Double Dipping Debacle

Last Friday was National Pretzel Day which makes me think of white chocolate covered pretzels in the bulk food section at the grocery store. Do you ever notice those people who offer you samples at the grocery stores? They are usually crammed at the end of the aisle with no room to breathe. They appear bored, but maybe that’s because I’ve lived the dream!

When I graduated from college, (or maybe it was during college breaks), I launched into the world of being one of those spirited samplers who dressed as a future banker with a card table stowed in her dad’s wagon. One of my closest friends (still to this day), worked for a demo company. Buttons enticed me into the low-commitment gig to give me some extra cash.

Part of the delight of doing the sampling gig meant I had to go to a training seminar near the airport.  Platters of foods were passed around and we (soon-to-be-sampler specialists) watched the techniques with awe. My biting personality was allowed to thrive in this environment. I really wanted to behave for my friend, Buttons, but when I saw the destruction of the guacamole take place in front of me, I had to speak.

This older guy took a chip, chomped on it and then turned the saliva covered chip and put it back in the guacamole. Double dipping?! Ick, makes me sick! I subtly grabbed Buttons’ attention to alert her of this flagrant faux pas. When I say subtle, that means, I had my repulsed expression in place as she looked at me.  Suddenly, the training seminar morphed into charm school.  She said in a very dignified way, something to the effect, “Well, we all know you don’t double dip, right?!”  Double Dipper moved onto conquer the next platter. I hope he didn’t sneeze and go after the mixed nuts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the poster child for proper. If you watch me eat a big roll wrapped in seaweed, I am the one wrestling with it trying not to make the work of art explode on my plate. I’m also that person who was at a seafood restaurant and was taking the meat of a crab leg and the crab leg cracking device slipped out of my hand causing the crab leg to fly across the restaurant. Nobody was hurt! My elbows have been known to hit the table, a time or two. However, you won’t see me double dip. Even if it’s just me eating my own freshly made guacamole!

But I digress.  The sampling gig allowed me to use my creativity and alliterate as I came up with catch phrases to get people to test my products…and buy my products. Crunchy croutons, patriotic punch. Who hasn’t used tintinnabulation to describe the side effects of a seltzer soda?  I looked the soda up, it still exists. Who knew?!

The gig was as exciting as the customers who showed up. Sometimes the employees of the grocery store would engage me in conversation which always helped the time go by.   One time my card table was placed in the bulk food section. I struck up conversation with the animated grocery store employee. Out of curiosity, I asked her how to weigh the items and print out the label that eventually got slapped on the bag of the bulk food.

A few moments later, a restless customer had a bag of bulk and wanted it weighed. The store employee had left the area. So I dashed behind the scale, took the bag and giggled as I smacked the label onto it. Bam! At the same time, I strongly encouraged the person to sample what I was selling. I think we all enjoy doing other things more than what we are doing. It’s just the natural curiosity, we can’t help ourselves.

I pass that building where the grocery store used to be, almost every day, on my way home from work. Now it’s an empty building. I frequently think about that Saturday in the bulk food section. I think about schlepping the card table out of my dad’s wagon and the nicely pressed suit that I wore, and of course, I think about white chocolate covered pretzels…and NOT double dipping!

Posted on April 29, 2013, in Rant, Rave and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My sister this this for a period of time as well. She made it her mission to sell whatever she was sampling in record numbers. She dubbed her “The Serious Sampler”

  2. I love sampling the food at Costco. Oh, and I’m not a freebie… well, not my Mom. If we like it, we buy it. We just bought 2 boxes of Ling Ling vegetable eggrolls.

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