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Pigs can fly if you throw them high enough
Day VI - Whatever tickles your fancy (Food Demonstrator Job) 
8th-Mar-2010 07:10 am
Okay, so, I recently obtained a part time job with Blue Buffalo, which is a premium dog food company. I'm a food demonstrator so I basically walk around the pet store and talk to customers, help them with what they need, find out about their pets, and if the opportunity arises talk to them about my food, and try getting them to switch over. Its not a high pressure sales job which is nice, and just a way of getting our food out there.

So yesterday was my first day, and I started at the Lincoln Park store on Elston. A Nutro rep was there as well. He seemed nice, shook my hand, introduced himself, and that was that. An hour or so later I was meandering around the store when a customer pulled me and started asking me questions. She had a bag of Nutro in her hand, and since that's considered a premium brand of dog food I'm not allowed to approach her and try to sell her my dog food brand. But she was asking me questions, noted my apron and started asking me about my brand of food. So I started talking to her about Blue, showed her where we were located, and she wanted to look at the difference. As we had the bags out looking at them the Nutro rep walks by. I notice him walk by and even take a god damn picture of us talking with his phone. In the end I could tell the lady felt like she was having too much information thrown at her. So I told her what she already had (the Nutro) was not a bad food by any means(which I personally disagree with, but, ya know, can't bad mouth other companies) so I would try what she has, and if her dog likes it great. If not she should consider our brand. She thanked me and walked away with the Nutro bag.

The Nutro rep, pulls me to the side and confronts me. Tells me what I did was against the rules, that if a customer already has a bag of Nutro it should be considered they've already made their purchasing decision. I explained to him that the lady pulled me and starting asking me questions. (I should've added that she started asking about my food all on her own, and if she does that what does he think I should do? Say 'Sorry! You have Nutro I'm not allowed to talk to you about my food'????) Anyways he was being an ass about things such as saying "If someone has Blue in their cart I don't approach them or talk to them" (Lies, I saw him do the exact thing with a lady who went straight to the Blue aisle and picked up one of our bags of food, and again later with a lady I already talked to and wanted to try our wet food first to see if her dog liked it)

It really pissed me off that he was being such a jerk about things, so it ruined my day at the store for a little while because I was fuming. I was angry that he was A) Taking something such as dog food so god damn seriously. B) Being a jerk about things C) Went so far as to have my god damn PICTURE taken!?? I was going to apologize to him again at the end of my shift and let him know I don't want to step on anyone's toes and make nice. Mostly because I was wondering what the hell he was going to do with a picture, was he going to go to his supervisors and have Nutro contact my company, who will then get angry because their new demo rep is supposedly going against the rules?? To cap the day off I was by the treats helping customers find a treat for their dog. They wanted a liver based treat so we were going over the options. Nutro guy just happens to be walking by leaving the store when he hears "What do you recommend?" He interrupts us, reaches over, grabs an Authority bag of treats, and says "This one is good" and walks away.

WHAT THE FUCK DUDE!? What the hell did I ever do to you? I don't know if Nutro pays you PER BAG that you sell but you're being a fucking douchebag.

I talked to Linda, my supervisor, about it on my way to the Evanston store. Mostly just to let her know what was going on in case it turned into an issue. Later that day she was at the Evanston store as well training another gal who will be my partner in these stores. She told me they've had trouble with him in the past, and he probably grew comfortable with not having a Blue rep in his stores. (I guess he works the Evanston store as well) He bullies people and he stopped after Petsmart management was informed. But, she told me if he started again just to let the manager of my stores know because he's overstepping his boundries and I am well within my rights to talk to someone about Blue even if they have a bag of Nutro in the arms/cart, IF THEY ASK ME ABOUT IT.

Saturday I heard a story about a Nutro guy and a... Bil Jac guy I think? getting in an argument over their foods WITH A CUSTOMER BETWEEN THEM! What the freaking hell people!? I don't know how other companies work, but I get paid by the hour and not by commission. If sales go up in my stores I get a bonus that's it. Its not worth trying to pressure customers and make them feel uncomfortable. If this is what Nutro makes their employees resort to, then I dislike their company even LESS. Jesus...

Day 01 → Your favorite song
Day 02 → Your favorite movie
Day 03 → Your favorite television program
Day 04 → Your favorite book
Day 05 → Your favorite quote
Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 → A photo you took
Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 → A fictional book
Day 14 → A non-fictional book
Day 15 → A fanfic
Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 → A talent of yours
Day 20 → A hobby of yours
Day 21 → A recipe
Day 22 → A website
Day 23 → A YouTube video
Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
Day 26 → Your week, in great detail
Day 27 → This month, in great detail
Day 28 → This year, in great detail
Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy
9th-Mar-2010 03:21 am (UTC)
So much drama! That's cool you're out there telling people there's better food than Iams and Purina, though!
9th-Mar-2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
Isn't it though!? Its beyond believable how seriously people take things sometimes. I mean, yes pet nutrition is important, but come on. We're both considered premium dog food so at least the customers aren't feeding Alpo!!

I think so too. Its difficult sometimes, especially since Blue Buffalo is so much more expensive than any of the other brands in the store. But, it usually helps once I share my story of how I used to feed almost a cup and three quarters of Authority to my pup when I was low on money, but when I feed him Blue Buffalo he's only eating a cup of food a day, so I'm going through the bag slower. Its helped some people reconsider the price, and at the end of the day, as long as they walk away being more aware of checking the ingredients of their pets' food I'm happy.
12th-Mar-2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, if you look at just the price it seems expensive, but if you consider the amount of nutrition in the food you end up needing to feed less of it. Cheaper foods (especially those that use corn) are mostly filler, so they need to eat more to get the nutrition they need. I think that's a concept that is difficult for people to grasp because it's more complicated than just price comparison- They need to pay attention to ingredients and amount being fed relative to price. Also, the higher the quality of ingredients, more of the food will actually be digested and used, so they should poop less too!
17th-Mar-2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Exactly! Sometimes customers will listen to me when I tell them this, other times they won't. Which is fine, at the end of the day I can't force them to feed a food they don't want to. But I try to get them to walk away understanding that looking at nutrition labels on our pets' food is just as important as our food. The food industry here in America is absolutely atrocious. Food Inc. opened my eyes to that... and corn in general is such an overused product in our country! Why are we feeding our cattle corn!? Its causing ecoli in their stomachs which is why our meat is contaminated, and they're stepping on ground that's filled with feces and ugh ugh ugh!!!

Thank god Blue Buffalo uses human grade meats and no by-product. It really is the only food I'd recommend it Petsmart so it makes my job easier.
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