20 12 2008


It’s difficult as I sit here reflecting on the three experiences to call one in particular out as the ‘best’ because each had an aspect that was particularly unique and enjoyable. I can say that I have a newfound respect for parts of their work, but I was astounded at the lack of desire to push product or sell. Granted, I don’t know if perhaps they had tried in accounts before and found themselves picking up stales. But in my world, cats and rabbits would reside in fancy lil’ houses…errr sidetracked myself. I know that many of the stores we visited those days I find myself visiting in my own shopping time and I have always been surprised and the lack of product. If you have a shelf with space for twenty bags, why aren’t there twenty or more in there instead of only ten?

I was also surprised at the amount of stales that were commonly overlooked by two of the three reps. I can understand that after a while, the numbers probably all blend together and one stops seeing them pop out like red flags, but when your day ends by noon, why wouldn’t you take the extra two minutes to peruse the dates on packages?

I cannot say enough though about the dedication to work that it must take and should be applauded for these people getting up at the hours they do to do this job. As a morning person, I live for my morning silent time with just my coffee and smokes and the news. As petty as it sounds, giving that up to deal with attitudes and traffic would take a lot for me.

I began to understand a lot better though how greatly our customers, particularly the small shops, depend on us – much more so than any big chain account. If we don’t have product in the mom and pop’s shop, they don’t make money which directly impacts their life and stability. I mean if the blacklisted super store doesn’t have a shipment of chips for a week, even two weeks, they may get grouchy, but their employees will still get a paycheck, their bills will still get paid and they have enough other products to sell to offset that loss of sales of Lance product. But not the little 10 by 10 shop in the heart of a slumlord’s neighbourhood. I had never really realized before why these little shopkeepers tend to be so vile and rude when they don’t get a delivery – but it clicked after these trips. And it made me happy to know that we can directly impact a life like that. In an environment that this economy has created, it’s encouraging to see how something as minuscule as a few bags of chips can directly impact people. Perhaps I am overglorifying it all, but I don’t think that I am.

All in all, this was an awesome opportunity from which I am very glad I had the chance to learn.



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