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wild and crazy "sampling" behavior..... what is your best story?

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get this, today at trader joes, some guy -- after just eating one -- took the last sample of the seasoned prime rib (in the little paper sample cup), as i was standing there, and just about to reach for it.

and i looked at him.

he must've felt something funny in my look or he knew he shouldn't be taking it, and he sua sponte said "it's for my dog." -- then put the prime rib sample cup in his hand-held shopping basket.

<for your freakin' DOG?!?!??!?!, i think. yeah, like a "doggy bag" is for the dog!!!>

so i say, quizically, *it's for your *dog*?"
he says, "yeah."
and as he turns to get a coffee sample,
i try and catch his eye, then i say (somewhat like dr. evil), "right.... your dog....." and then (with humorous feeling, as if i'm a hungry dog): "woof woof!" he, of course, acts like he hasn't heard me. <i mean, theoretically, he could have laughed, right?>

as he turns back around from getting his coffee sample, he won't look at me. and then carries off his little basket.

with the "dog's" sample.

of prime rib.

now....WILL that dog be making the buying decisions in the household? the dog needs a "sample"? like, the dog is going to sniff, and turn down the prime rib because the seasoning is a bit off? riiiiiight.

WHAT in the hell is happening to my country???????????

<and please, just now i cannot abide any junior psychologists talking about passive aggression....>

what is your sampling horror/humor story?

  1. I half expect the guy in your story to post his own version, in which he gets barked at just because he took two little sample cups. Which I've done, and probably everyone else has, too. If this is the most horrible story you've got, you're doing alright.

    28 Replies
    1. re: small h

      at least i didn't growl and bite his leg! ;-D.

      i don't care that he took two -- but it was the last one and it was for his dog! (which dog i did not see at the checkout counter with his credit card...)

      1. re: alkapal

        1) It wasn't for his dog. He was trying to get you to leave him alone. It didn't work.

        2) I don't have a dog, but it's my understanding that people usually buy dogs their food, whether it's prime rib or kibble.

        1. re: small h

          I do dog food demos throughout the winter, and luckily my company doesn't do samples, just coupons. The food is high end enough that people might just start munching on it!
          Gee I read somewhere (and it may have been here) that a lot of people plan on going to Costco or BJs on their lunch break just to eat free food. Thankfully I'm not that desperate yet!

          1. re: coll

            That reminds me of my favourite sampling behaviour story. It came on one of these threads so it's not mine.

            Someone was saying that they knew a divorced father who got his kid on the weekend and Saturday's lunch was free samples at Costco. I thought, how cheap and just how bad a father is this to teach a child that this is acceptable behaviour.
            They're samples, not a free lunch.

            DT

          2. re: small h

            "leave him alone" -- i hadn't done anything but stand there to get a sample . he had just eaten one, then took the last one. when i just looked at him, he volunteered that it was for "his dog".

            1. re: alkapal

              I just think it's pretty churlish to give someone a hard time because he got between you and your free meat scrap. In a perfect world, he wouldn't have taken the last one. But he might not have noticed that you were waiting. He might have been really hungry. He might have thought that a new batch of samples was on the way. You can defend your barking stunt all you want (and I see that a few contributors to this thread think it's just high-larious). But behaving like that sure as hell doesn't make the world a better place.

              1. re: small h

                Hey h.

                I'll take the opposite side of you. This is right in an area that irritates me. Lack of consideration for others. If you've had one, don't take the last one. It doesn't matter if he didn't see alk or if he thought there were more coming. If you want more, wait until more come. Let someone else have a try. It's just plain good manners. Far too many people are too selfish these days.
                While I agree that it's far from a huge deal, it's the constant lowering of expectations. People are behaving like jerks all the time and because what they're doing really isn't that bad, it's come to be accepted.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud

                  Well said Davwud! I thought the OP was brave and creative and used a light humorous approach. There are many days I would like to borrow a cup of that. I have also noticed a trend on chowhound where the "scolds" as I think of them, never seem to start a thread of their own. Much less risky to lurk and take potshots. But chowhound is still a wonderful place to visit. I've been to some much rougher neighborhoods but they do a good job here of not letting things go too far. Lets just say that I've been called a lot worse than churlish on the gaming forums. He he!

                  1. re: givemecarbs

                    I don't know that I'd say 'brave and creative' as this strikes me as fairly aggressive, but the point on scolds is well taken. Looks like people are bound to be put out by any suggestion that their behaviour is unappreciated. If I feel compelled to say anything, it's usually a raised eyebrow or a 'wow'. Not much else.

                2. re: small h

                  You are right small H, after all selfish, greedy people who lie are much better for the world.

                  Lowering the bar of behavior we tolerate in this world has led to the problems we have now. Perhaps if more people "barked" at others for being so rude less people would be that way.

                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                    I'm not advocating selfishness & greed. I'm saying that the answer to selfishness & greed is not, or should not be, harassment. Of course people should strive to be more considerate. But we're setting the bar pretty low if taking one extra meat scrap (OMG, but it was the LAST meat scrap!) makes you a selfish, greedy person.

                    1. re: small h

                      see-- i'm wondering: when did it ever get to be okay for *one* person to take *two* samples-- that's why the toothpick is stuck into one morsel, not two, or there is one cracker laid out on one napkin, not two-- the cheese is cut up into cubes so everyone can take *one*-- not a handful, or do we all really need a sample chaperon?? you took a sample, you can evaluate the taste-- you don't need a 4 oz or larger "sample"-- that would be called a "portion." one sample per person (and any more than that *is* selfish & taking advantage), them's the rules folks.

