Dear Diary – Page 85

I cannot recall how many customers were on my route, but I clearly recall the ongoing frustrations from their indecision. At every customer’s home, I would have to check to see what they had ordered and make sure that it was in my basket. I would then load up the basket with cakes and pastries in order to try and sell them! It became a quite heavy basket which I then carried from the vehicle to their front door. Below is an idea of how a number of conversations went:

“Good morning Mrs Smith. How are you today?”

“Oh … you’re new. What happened to Bill?”

“He apparently slipped in his vehicle and broke his arm.”

“Oh what a shame. I see you have my bread there.”

“Of course. Here you are.”

(Hands over a couple of loaves of bread)

“Can I interest you in any cakes or pastries?”

(Picks up packages to show. The basket is starting to feel heavy)

“No I don’t think so thanks. Wait though. I have the girls coming later today so perhaps I should. Can you show me more of what you have there?”

(Picks up more packages from basket and shows them)

“Oh they look nice (pointing to small pastries), but do they only come in 6’s?”

“Yes. Only in 6’s.”

“Such a shame ‘cos I only want 4.”

“Well perhaps you could save to other two as a treat for later?”

“No. What else have you got in there?”

(The basket is getting heavier)

“How about this cake?

(Picks up package to show)

“No. I don’t fancy that. What other cakes have you got there?”

(Pulls out assortment of cakes to  show)

“Hmmmmm … there’ s just too much choice isn’t there!”

(She has finger on lip …… pondering. I have basket handle on fingers …… hurting!)

“Oh that looks really nice (pointing to a cake) I’ll take one of those”.

(Hands over cake package and makes note of sale)

“Actually, can I have two of those cakes?”

“Of course!”

(Changes sale to 2 and passes another cake package to her)

“Can I see that pack of 6 pastries again?”

“Yes of course. Can you remember which ones they were?”

“Yes, they had the white icing on top. I’ll take those after all if you don’t mind”

“No. I don’t mind at all”

(Rummages through basket to find them, and passes them to her)

“Is that everything for now?”

“Yes, but I’ve changed my mind about the cakes (puts them back in basket), I’ll just have this pack of 6 pastries thank you.”

(Cancels cakes on sales slip and adds 6/pk pastries)

While I would not stereotype women in general as being that indecisive, that type of dialogue was sadly repeated numerous times on that route. I was expected to be finished and back in the depot by 4:30pm but, on this day, and after my late start, I returned around 7:00pm. I decided that a “front-line” public service position was not for me, and bid farewell to the bakery.

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12 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 85

  1. When I was a child families didn’t have 2 cars so there were delivery men who came with the milk, bread, etc. We had a butcher who came in a truck. My Mom would go to the truck and buy her meats, some canned goods and maybe some baked goods too. (They had a nut sponge cake that I have not been able to duplicate or find in 40 years!) The good news is that the guy didn’t have to carry stuff but it must have been a grueling day. Families were big those days so it wouldn’t be unusual for someone to buy a dozen pork chops. I remember the guy who had our route. He was nice and very personable which you had to be to deal with all those women. I think the lady in your example wanted those pastries all along but had to justify buying 6 in her head first.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like my mother-in-law. She would chop and change her mind and either buy nothing at all or the first thing she picked up.
    I remember the grocery van coming onto the estate where I was born. ‘Sonny’ was always bright and cheerful as he wrote out the sales in his book. People use to crowd inside the back of his van for their purchases….. butter, fresh fruit and veg, bread, eggs and cakes. No refrigeration in those days.
    In a way, things have gone full circle as it’s now very popular to place your order online and have it delivered by the supermarket!

    Liked by 1 person

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