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power linesI went to one of those membership clubs yesterday to buy enough product in bulk to last through the apocalypse.

While shopping I stopped at a product sample stand and took more than one sample.  Before I moved on I asked the sample-providing employee, “Where are the pastries?”, because you can never have too many pastries for the apocalypse. I was surprised when her response was, “Oh, I don’t know.  You will have to ask a store employee.  I’m an employee of the promotions company, not the actual store.”

What?! There stood this sample-providing person behind a store-branded kiosk, wearing a store-embroidered apron but she was not an employee of the store?

Now I don’t think there’s anything wrong with branding the promotions company with the store logo. It actually makes sense that a major retailer who specializes in selling bulk product at low prices would outsource the sampling of their products to a third-party promotions company.

What struck me as wrong was the fact that the promotions company had not empowered their sample-providing employees to be product guides for wandering shoppers.  That’s like a pizza delivery guy saying, “I can’t give you directions because I don’t live in this neighborhood. I only deliver here.”

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