                      (uh, and i've done sampling at co-ops and have seen sample-ugliness, but it still amazes me)

                      & call me the doggie hater if you want-- but the samples of the filet mignon are for *people,* not animals. if your patient pooch is waiting outside in the weather and you want to give it a reward, well, that's why you packed your own doggie treats in your own dang pocket/handbag, along with the poo-poo bags, right?!? :(

                      1. re: soupkitten

                        No arguement here. And I am a dog lover.

                        DT

                      2. re: small h

                        By saying nothing in this circumstance you essentially condone the inconsiderate behavior. If nothing was ever said to people who behave like this they would start to believe that it was acceptable. There may have been a better way to convey this than barking at him but you can bet he won't pull that crap next time.

                        1. re: Stillwater Girl

                          How much do you want to bet??

                          DT

                          1. re: Davwud

                            i'm with Davwud on this...as many of you know, i'm not really one to keep my mouth shut ;) so i always speak up when i see someone behaving in an inconsiderate or unsanitary manner in the grocery store [or anywhere else, for that matter - litterers beware!] but i'm not sufficiently deluded - or narcissistic - to believe that my intervention is going to "reform" someone who does these things. however, i just can't sit by & watch silently, because i feel as though that would be condoning it.

                            i was in WFM about an hour ago, and a woman standing next to me in the bulk section pulled one of my all-time biggest peeves - she stuck her hand directly into the bin of nuts and started eating them. i looked at her, pointed to the attached plastic scoop, and said "the scoop is there for a reason." she giggled, mumbled a wholly insincere "sorry," and sidled away to have a laugh about it with her companion. a few minutes later i found myself standing next to them again, this time at the deli counter. there was a container of some sort of whipped feta dip out for sampling, along with a basket of chips. i watched in fascination as one of them took the basket of chips off the counter while the other grabbed the container of dip...they backed a few feet away from the counter and stood there, holding the COMMUNAL samples hostage, chatting & double-dipping away. i stopped in front of them and said "i truly don't understand people like you. that's incredibly greedy and inconsiderate, not to mention unsanitary." neither of them even blinked - just went back to conversing and munching as if i wasn't even there.

                            of course, as this was unfolding, the woman handing out samples of some sort of pumpkin pie or cheesecake directly behind them was chiding a woman for grabbing as many of those as she & her two kids could carry! it almost seems as though the holidays are bringing out the worst in people this year...

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              That woman and her companion have zero class, and nothing you can say will change that. As for the kids aspect......

                              When I was a demonstrator, I never allowed a child to take a sample, ever. I just told them it was the company policy as in today's litigious society we could not accept the risk of giving a sample to a minor who may have an allergy, so only people above 18, who could accept responsibility for their own actions could get a sample. When they asked if they could hand the sample to the child. I said she was more than welcome to give her sample to her child if she wanted to.

                              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                gryphoskeeper, I can understand you not giving directly to the kid, but I don't get why the child and parent couldn't each get a sample. There are many, many foods I've started buying on a regular basis because my younger daughter got a sample of something delicious. The latest was the honey chevre at TJ's; I liked it, but wouldn't have bought it without my 12 year old D's enthused response. Same with the cheesemonger at our farmer's market; if this D is with me, she tries whatever the cheese guy puts in front of her, and then picks out what we're buying. She's been doing this for years, and knows to be polite and only take one piece (that honey chevre was an exception; she shamefacedly told me later that she'd gone back several times).

                                I've gotta say that if a demonstrator snubbed my kid like that, I'd be snubbing the product.

                                1. re: Kochav

                                  Certainly parents are buying food just as much for the children as for themselves. I can see wanting children to taste something first if possible to avoid buying items they won't like. While food allergies are very real, as long as the parent is with the children and knows what the sample is, I see no reason why they can't all take one sample.

                                  1. re: queencru

                                    Because the parent still sued the company. That is why. I am shocked some sampling companies still allow children to sample things. It iwll not be long before there will be no free samples... because just as much as everyone wants something for free... some people want to sue everyone for even free samples making them sick.

                                  2. re: Kochav

                                    It was the company policy, they were sued once because a demonstrator gave a child a sample and they had a severe allergic reaction. So from that day forward it was a ZERO child policy. Do not blame the product, or the demonstrator, blame the bad parents who use their kids to sue companies.

                                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                      That sounds like a bit of an overreaction to me! I've seen demonstrators not letting kids take samples for themselves - they say 'You have to get your parent' or something similar and make the parent okay the sample before they let the kid have it. And that's fair enough - a parent should be responsible for what their kid eats, not the supermarket demonstrator. But refusing samples to kids entirely is going a bit far...

                                  3. re: gryphonskeeper

                                    the issue wasn't that the kids were getting samples, it was that this one woman & her two kids were taking ALL the samples. she was grabbing multiples from the table & handing them to the children, and then taking several for herself.

                                  4. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    This is why I never buy from bulk bins. I've seen far too many people, mostly kids who are running out of control, reach in and grab things. Kids who've taken a bite and put it back. Moms who say, "Just a handful!"

                                    I only take one, and only let my kids take one sample, if there's a person there monitoring it (like at Costco) AND I get it for them. Though I guess at their age, they can get their own. When did sample bars become buffets???

