I tap the send button on my iPhone launching the required text and photo to my supervisor. Although I could shoot a video of me pouring samples while determining my exact location via the GPS then posting it on Facebook, I don’t. I’m working.
As a Consumer Educator or Beer Ambassador for several beer companies, I distribute product samples to shoppers in various grocery stores. While the customer enjoys the featured beverage, I expound upon the smoky finish of Founders Dirty Bastard Scottish Ale or the crispness imbued by bottom fermenting Baderbrau Pilsner. A photo evidences an attractive display.
An inactive and pocketed cell phone encourages an attentive educator – both job requirements. There’s an unspoken agreement between the CE offering a sample and the shopper accepting one. When a customer approaches the display it triggers the ancient practice of bartering albeit with a modern spin. He exchanges 15 seconds of his life listening to a sales pitch for a tidbit.
The shopper, through eye contact and positive product comments, invites additional information from the Consumer Educator that determines whether or not a sale is made. A customer who has no intention of purchasing the product expresses thanks after the 15-second delay and continues on.
Deal struck and executed.
Any other course of action by the consumer, swooping up a sample without pausing, is a faux pas akin to eating a banana from the bunch selected before having it weighed at the register. If there were welsher police, the violator would be ticketed.
That’s the way it unfolds unless I’m phubbed. Phubbing or phone snubbing is when a Smartphone user is more engaged with those present in Cyberspace than those in the actual world. Today a thirty something male, about my son’s age, phubs me as he motions to the middle bottle indicating a desired taste of IPA. He pantomimes the request during an engrossing cell phone chat before my display of English beers. His inattentiveness disallows relating my historic morsel about English brewers “hopping up” ales to survive the journey to the British India colonies, hence the name India Pale Ale. Being ignored, yet directed, ignites a slow burn. I’d like to send this impertinent adult male on a slow boat to India unhopped. Didn’t his mother teach him manners?
MY SON is never this rude.
With phone bonded to ear, his conversation continues, as does his sampling. His choice of Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale is superb. Brewed with water from the original well sunk in 1758 and fermented in stone Yorkshire squares, creates a dry ale with rich nutty color. That’s what I’ll explain if he’ll leave me an opening.
Flagrant breach of “Respect the live people in your presence” etiquette rule amps my slow burn to a lively simmer. I imagine this disrespectful lout at the bottom of Samuel Smith’s 85 feet deep well. His only escape a dangling bucket lowered after I confiscate his phone. Didn’t his mother ever discipline him?
I hope MY SON never behaves this way.
Shifting his phone to the other ear he furrows his brow, rubs his chin in a thoughtful manner and with a nod graces me with his next selection, Thornbridge Saint Petersburg Imperial Russian Stout. I’d describe it as full-bodied with roasty, chocolately malt. At least I would to customers who acknowledge my existence. Ones who have the decency to treat humans in a humane manner. My simmer turns to a roiling boil. The kicked in Beta-blockers stops steam chugging from my ears, but just barely. The stout has a coffee finish, but I won’t tell him that! I’d like to finish off this coarse cretin. He must have been raised by a she-wolf and allowed to run wild.
MY SON had better never behave like this.
Determined to confront him about his rudeness; I wait as he winds up his conversation. His last words to his caller before pocketing his device extinguish my anger.
“I love you, too, Mom,” he says into the receiver.
I hand him the stout, mention the malts and silently forgive him.
As I hope MY SON would be forgiven if he phubs someone while speaking to me.