More on 2 minutes….


Earlier today, I got a call from someone at Rexall head office about my complaint about a company directive ordering 30 seconds of silence at 11 11 11 instead of the traditional 2 minutes.

I was pleased to hear that they are taking this seriously. I had been worried when I got an email asking which store this occurred and that this was going to turn into a hunt for leaks. Instead, I found a concerned voice and a desire (at least it sounds that way) to address the issue and repair the damage done.

It helps, I think, that I don’t appear to have been the only person who complained.

The caller wanted to know what I wanted to happen as a result of this. I said that I wanted them to ensure that this was an “error in judgment” by someone and a one-off… a learning experience. I worked retail for many years and that I understand that there will always be people who will complain about having to wait 2 minutes but that this is a long-standing and important tradition that should not be compromised by a few idiots.

I made the suggestion of putting a sign on the counters at the beginning of the 2 minutes informing people that “in honour of those who gave so much…” etc. If people have a problem with that, that’s their problem. I said that it is a right that employees should have the chance to be able to take that 2 minutes like every other Canadian and that this should not be watered down to “satisfy” the few people who don’t “get” the concept.

Apparently, someone “high up” at head office is going to call to get more feedback.

I want to make a point that often decisions are made because they get a couple of complaints but that the each complain needs to be evaluated on its own merits. In this case, there are larger issues to be considered. Some things are important for their own sake and you just cannot compromise on them. While pharmacies and certain other retail businesses are “required” to be open during this time that this should not negate the responsibility of the corporation to enable employees to show their respect. There should be an official response available from management when someone complains about having been “inconvenienced” by the 2 minutes of silence. Management and staff should feel that the company has their backs when an issue like this arises.

I mentioned the fact that the video “A Pittance of Time” gets thousands of comments every day around Remembrance Day EVERY YEAR and that those comments are almost universally in support of the staff and management of the store that stood its ground and ridiculing the “complainer”.

I also made the point that this isn’t about forcing people to stop and to remain silent. This is about respecting the right of those to do so.


Is 2 minutes too much to ask?

UPDATE: I got an email from someone at Rexall wanting to know which store this was… The 30-second communique came from head office and sent to stores so I think they are looking for a store name and they are looking for the leak. I told him the region the store is in but not the city. Luckily, at least one customer complained to staff and I hope more do, as well.

A friend who works at Pharma Plus pharmacy chain (owned by Rexall Drugs) was informed that instead of observing the normal 2 minutes of silence, this Remembrance Day employees would be marking 30 seconds of silence. That’s right… 30 seconds… Apparently because “customers” become restive during the two minutes, the company decided that rather than risk losing the business of the few people who are insensitive and stupid not to know that 1) it is Remembrance Day 2) it is 11 am at time for two minutes of silence and 3) too stupid to listen to the announcements leading up to the observance they would rather deny their employees the right (who have already been denied the right to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies) to appropriately mark the 2 minutes but to insult the memory of all those who served and died for this country.


Thirty seconds homage to those who fought and died for our country. I wrote an email to the company and have sent emails to the editors of most of the top Canadian news organizations to express my indignation.

Ironically, it was another Canadian pharmacy chain store that took a stand when a “customer” took it upon himself to complain to a clerk during the 2 minutes of silence. That sparked a Canadian songwriter who was there when the incident occurred to write a song on the subject.

I would urge others to contact Rexall/Pharma Plus and express your indignation.

You can send a message on line to them by clicking on “Contact Us” at the top of their web page.

poppy image via freefoto

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