                                    1. re: chowser

                                      That is why jfood NEVER takes any unwrapped mints from the register area of restaurants. He once read an article that there are more grms there than...

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        I am SOOOOO with jfood on this. Ever since I read that report about the high 'fecal count' in the diner unwrapped mints, I haven't touched a single one. And, I constantly see people digging their hands into those things and ignoring the spoon that you're supposed to use. Yuck!

                                        1. re: mschow

                                          Avoid the spoon, too, because I've seen kids put it in their mouths. It's not a bowl of cereal! Let's be honest, though--the mints aren't even worth eating to begin with.

                                2. re: Stillwater Girl

                                  I wouldn't condone saying nothing, but barking will not help this guy be a better person in the future. One wishes, there were better ways to point out to people that their actions are inconsiderate to others. Unfortunately, these days, people seem to respond with anger any time they are told they are anything less than the delight their parents think/thought them to be.

                  2. That is a funny one. Ive seen some interesting things at Trader Joes. People camp out in front of the samples and while waiting just dig their hand into bowls of cookies or whatever is there while they are waiting for hot food. Crazy.

                    The worst I have seen is at Whole Foods where one guy was standing for a while standing over a jar of salsa dipping tortilla chips in and letting the salsa fall from his lips and chip right back down into the jar. Almost threw up in my mouth.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: yankeefan

                      I had to throw away an entire batch of crab dip because an overzealous sampler decided to "double dip" his ritz cracker straight into the entire batch, rather than ask for a small sample cup more. Needless to say, I kept subsequent batches UNDER the counter after that.

                      1. re: yankeefan

                        The Whole Foods in our neck of the woods is filled with these types of people, especially on the weekends - which is why I try to avoid going there then.

                        I remember recently the meat counter was so crowded with people that I thought I was going to have to wait forever to get served. Come to find out they were all there for the free sausage samples. I was the only person there to actually order meat.

                        I am pretty sure that a lot of people go into my Whole Foods ONLY for the samples, never intending to buy a thing. A friend in Chicago says this is actually one of her mother's favorite activities while visiting the city. It bugs me.

                        1. re: JenBoes

                          I'm all for grazing but it's getting out of control.

                          DT

                      2. Alka, years ago I worked as a demonstrator during the holidays for extra money, and you would not believe the rudeness I have seen. People not only taking multiple samples, but a;also hovering .... and sticking fingers in the pans.

                        The worst was this one guy who stood there for several minutes, waiting for me to pull a small tray of lamb chops out of the little oven I had at my station... the minute I pulled it out, and before I could grab my knife to cut up the chops this guy reached over with a fork he pulled from his pocket ( not a plastic one either) and stabbed a couple and walked away!

                        1. I was in a Whole Foods cafeteria last month when I saw a kid - maybe 6 or 7 - grabbing handfuls of the samples and stuffing them in his mouth. I laughed at that, but then his mom came over with a paper bag from the bakery area and asked him which ones he liked best. He pointed at an entire tray of pound cake samples. She walked up and emptied about half the tray into her paper bag and walked away. Astonishing.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: RosemaryHoney

                            Amazingly bad behavior.
                            Haven't seen anything that egregious in my local WF or TJ, but one time I did see a homeless (or just really unkempt and dirty) person walk into Panera and grab a whole handful of bread samples. Made me think twice about eating samples unless they are located somewhat within eyeshot of an employee...

                            1. re: BeeZee

                              Rosemary- Sickening that a parent would do that but that sad part is that I am not surprised. I got to a WF in a high end location and have seen this kind of thing all the time. People just love getting away with free goods.

                              Beezee- If there is ever a time where I can 'understand' that kind of performance, it is from homeless. Still nasty but at least I get it. There is no excuse for a well off middle aged woman with kids that is setting that starndard for that kid.

                              Ill get off my soapbox because I wont lie Ive enjoyed many a free sample. But Ive been defeated by them often- on many many occassions at Trader Joes Ill just grab whatever is there and realize it is delicious and end up buying far more than I wanted that day.

                            2. re: RosemaryHoney

                              I sometimes go grocery shopping with my friend and her two toddlers. If they ask for a roll or donut or even sushi, she makes it a point to go to the line, pay, and give her kids the reciept for what they are eating.

                              They caught on- when her 2 year old saw another child plucking grapes and eating them- he shook his head and said 'his mommy didn't pay- why is he allowed?'

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                That's great! Stories of smart parenting on chowhound, amongst all the horror stories, make me smile.

                            3. In my twenties I worked for Whole Foods and saw some astounding behavior regarding samples. The time an elderly woman licked her fingers BEFORE retrieving a cube of cheese, then decided to put that one back and choose another, well, that turned me off eating samples ever again. She completely ignored the toothpicks, and proceeded to do this, "No, not that one, this one..." over and over, licking her fingers in between cubes, contaminating the entire tray no doubt.

                              1. This is more sad than anything else: I saw an older homeless woman at Pete's mix milk (meant for coffee), sugar and chocolate powder into her own free version of chocolate milk.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Glencora

                                  the free hot water/ketchup packet/S&P packet= "tomato soup" is a pretty common one, too :(

                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                    My father, who was a child during the Depression, told me that the ketchup/tomato soup was the only way some of his friends could "afford" to eat - ketchup and hot water being free at Horn & Hardart. I hope we don't see a return to that standard of dining.

                                2. I don't think your reaction was oafish at all. Quite the opposite, I probably would have said something insulting and walked away.

