So, generally I try to arrange my Hannaford meetings for the produce section. It’s a little more spacious with good lighting and nice atmosphere. Friends seem to enjoy the setting and it is convenient to all public transportation.
But recently, during some restructuring of the produce department, I found it necessary to move my meetings to the meat section. While assessing different brands of bacon, their various additives, preservatives and agings, I was surprised by an unexpected inquiry.
“Excuse me please,” said a young man's voice, “but, are you a local?”
Now, here's where things go into the ditch rather quickly!
Maybe it was my rather worn and nasty “Xtratuf”muddy boots. Or perhaps my custom personalized bright red sweatshirt with the big white letters on the back --- “I'M LOCAL--- ASK ME.”
This design is, of course, available to any area resident. It is a special product which can be worn comfortably by natives or newcomers – anyone who feels they have an adequate grasp of regional facts. The good thing about this sweatshirt is, it encourages the wearer to be creative and make up stuff if they don't really know what they are talking about. Lies and exaggeration are completely acceptable.
Or, maybe it was my green 5W-40 bald-headed scalp oil down a quart John Deere hat? I suspect it was the message on my back.
The young man continued. “I am new to the area and looking for a place to rent.”
“Well,” I replied. “Hannaford is a good place to start … step into my office.”
During our meeting I learned that my new client was from way away --- like Central America away. So I had to dial back my response a bit. This is a sensitive area. No point in ruining this young lad's initial view of America.
I had good news and bad news. The good news is that Hannaford has an excellent variety of things to eat. The bad news is, rents are scarce and expensive. I don't think I made that up, although its been a while since I've rented much more that a dolly from Grover's Hardware.
I really didn't know what to say, so I revealed the photo I'd just picked up from the photo lab (above). And then I showed him around the store. Things were getting a little crowded in the bacon area.