So I'm hoping that I don't sound too pessimistic, but here I was at this tasting, and I am shocked at the excuses that people use when I ask if they would like to sample my product.
I decided to write about this when I asked this one customer, as they were passing by with a shopping cart full of booze, if they would like to sample some of my product. The response by this person was "I'm not 21 yet." Of course, the shopping cart full of liquor, while a pretty good give-a-away in itself, being able to tell they were well into their 40's to be sure, made that response, shall we say, a big fat one! Whatever happened to a simple "no thanks?"
I'm not a telemarketer calling at 8:30 at night trying to sell you something nor a robocaller with some fantastic deal you can't pass up. No, I'm just politely standing, and not in your path, asking if you would like to sample, and yes, potentially buy, the product that I'm hawking. I'm intentionally using the word "hawking" to even try and make what I'm doing the least bit offensive, but in truth, it is not.
In all my years of doing tastings, I have probably heard my share of excuses. I haven't kept track, and in no specific order, a few of them are: "it's too early" (at what time at night do they stop and transfer into the next day? The usual response I hear from others around is "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" (and don't get me started on the brunch thing). "I'm driving" is another. Now mind you I'm not advocating drinking and driving and applaud those who are concerned about the whole issue, but really, a small almost insignificant sized sample will impair your ability to drive? I don't want to make waves, so if you REALLY are one of those that can be so afflicted, good for you that you know that, for the rest, it's a very unlikely EXCUSE. Especially when the next time you see them they are exiting with a shopping cart full of beer, wine and/or booze. The only thing they're driving is the shopping cart.
While many other excuses, the last one I'll talk about (aren't you glad I'm getting to the end?) are the people who just plain ignore you. Now there's a host of types of being ignored (bet you didn't know that). There are those that don't even look at you as they go by (good news there is that I pretty much ignore them as well), the ones that may look right at you, I'll smile and ask if they wish to sample and then they still ignore you and walk on by. Then thankfully, there are the ones that are respectful and friendly that will not only acknowledge but give me a response (yes or no thanks).
Now I'm not thin-skinned (I'm half Norwegian and actually have a slightly thicker epidermis as noted by the fact that my veins don't show through my skin as much) (where did that come from) and have been subjected to my share of rejection (remember, I'm older and single so I've been rejected by more women than you can possibly imagine).
So I wonder what makes people respond the way that they do. Personality, or lack thereof, manners, again, or a lack thereof, maybe something less onerous like they just weren't prepared to answer questions.
To put a positive spin on this little tirade of mine, let me say that I love doing these tastings and I'm not upset at how people respond. It is just something you run across in this line of work. That thick skin of mine keeps me safe anyway!