                                  Anyway, I was at Kowalski's (high-end grocery store, for those not from MN) yesterday and there was a pack of teenagers gathered around a little stand of Caribou coffee samples, giggling like they were being just the definition of rebellious, drinking the samples as fast as they could, like shots, and just dropping the little paper cups on the floor. Once they had cleaned off the previously full tray, they just left without buying a thing. Myself and two other shoppers just stood there watching in amazement. What do you even say to that?

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: Stillwater Girl

                                    I still think you should say nothing. The world has enough strife. Please make a conscious effort to choose your words carefully. True, some food and effort was wasted -- let it go.

                                    1. re: Stillwater Girl

                                      At my local Costco, lots of people come in just for samples. A friend who works there tells me some of them come in more than once a day, wearing different jackets in the belief that this will fool employees. They mob the sample people, often standing behind them and reaching over their shoulders, or trying to push them aside, to grab the food before it's ready. It looks kind of like a scene from the Night of the Living Dead with these people milling inexorably around the sample carts. I saw a lady take a bite from some kind of sample in a cup with a spoon, make a face and throw the whole thing on the floor before walking away.

                                      I have worked in food but am glad I don't any more, it really seems to bring out the worst in people.

                                      1. re: bibi rose

                                        "some of them come in more than once a day, wearing different jackets in the belief that this will fool employees" -- way too funny!!!!

                                        i know exactly what you mean! -- "It looks kind of like a scene from the Night of the Living Dead with these people milling inexorably around the sample carts."

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          Not to mention, this mob of greedy zombies with their double-wide shopping carts milling around the food sample stations means it's nearly impossible for anybody else to get past.

                                          1. re: weem

                                            I feel the same way, weem.

                                            And the heck of it is that I've made many a purchase because of the free sample. The store is losing out b/c of the jerks.

                                        2. re: bibi rose

                                          "I have worked in food but am glad I don't any more, it really seems to bring out the worst in people."

                                          It's not food, it's the word "Free" that does it.

                                          DT

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            I actually think food does as well, some people resort to primitive almost animalistic behavior around food. Have you ever been to a buffet before? Yikes, I have seen some scary things happen when someone takes "the last piece" of something.

                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                              Point conceded.
                                              At the local Chinese buffet chain they have steamed crab legs and when they run out, there can be a line up forming waiting for the next batch. Like they'll never be any more, ever.

                                              My FIL can be pretty bad. He gets around food and it's like he's never seen it before. The other day at my SIL's she said dinner would be ready in about an hour. After half an hour, he'd had enough. So he helped himself. Or at least he would've if she hadn't interceded and served him.

                                              DT

                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                yes exactly! I dno't even try to get near the crab legs if I see anyone near them. They give you that evil glare if you take the one they had preselected in their minds. It is usually the same people who take a pound per trip, and go back every time they see the tray emerge from the kitchen, even if they already have a large pile in front of them.

                                                As you FIL, Good luck with that... if you tell them dinner will be ready by six, they will circle you like a vulture over carrion. LOL

                                                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                  And don't get me started on people who stop mid aisle and have their cart in such a manner that no one else can get through.

                                                  DT

                                      2. This is a tale, less of Psycho-Sampling than of a new acquaintance who takes thriftiness to a level that would have made my Scots Presbyterian grandmother blush.

                                        I had taken Janie, a new neighbour, out for lunch to a local spot on a tour round the neighbourhood. We hit it off and so we had she and her husband to dinner which also went ok. Not fabulous: they were a little 'odd', he wore two watches "in case one was wrong" (I am not making this up-ask my husband). To set the context, we were in our late 40's at the time and Janie and hubby a little older, recent early retirees who had downsized from a big house. They had just moved into a brand new and rather elegant condo and seemed pretty financially stable.

                                        Janie called a few days later to say she wanted to return the favour and was I free (note: first clue, not me and spouse, just me) Wednesday at 11:15? (second clue: thats a weird time to eat any weekday meal, but I was free, so-o-o...). She said she'd pick me up in her (big late model car) and there she was in my driveway at the appointed hour.

                                        When we pulled into the Costco parking lot, I thought it was an odd place to shop pre-lunch (Third clue!) but she indicated "Here we are!" with such glee, I just went along.

                                        And then she trailed me in her wake up and down the aisles at Costco while we sampled, munching our way through baby cups of Fresca and honey-nut cheerios and smoked salmon wellingtons and chocolate/mint pudding.

                                        And that was lunch. She explained as we walked that she was SO excited when she discovered this place, but you had to get there before the crowds at lunch.

                                        Then she took me home. I thanked her for a new experience.

                                        And I still don't know what to think...it was sort of fun and sort of weird. But mostly just really, really cheap and odd (and no, we did not pursue the friendship, though she has asked me to go to Costco again, but never to her home or anywhere else).

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: LJS

                                          Probably best she didn't invite you to an actual restaurant, I'd hate to see how she behaved there! Water, lemons, and sugar anyone?

                                          1. re: LJS

                                            I think the woman has a serious mental issue. We have an old family friend whose behavior at buffets and even restaurants is so appalling that people stop socializing in public places with her. I'm talking about stuffing extra food in her handbag, taking handfuls of condiment packets. She also is very financially secure.

                                            As for Costco, my highschooler tells me sample grazing is a popular lunchtime occupation. They do get watched like hawks and try not to take more than one or two of each.

