in stating that they felt nothing but heartfelt sympathy, this is a lesson in learning not to let social media fire eruptions. West Plains is a community that has been built on love, concern for others and support of businesses as the town has expanded. As the community goes forward, every community member needs to remember that we must be there for others and not tear down what our forefathers built in making this a thriving, caring community. We must support each other and our businesses so we can go forward with the motto that the West Plains Chamber of Commerce has declared, #westplainsstrong and #withoutyouthereisnous.
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