On Yr’ Toes

Thursday, October 08, 2020

This morning it’s a quick feed-feed-feed before a get-ready-go. And about my part-time job, for today the “big boss” will be a “surprise” show up. We’ve a heads-up with warnings about her.

She’ll make certain the food demo employees are talking, talking, talking, and wearing the right clothes, colors, and no jewelry (could contaminate food). She’ll “drop in” but when exactly isn’t known. She might sneak up behind individuals to listen for acceptable words, or appear before our tables as a pretend customer. You see she’s new, and none of us know what she looks like.

We gather she’s tough and will write up anyone not talking unendingly to fulfill the demo role. We continually must communicate five points: (1) invite to sample the product, (2) explain why it’s good, (3) say its price, (4) state where it is, on our table or the shelves, and (5) sell! by saying, “Take some home today!”

We have the visitor’s description. She’s young, blonde, and slender. That narrows candidates to several thousand among our average daily shoppers.

This will be our first “big boss” visit since demos resumed (following layoffs) a couple months ago. Meanwhile, we’ve enjoyed an easier environment than any previous times in my memory. If we preferred, we’ve worn earrings, necklaces, watches, with cell phones tucked into back pockets. This can’t happen today, such accoutrements must be invisible.

My job will be to fill-in at various demo tables for those on breaks and lunches. Today, with many demos scheduled I’ll move from table to table. Since the big-boss might repeatedly come across me, I must know the products being shown, act energetically (noisy and inviting), and, sell, sell, sell.

Our relatively small store has oft-repeating customers who learn the products. Many become acquainted with demo folks and interactions eventually become social. The demo work is fun for getting to know customers, families, vacations, food preferences, and so on. Natural conversations create spaces for sales, and ours tend to be high. Requests for demos are increasing.

Nonetheless line management’s bottom line is to produce profitable results. Jobs of subordinates must be clearly defined with measurable work outputs (Have I mentioned our sales goals?). Anyway, while anticipating today’s visit is stressful, our team will meet expectations.

Dear Friends: It’s a big departure from past career days, but paychecks still please. Diana

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