                                          2. Gah, I'm appalled at the bloke who stabbed the lamb chops and strolled away. I work at a high-end grocery store, in it's seafood department. In the early summer, we got our first delivery of Copper River King Salmon($29.99lb. Eeek.). So, to showcase this beautiful fish and to boost wine sales, we had an in-store sampling table where a chef prepared Bronzed King Salmon and Mango-Watermelon Salsa. It smelled obscenley good. He had a huge crowd around his little pan, answering questions, until a middle aged woman makes a beeline for the front of the line, flanked by 5(count 'em, FIVE) children. Two are eating donuts (not paid for) out of the Krispy Kreme service case, and the other three were screeching like their toenails were being removed with rusty pliers. The chef, growing more wary of the bunch every second, cut the salmon up into sample-sized bites and plunked a bit of the salsa in each dixie cup. The mom swooped in like a buzzard and started grabbing cups to hand to her children, all the while devouring the basket of red and blue tortilla chips that were on hand. She stayed for two complete demos of the recipes, essentially feeding her family about $20 worth of salmon. The chef was giving her the meanest side-eye I've ever seen to this day, the other customers looked uncomfortable and hungry, and myself and a meat cutter laughed our asses off in total disbelief behind the counter. Hardly anything surprises me anymore after that tomfoolery.

                                            1. That's just rude. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but if I've taken one already and there's only one left and someone is waiting, I leave it. You trying to make a joke out of it wasn't going to do any good. Rude people like that are just oblivious.

                                              1. alka, i think unfortunately it was just a typical example of someone so wrapped up in his own world, he didn't stop to consider that it might be rude to take the last sample after having already enjoyed one. small_h was right, the guy wasn't taking it for his dog, he was flustered because you put him on the defensive & that was how he chose to respond.

                                                i usually get a kick out of watching the vultures descend on free samples, but they're particularly aggressive at Costco. i was at the Culver City, CA store last year, and had to stop in front of a sampling station to pick up something from an adjacent display. i had ZERO interest in whatever they were offering - some sort of fried sausage or the like...but there was a line of people waiting for the next batch, and some woman started bitching about how i was "cutting the line." it took me a second to realize what was happening, at which point i laughed, looked at her and said "you know what? why don't you take an extra sample - it's on me. hunger clearly makes you cranky, and we should remedy that as soon as possible." and i continued on to finish my shopping.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  oh gosh, girl -- you are too funny! "why don't you take an extra sample - it's on me"

                                                  LOL!

                                                  the funny thing about the man and his doggy sample was that he actually put it in his basket! LOL! i never noticed what he ultimately did -- nor even cared -- as i was on a mission to find the christmas goodies -- like the white chocolate peppermint bark, peppermint bark truffles, dark chocolate covered peppermint jo-jos (ghg -- i can hear you gagging even down here! ;-D.).

                                                2. My sister and I often take samples of meat and/or cheese for her dog, who is usually waiting patiently in the car.
                                                  Not trying to speak up for the dimwit you encountered, I'm just saying samples are often for dogs in the car/on the sidewalk, etc.

                                                  28 Replies
                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                    I don't follow that logic. Samples in stores are not there for dogs in the car. They are there for people in the stores.

                                                    1. re: Samalicious

                                                      And this hurts you how?
                                                      I am also a paying customer, if I choose to take my sample and give it to my dog, that's really my business.
                                                      I am not encouraging the rude behavior the OP experienced, just pointing out the sample could be for a dog.

                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                        uh, the person in question did not take "his" sample and give it (or not) to his dog. he took, and ate, "his" sample, then he took a second sample, away from a ***person*** and said he was giving it to his dog. you want to *buy* some prime rib and feed it to your dog, that's your business-- but the samples are for *in store sampling,* not feeding your dog, the stray cat by the dumpster or your extended family of seventeen waiting at home. one sample per person, not an extra three for dog owners so they can give their dog premium meats intended for human consumption, and you don't get to say your family member at home would really like to try the cookies too, and the kids should be home by now, so can i just take the whole package home and not have to pay for it--fer cheese sake. great that we all love and pamper our pets and all, but they aren't humans. the pooch would be just as happy to receive the doggie biscuit you brought from home, and some nice smiles and pats, than the uber premium artisan cheese that took tons of worker-hours to produce. the doggie biscuit is probably much healthier for the dog as well. from the cook/producer's standpoint: i would be offended beyond recovery if i ever did a demo at a store and saw a person feeding the food samples i'd made (for people) to a dog, or any other animal--just, wow. come on, when we're putting poodles over people, it's a problem.

                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                          I am well aware of what the original issue is, but thanks for going over it so thoroughly.
                                                          When I go into a store and buy something I become a paying customer. Samples are perks for customers. I will do what I like with my sample, eat it, save it for my dog, give it to a friend, whatever.
                                                          If you would be 'offended beyond recovery' that I fed a sample you prepared to my dog, you really need to get over yourself.
                                                          And no one is putting dogs over people here. Geesh.

                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                            Samples are samples, not "perks"! If they wanted to have a free buffet, a "reward" for paying customers, they would set it up as that.

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              Without getting sucked into this rapidly deteriorating discussion, I think free samples are "perks" in a way. I would be surprised to learn that Whole Foods did NOT build the costs of those samples into their prices. So if you regularly shop there and regularly purchase their goods, whether it is the items being sampled or not, you are likely subsidizing the sampling practice.

                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                I completely agree with you that the price of the samples is likely built into the price you pay--and that is exactly why I find it troubling/annoying that people take excess samples or samples for their dog.

