Warehouse Store Sample Server: I’m Not Here To Give You A Free Lunch

Image courtesy of (me and the sysop)

Shoppers at Costco, Sam’s Club and other warehouse clubs are likely quite familiar with the many sample servers situated around the store, handing out freebies to eager customers. One such sample server has penned an open letter to warehouse club shoppers saying that he loves his job, but there are some things you all do that really get under his skin.

“[T]he people I come into contact with are (for the most part) friendly and are happy to get to nosh on something,” writes Roland in this letter posted on Reddit. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but some members do or say things that really grind my gears and in my opinion violate commonly accepted basic standards of politeness, respect, and decency in America.”

Roland then goes on to detail 13 ways in which some customers get on his last nerve. Here are some highlights:

Why he didn’t serve your kid that cookie sample:

Regarding children – under club policy I can’t serve samples to minors unless a parent or responsible adult over 18 is present and gives permission. If I don’t give a sample to your child, it’s not because they’re ugly, didn’t ask nicely, or that I didn’t care about them – it’s because a parent isn’t at the table with them. And why are you letting your kids run around a warehouse club unsupervised anyway?

On why he can’t tell you where to find toothpaste:

I don’t actually work for the club, I’m employed by an independent contractor that provides promotional event services (i.e. sample tables). No, I do not know where almonds, bulk hamburger patties, mattresses, or (insert product here) is, nor is it my job to. If I do happen to know where something is, I’m happy to point you in the right direction but if I refer you to an actual employee of (redacted) to locate an item, and you get angry at me it shows exactly how mature you are.

On the topic of free lunches:

[S]amples are not supposed to be a free lunch -– they’re an opportunity to try products you may not be familiar with or are new to the club and see if they’re something you’re interested in. I get it that times are tough right now, and samples are a way of supplementing or even being an entire meal for you and your family or friends, but is it that much to ask for that you at least act like you give a damn about what I have to say about a product you’re getting a sample of at no cost? Yes, samples are “free” for you the member but someone is still paying for them – the companies that hire us to run promotions for their products with the hope of increasing sales. If nobody actually buys these products, then the companies will stop paying for us to run their promotions and the samples will go away. Trying something and deciding it’s not for you is one thing, but coming in with your friends solely for the purpose of grazing off samples and taking no less than 12 servings of meatballs over a five minute period (yes group of college students, I’m talking to you) is just plain wrong.

On some shoppers’ oddly picky behavior:

It perplexes me why some customers refuse to touch the samples on the tray just because they’ve been sitting there for a minute or two, and instead demand a fresh sample out of the container. Or why some customers won’t touch the tray at all and demand I hand a sample directly to them. The samples on the serving tray are exactly the same as what is in the main product container I’m serving out of, the tray and table are also sanitized to standards that well exceed what the state requires. Believe me, I’ve worked multiple food service type jobs and (redacted) is anal about doing everything by the book.

On your concern for his future:

Several members have told me “you could do so much better than this, why don’t you go to school and get a real job” – I find this insulting to the no end. I’m a second year masters student who is planning on starting a Ph.D in the fall, I work two jobs because my assistantship doesn’t pay all the bills. Please do not make assumptions about my abilities and life aspirations based on my job.

You can see the entire letter over at Reddit.

Thanks to Thomas for the tip!

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