A Real Job

October 12, 2007 at 4:49 pm (Other) (, , , , , )

For those of you who don’t know, I have a new job… a real job… with a real company offering benefits and everything! The transition happened so fast. One night I was a disgruntled baker making scarcely more than the minimum–albeit quite lofty compared to that in the US–wage. (Or maybe it’s just BC that’s so nice to workers, what with this right to strike thing and all… just kidding. I support the striking library employees, but that’s another story altogether.) Now, a mere one month, one letter, and one interview later (seriously, it’s the first job I applied for after making the decision to move on from the bakery) I’m employed by Horizon Distributors, Western Canada’s largest natural foods distributor. I’m in sales and marketing… boy does that sound funny. Not ha-ha funny, I just never thought that I’d be one of “those people”–you know, the ones that brainwash innocent little babies to badger their parents to buy them sugary candies and cartoon-look-alike cereals that are terrible for their bodies, terrible for their teeth, but whose saving grace, in the eyes of parents, is that they shut kids up. Yes, yes, I know I’ve railed against marketing and media-types in the past, but really, it’s not like that.

The difference? I represent healthy, all-natural foods, many of them certified organic and fair trade. The job entails traveling to different grocery stores–most of them high-end health foods stores, but some supermarkets as well–and giving out free samples of products distributed by Horizon, asking people their opinions of them, and writing reports with feedback for the vendor on how well or poorly their product is performing in that location and why. And, to serve my own agenda, my mission is to talk to people about the environmental consequences of the vast food supply network we’ve created and come to rely on as a society and to educate them on making purchasing decisions that are better for the earth. In my opinion, touting the health benefits of a product is just an easy way to convince image-conscious people to purchase them when environmental concerns aren’t enough to sway their pocketbooks.

Basically, I get paid really well to do something I’m really good at doing and that is talking about things I feel strongly about: organic agriculture, buying local, vegetarianism, cooking and eating. I’m loving it! And, I’m loving the autonomy of it. Aside from the four-hour demos that I’m scheduled for, the product research, sales calls, and report-writing can all be done from home whenever it’s convenient for me, which usually means first thing in the morning before Eleanor gets up. So, not only am I loving my new job, the job itself has occasioned a transition to being a “morning person.” A few years back, I would have laughed at the notion, but having things out of the way by 9 AM really does set the tone for a productive, yet relaxing day. And, I can focus on my real real job: entertaining Eleanor!

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