                                                                The samples are there for you to pop in your mouth and hopefully convince you to buy it. They are not there to keep your dog (or family at home) happy.

                                                                1. re: pollymerase

                                                                  In my experience, the sampled products are provided by the manufacturer as a bill back. The store just looks like the good guy: the manufacturer is hoping to place more product on the shelves. It's actually a big deal to them, having everything approved and all.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    I realize some of the displays are often put on by the producer/manufacturer themselves. For instance, at one the WF near me a local guy who makes pita chips and different types of dips/spread/etc sometimes has a counter set up. It was pretty clear it was probably him providing most of the product. However, you have to believe that he takes into account how much he spends on demos/samples and so the price he sells his product to WF reflects that. Obviously, that is passed onto the consumer.

                                                                    But as dan says above, what about produce or other meats? That's probably the store itself paying for it. Same goes for house brands, I'd imagine. Also, at places like Sam's Club where they don't have a consistent inventory, I doubt the manufacturer is providing the samples. It's probably something they have a lot of and want to move.

                                                                    1. re: pollymerase

                                                                      >>But as dan says above, what about produce or other meats? That's probably the store itself paying for it. Same goes for house brands, I'd imagine. Also, at places like Sam's Club where they don't have a consistent inventory, I doubt the manufacturer is providing the samples. It's probably something they have a lot of and want to move.>>

                                                                      Not sure about Sam's Club, but I can tell you that at Costco and other places, the people doing the samples are employees of a demo company, not the store, and the samples absolutely are paid for by the manufacturer who will stop paying for demos if they do not result in increased sales

                                                                      1. re: bibi rose

                                                                        not only that bibi, but the demo agents MUST adhere to strict guidelines. Many times a service manager will check in on a demonstration to see how it is set up, and executed. If the demo agent is seen giving out more than one "sample" to a person they could lose their job.

                                                                        1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                          Very interesting! Thanks, I did not know that!

                                                                          1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                            >>not only that bibi, but the demo agents MUST adhere to strict guidelines. Many times a service manager will check in on a demonstration to see how it is set up, and executed. If the demo agent is seen giving out more than one "sample" to a person they could lose their job.>>

                                                                            This is the main point for me. Let's all treat the demo conductors with a little courtesy. They have to put out a gazillion samples a day, all the while maintaining health standards and trying not to have these often exceedingly pushy and irritable customers get mad at them. Sure, it's their choice to do this job but people who abuse the situation make it a lot harder for them. (And in my experience working in food, it usually doesn't matter whose fault something is, the employee gets blamed.)

                                                                  2. re: charmedgirl

                                                                    I was at a food sampling event a couple years ago, and Whole Foods had a booth set up with samples of all kinds of fruits and vegetables, house brands, etc. I was talking to the produce person and told him that I was often intimidated by some of the exotic fruits, I want to try them but don't want to buy them and then end up tossing them. He said that you can ask anyone in the produce dept. for a taste and they will gladly oblige. Yup, that's is why it is more expensive!

                                                                    1. re: danhole

                                                                      Uh, no, that is not why WF is more expensive. I've been told exactly the same thing by the produce manager in my local, big chain grocery store. That's just a good employee giving good customer service.

                                                                2. re: rabaja

                                                                  wow. i need to get over myself :(

                                                                  dunno-- i've spent years building relationships with local farmers and food artisans, i've gone out to their farms, i've seen all the work their families put into producing their cheese, or raising their pastured cattle or free range pigs or whatever, i've watched them learn and refine their methods season to season and year to year. . .all the hundreds of worker hours, effort and care-- before it even gets to me and my team and we spend more care and worker hours on it, then schlep it on over to the store, often with a fair bit of heavy equipment, printed (by us) materials, complimentary recipes, charts and buying guides, to do a rehearsed demo, answer questions, have in-depth knowledge about every single aspect of the final product. . .

                                                                  to have some. doofus. feed. it. to. her/his. dog.

                                                                  i'm sorry but that's the kind of thing that makes a lot of food pros not want to do what they do. or else, to do it the sysco way-- that way, they wouldn't have to care, or take it personally, if people treated the food sample like it was squeezed out of a tube, because it probably was.

                                                                  thanks to the other poster who asks that we all treat the demo folks with a little courtesy. that's a nice attitude to hear, when so many people seem to think that demo people are automatic dispensers of free "perks" that they're just entitled to an unlimited amount of. . .

                                                              2. re: rabaja

                                                                "I am also a paying customer, if I choose to take my sample and give it to my dog, that's really my business."

                                                                Except that you're not a paying customer. Those samples are free. As in, you don't have to pay for it. It is there as advertising. It's there to get you to decide to buy the product. Not to treat your dog with. Should you want to give a sample to the dog, buy a (insert unit here) and use a sample from what you PAID for.

                                                                DT

                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                  I don't see you taking YOUR sample and giving it to your dog as a problem. Or even eating YOUR sample and then getting one for your dog as long as you aren't taking the last. Sometimes the dog is the customer (more and more people are cooking for their pets). It's really not anyone's business except for the stores. It's the stores duty to limit the # of samples taken by a person, not the customers.

                                                                  Personally I would rather a person bring a sample out to their pet then bring their pet into the store.

                                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                                    It could be prime rib or ground chuck. The dog is gonna like it. It's there to attract sales. The dog doesn't buy stuff. People do and give it to their dogs.
                                                                    Yes people cook for their dogs. Do you know many people who cook their dog prime rib??

