Or, Why I Will Never Have a Career in Retail
My summer job this year has me working at what is apparently the biggest rest stop in Europe, and so far it’s been interesting, to say the least. I actually work for the company that supplies the nougat (and related products) for the shops, and my sole responsibility is stocking the shelves. Sounds simple, right? Actually, once I figured out the stockrooms and such, for the most part, it is. The stocking shelves part, that is. Dealing with customers… well, let’s say there’s a great deal of truth to the saying, “Whoever said there’s no such thing as a stupid question never worked in retail.” I get treated to all sorts of ridiculous questions every day, some several times a day (those of you who work/have worked in retail or customer service know exactly what I’m talking about). It’s gotten to the point where I’m tempted to make myself a T-shirt that preemptively (and somewhat snarkily) answers said questions, among other things:
1. If your question is not nougat-related, I may not (ie. probably don’t) know the answer.
2. Don’t ask me which brand is the best. I am contractually obligated to tell you that they’re all good. Just pick one.
3. You don’t want that bag/bar of nougat after all? That’s fine, but please do me a favor and put it back where you found it.
4. In the same vein, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, kindly remember that nougat bars are not Jenga blocks.
5. It’s called soft nougat, not “chewy.”
6. Read the label carefully before asking me a question. Chances are the answer is on said label.
Another question that pops up frequently is, “Where is [X]?” Answer: “It’s right behind you.” Mind you, I can’t snicker too loudly at that one because let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of not seeing what’s right in front of our faces at least once.
Every now and then I’ll get a more original (but no less baffling) question. The winner to date is: “Where can I find nougat without honey?” Umm, that doesn’t exist… This is when I truly realized that while most people might know that Montélimar is basically the nougat capital of the world, they don’t necessarily know much about it. Looks like I really have gone native.
Now if I could just stop dreaming about refilling the storage bins, that would be fantastic…