I was in the produce department of a big-box store the other evening at 9:30pm. Guess how shocked I was to see a clerk attending to the display! All of a sudden I was ‘looking’ for a few items- and I asked him where they might be. Now I didn’t ask for Jack Fruit or Mangosteen. No, I kept it simple with basic questions about everyday items like watermelon and tomatoes.
While he was able to point me in the direction of these items, any question beyond that location was subject to WIBS [Well Intentioned BS]. The common ‘where did this come from’ question was met with an answer of “our warehouse”. ‘No, no, where was it grown?’ Thankfully he didn’t say “in the dirt” since we were looking at hydroponically grown tomatoes at the time.
So I’m not writing to bash this guy. Bless him for having a job and working at 9:30pm. Can you imagine how much more effective he would have been if he had received some solid training in the basics that a customer would want to know? And based on how uncomfortable I made him, he would have liked to have been trained so the encounter wasn’t so awkward.
The point is, shame on us for assuming that it’s just common sense. Since many of us grew up in the industry we think that everyone else should also know the difference between a field grown tomato and a hydroponically grown one. Not unless we show them. We just started making training videos to assist new associates in understanding how we do things and why we do them a particular way. Once folks have the knowledge they can be powerful at their jobs.