                                                                    DT

                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                      The way that some people treat their pets like children, I'm sure that there are those who do cook their dog prime rib.

                                                                      Like you said the samples are there to attract sales. Hypothetically I think that a store would rather a dog owner who takes a sample for their dog and spends $$ over a person who takes one sample (or no samples) and spends only $.

                                                                      It's not really our business why people take multiple samples and it's the stores job to limit the #. It's not like one customer has a stronger claim than the other. The guy was possibly oblivious to the OP reaching for the sample and probably stupid for telling the OP that the sample was for his dog, but really is it our place to judge why a person might want/need multiple of something?

                                                                      Don't get me wrong, if someone did this to me I would be pissed as well. But I would complain to the store, not to a fellow customer.

                                                                      1. re: viperlush

                                                                        "it's the stores job to limit the #. It's not like one customer has a stronger claim than the other."

                                                                        Ehh, i mean, sure, but, if I see someone littering (cigarette butts) or pouring motor oil down the storm drain, I'll let them know what I think of their behavior, since it affects me, even though it's the 'police's job to limit' the behavior.

                                                                        1. re: xanadude

                                                                          i'm convinced that my inability to keep my mouth shut when i witness this type of behavior - particularly in encounters with street-side litterbugs - is going to earn me a butt-kicking one of these days. i always feel safer confronting people in the grocery store about unsanitary practices or stealing, because there are plenty of witnesses :)

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            Sometimes standing up for what you believe in means getting some dirt under your fingernails.
                                                                            Or a bloody nose.

                                                                            DT

                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                              yeah, it's the possibility of the bloody nose that always makes me nervous...but apparently never stops me from running my mouth anyway!

                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                hey, as long as your legs can run, too, you're fine. ;)

                                                                    2. re: viperlush

                                                                      I don't think it's "the store's duty to limit the # of samples taken by a person." What about personal responsibility? Why do we need the store to babysit?

                                                                      1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                        It is because they have not been taught personal responsibility at home, in school. or by society in general. :( Makes me sad really.

                                                                        My father would have tanned my backside if I acted like that. As well as going to catholic school. St. Mary Francis would have hung me from the coat rack for being so selfish.

                                                              3. alkapal, I must admit to my own scheme. On hot summer days when I'm out and about, I will stop into a local furniture store for the free Coke they give you as you walk in. I'll stroll around "browsing" in the a/c'd showroom, thank them for the coke and leave.

                                                                Do I feel guilty, aaah - a little bit, but I exercise my self-restraint and don't take advantage of it.

                                                                It doesn't surprise me really, that the uncouth exploit the generous nature of others.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: cuccubear

                                                                  The very nature of what you are doing is taking advantage of it. However, I can't claim to be innocent of the same type of indiscretion. I would also put the furniture place on the top of my list if I ever needed to buy something. Even if it were slightly more expensive.

                                                                  DT

                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                    Believe me I do. I've furnished nearly the entire house there!

                                                                    By "taking advantage" of their hospitality, I was primarily speaking of the people who say "Let's go to xxx and get a Coke!"

                                                                2. i find it interesting that some say a lighthearted "woof woof" is *aggressive* *barking* *intimidation*. i guess you had to be there. no one else paid any attention -- apparently neither did he!;-)

                                                                  i had no intention to make him a more caring, considerate, other-oriented person in the future. i doubt there is much chance of that by any stretch of the imagination. once he spoke to me, i said something back. whether he was telling the truth that it was for his dog, i really don't know. if it was for his dog, he was telling the truth, but that sample is not meant for the pet. if it was for him, he just lied because he took the last one, after just eating one. in any event, i expressed doubt/incredulity. just shocking! he paid no attention and turned away. i made a little light -hearted "woof woof" sound to which no one paid any attention. such an attack!

                                                                  i have no self-illusions that i am miss perfect pollyanna, who never runs afoul of perfect behavior norms. funny here though, how we see how fluid "norms" are.

                                                                  i think in the past, the norm would be that one is not piggish with taking samples.

                                                                  i think in the past, it would be the norm that samples in a grocery store of prime rib are intended for humans, and not pets.

                                                                  i think -- even now -- that *just standing there* and giving a look of expectation is far from "aggressive" -- and that getting a wholly-volunteered statement that "it's for the dog" indicates that *he* knew he was going beyond the "line".

                                                                  i think "dr. evil's" way of saying "riiiight" is funny, and a humorous way to express doubt, and fairly widespread in the cultural lingua franca. but i guess not everyone likes mike myers' character in austin powers. i think a funny and light woof woof is not "barking" as i would think of the connotation of "barking orders" or the like.

                                                                  everyone has different levels of "sensitivity" and feelings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-gC3h... of what is "aggression". i think i'll keep my opinion to myself as to the factors contributing to that sensitivity. but, i am amused that those who decry "aggression" are the very first ones to berate me, from behind their shield of anonymity.

                                                                  this thread was asking about sampling stories, but inevitably (as it seems with all non-"home-cooking", or maybe "cookware" threads) it turns to opining on the op. i guess it goes with the territory, but calling names is ......(to quote mike myers again, the inimitable "dieter") "tiresome." http://www.ms.uky.edu/~sills/sprocket...

                                                                  <ok, i need my coffee, now>

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    Far too many people think it's their god given right to never be offended or ashamed. For such people, even the slightest bit of sarcasm or other joke is over the line.
                                                                    It's probably why there are people like in your OP. Too many people need to lighten up.

