When you see an in-store demonstrator promoting a food or beverage in a grocery store, do you think to yourself, “Let me go get a freebie!” and then go taste-test whatever product it is although you already know you have no interest in purchasing the food? Is such behavior honest? We all know an in-store sampling is meant to introduce you to the food, so that you will consider purchasing it either then and there or at another time or not at all.
While the start of this article is meant to pressure you into taking an honest look at a yourself in the aforementioned situation, thankfully there’s not the same pressure to do so in the actual situation-at least not for the honest-hearted souls: They’re already sampling the food in the spirit in which it is freely offered; or they’re letting the in-store demonstrator know upfront they’re not interested in purchasing the foodstuff, but they would like to taste it.
Not to sound self-righteous–because I’m not the one that makes the rules about what’s right and what’s wrong (that’s God)–but nary a time have I ever gone up to an in-store demonstrator, put on a fake smile as if I may be interested in the food product beyond the free taste test, only to hurriedly walk away and end the ruse now that the sample is in hand. Do you know anyone to have acted dishonestly like that? Have you?
Free-for-All Cattle Call
In the 80’s, when in-store food sampling started booming, I remember hearing a relative say she would visit as many of the in-store demonstrators to get as much free food as she could. And she wasn’t alone; herds of people were doing the same thing, the same way. Let’s be honest: If you’re only sampling food so that you can get as many freebies as you can, you’re just taking advantage of the in-store demonstrator and the situation.
Do you remember those days? When in-store food sampling started booming? I do, and I remember thinking as I walked pass the demos: “Why would I eat food just because it’s free, even though I’m not hungry?” On the other hand, I also remember thinking: “Wow, I’m hungry! It’s time for a little taste test.” I made no pretenses to the person working about why I was sampling the food they were offering, and more than likely every demonstrator had seen it the same way.
How about you? Have you ever stopped being honest with yourself long enough to tell yourself you’re a little bit hungry even though you’re not, so that you could sample the free food from an in-store demonstration?
Dishonestly Maybe, Dishonestly Maybe Not
Now thirty years ago, when I was younger, and as a result of putting a slight amount of undue pressure on myself, having just sampled some foodstuff, I remember bumbling to a person handing out the food that I may or may not be interested in the food itself. When in fact, after tasting it, I simply couldn’t bring myself to be honest with him or her, and say, “Now that I’ve tried it, I’m not inclined whatsoever to buy it, now or in the future.”
Have you ever done something similar? An in-store demonstrator is working at being careful not to touch the meatballs they’ve been simmering in their crockpot all morning, tooth-picking them and trying to get them all neatly lined up for you, in the limited amount of space in which they have to work. Yet you just couldn’t bring yourself to be honest with them, by telling them: “There’s no way I’m spending my money on what you just gave me. Have a nice day, anyway.” Rather you put on a very abbreviated show of uncertainty about whether or not the food is worth your money.
In-Store Food Sampling May Be a Telling Sample of Your Overall Honesty
One thing is for certain: If you can’t be honest with yourself in something as simple and universal as eating food-no matter if it’s only you or other persons directly involved too with you at the time-then the rest of your life may be just as dishonest. How honestly we conduct ourselves in something as seemingly insignificant as an in-store food product demonstration may be telling of how honest we actually are in important things.