Pros: the great people i worked with; the local, educated and interested customers; the products offered in the store and the layout of the store, the discounts on the food, the free produce we could take home from compost
Cons: the conditions i had to cook my meals in, the spots for demo, my ideas were not often considered or appreciated even though they would have been beneficial, many of the employees were uneducated about the organic food/health food industry, smoking was tolerated
I loved coming to MOM's for work because I was given a lot of freedom in my job, in terms of when I did what tasks and how long I was on the floor versus in the back. When I worked demo, I would come in, see my recipe for the day, print out the recipes for customers and find my ingredients in the store. Then I would shrink all the products I needed – more... for my meal and begin cooking. I would prepare the meal and sample it, often preparing a second helping of the meal, for the next 6 hours or so. Then I would clean up my area and write a demo report on the day- reactions to the products, how many were sold of each product I highlighted, how I felt the demo day went, etc. If I had extra time, I would research new recipes that I wanted to cook on my "free day" which was one day each weekend when I could make anything that I wanted to make. I also worked customer service. On these days I would clock in, and if it was the morning, I would make coffee for the day before going to the customer service desk. Throughout the day I would work the bread counter, pick and refill samples throughout the store, record comments I heard in the floater log, keep the area clean, show customers around the store, and make suggestions about different products. I would also answer the phone, help with bagging at the check out lines and wrap the baked goods and breads when they were delivered. Both jobs were different and very fun. For me, the more I have to do and the most fast paced the environment is, the more I enjoy myself. I LOVE being busy!
I learned so much about produce and alternative grains from working at MOM's. I made friends with so many different types of people, whether they were fellow employees or customers and I learned a lot about healthy living from some of the die-hard customers. I learned a lot about produce from the produce manager. I developed a friendship with the buyer and learned about buying for a store. I would constantly visit the wellness department and cheese department to learn about their new products as well. My goal was to learn as much as possible about the organic industry so it would translate into other jobs. I was already extremely passionate about eating all organic and eating healthy foods and working here furthered that passion.
The hardest part was the conditions I had for cooking in and the boredom that would occur when there were lulls in the store. Because my job was mostly to hand out food, when no one was there, I would end up trying to fill my time with helping customer service, facing the store, stocking the shells, etc. but then I would be reprimanded for leaving my post. It bothered me that the managers preferred me to do nothing, rather than help with things that needed to be done.
I thought the managers did a great job, they were helpful, they listened to complaints, they were knowledgeable about all the products. My only issue was that smoking was tolerated and the management and many other employees often smelled of cigarettes. I do not think smoking should be tolerated in a health store environment, so this was my least favorite thing. – less