"How to Be a Good Customer: Lessons Learned from a Syrup Slinger" is a blog series that emerged from my years of experience selling maple syrup at the Union Square Greenmarket. The mission of this sporadic, multi-part series is to teach the citizens of New York how to be polite, intelligent, interested consumers, without acting like fucking idiots.
Lesson 1: It's Not an Apartment.
Many people fret about whether or not they are making the right decision. We can't decide what outfit to wear for that special date, what flavor chicken bits they should have the Mexican guy toss into their $12 salad, what color to paint the nursury (Princess Tiara, Manly Tan, or Wattle*), or how to properly invest your Powerball winnings. I know these are issues that I am constantly grappling with.
But, in the end, it's just syrup. At the most basic level you are making a choice that will improve your life, not hinder it. If you buy the wrong syrup, give it to your neighbor, pour it on your head, paint by number, feed the ants, kill some ants, put down a Voodoo line, who gives a shit?
This is really an issue of self-confience. Be confident that if you buy too small a bottle, we are here every week for your convenience. Be confident that if you buy too large a bottle, perchance you could research what other uses for maple syrup might excite you. (Did you try it in lemonade yet? Did you add some to your salad dressing?)
Be confident that this small decision is not one that will determine 1) your entry into heaven, or 2) your fundamental happiness for the rest of eternity, (okay, sorta the same thing, but whatever.) Remember, I want you to have what you want, I want to sell you the syrup that will make you feel like every choice you made in your entire life up to this very moment has been the right one. But I can't do that if you are fretting for 5.5 minutes** over 3 ounces. Really.
*Actual paint names.
**Actual time spent hand-wringing by a lady who couldn't decide.