Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Be a Good Customer: Lessons from a Syrup Slinger, Vol. 2

"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 total douches.

Lesson 2: How Should I Know? or WTF are You Talking About?

I guess I have high standards. I like it when you ask questions; I want you to know the answers. I want you to understand the differences between one syrup and the next. I want you to understand how the syrup is made. I want you to know about why buying from us--or another farmer--is important. I want you to know about the amazing things that Mother Nature does so that you can enjoy your pancakes. But please, think about what you are asking. Here are some actual questions asked by my customers:

--"Why are there different sized bottles?"
--"Can I buy a bigger size?"
--"What if I want to buy four?"
--"How will I know if I like it?"
--"What if my sister doesn't like it?"
--"Will this fit in my refrigerator?"
--"Can I take this to my country house?"
--"How much do I need for my recipe?"
--"Is this cheese?"
--"Do you put eggs in this?"
--In January, 18 degrees: "Are you cold?"
--In April, complete downpour: "Why is everything wet?"
--In August, 92 degrees: "Are you hot?"
--"How much for a few pieces of soap?"
--"How much are the roasting chickens?"
--"You don't have any roasting chickens at all?"
--"How am I supposed to get it out of this jar?"
--"Won't I need a funnel to get it out of this jar?"
--"Why do I like this better?"

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