                                                                    I too have been derided for making light at others expense. Not in what you'd think was a hurtful way either. I've been chided for simply asking a question if a certain type of behaviour was acceptable or bad form.

                                                                    I also consider my self almost perfect. However I'm sure if you followed me around, you'd find I'm just like most people. Far from perfect. LOL

                                                                    I guess the bottom line is, keep your chin up, keep a smile on your face and obey the golden (do unto others) rule.

                                                                    DT

                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                      thanks davwud, and others!

                                                                      now, on to bigger and better....

                                                                      samples (NAH -- just kidding!!!) {;^D

                                                                      but, sampling *stories*? yes, most assuredly! "please, sir, may i have some more?"

                                                                      this holiday season should be very ripe for the "observational" pickin's.

                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                      I think you might be taking the descriptive of 'aggressive' too personally. It did strike me as passive-aggressive (instead of being assertive, you went with a way of levying critique that bypassed responsibility for the confrontation you created). But I don't really create a value judgement around it. It's a descriptive of behaviour so maybe you ought not be so sensitive?

                                                                      If anything, you're discovering that opinions about what constitutes humour also vary wildly. Perhaps it was in the telling? I didn't find it much of anything but an expression of anger that did very little but to express anger. (Jokes are that for the most part, but it helps if they are funny.)

                                                                      That said, I'm glad you asked for a list of examples: I find them horrifying, and they contribute to my waning faith in the future of humanity-- not that I had any anyway: as an educator, I am finding this equivalent of horrific behaviour in non-food insistitutions.

                                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                                        "(instead of being assertive, you went with a way of levying critique that bypassed responsibility for the confrontation you created"

                                                                        how would "assertive" be demonstrated? "sir, i beg your pardon, but you just told me that your second sample , which is in fact the last sample, is for your canine companion? sir, i must humbly assert that your conduct in this particular instance is unfair and a tad insensitive and inconsiderate to others, and that i consider it to be a breach -- albeit a tiny one -- of the social etiquette of sampling here in this region."

                                                                        how did i "levy" http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                                        a critique that "bypassed responsibility"? where is the bypass?

                                                                        what "confrontation" http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am... did i create? a *bold* *challenge*? hardly. a *hostile face to face*? not even close.

                                                                        and i guess our thresholds of humor are worlds apart if you "didn't find it much of anything but an expression of anger that did very little but to express anger."

                                                                        whatever.

                                                                        (or is that too hostile?) but, since "It's a descriptive of behaviour" ... "maybe you ought not be so sensitive". let's agree that it is a subjective descriptor, shall we?

                                                                        [lizard, something also occurred to me: if you are british and not american, i think that your not being an american affects your perceptions of my (or any american's) particular conduct on the assertive-aggressive scale.].

                                                                        "don't taze me, bro'!"

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          oh, alka, you're such a troublemaker. my kind of girl ;)

                                                                          seriously though, there's no point in hashing this out any longer. perhaps because it sounds like something i would do, i appreciate the playful nature of your approach - i can totally picture you doing the pathetic "woof-woof" with puppy dog eyes at this guy in the store, and i think it was probably funny and endearing, and not aggressive at all...which would be precisely my intention were i to employ that approach. however, as we've seen *countless* times on CH, sense of humor - and the interpretation thereof - varies widely among CHers. it's one of the obstacles we face when trying to communicate in a forum that doesn't lend itself to subtle linguistic nuance or interpretation of facial expressions & body language.

                                                                          those of us who "know you" completely understand where you were coming from ...and we love you for it!

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            ....." and then (with humorous feeling, as if i'm a hungry dog): "woof woof!"

                                                                            I took that to be funny, although somewhat silly also (Maybe you were in a silly mood. That's not a bad thing). But not aggressive. I'm not sure I would bark at someone I didn't know, but in this case I read it as a joke. I think most times you've got to be there to "get" humor. I'd rather a humorous approach than an angry one any day.

                                                                      2. ghg and lisa, i thank you.

                                                                        and you are right, there is a wide variance of opinions, and it *is* nigh impossible to "cut to the videotape" so people can assess a situation, with the non-verbal nuances and tone. and humor, well, some people like the three stooges, and some like buster keaton, charlie chaplin and/or monty python.

                                                                        how many times have we all said (when the most hilarious situation falls a little flat in the re-telling), "well, i guess you had to be there"? telling a story without all the other environmental, contextual clues is tough to do. that is why good comics are really great storytellers!

                                                                        and...."datz jes da way id iz!" (probably quoting "the unknown comic" on that one! {;^D). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj3Q9l... ps. "unknown" for obvious reasons."

                                                                        1. I was at a Sam's one day and this guy was cooking up some sausage that smelled so good. I really wanted to taste it and it was on sale. I very politely stood off to the side and waited. As it got done this family of 8 swooped in like locust and grabbed every bit of the meat. I wasn't going to arm wrestle them for it, so I just moved along to look at the cheese case. A couple minutes later the man who was cooking the sausage came over and handed me 2 pieces of sausage, one for me and one for my DH. He said he was so sorry about the "vultures" (his word, not mine) and he appreciated my polite behavior. The sausage was great and I bought a batch. That was so nice!

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: danhole

                                                                            Good things happen to good people.

                                                                          2. This is a story told by a friend of a friend at a party a few years ago... She sells goat cheese and other goat dairy products at the local farmer's market, and she usually has a small dish of cheese with a basket of crackers out for sampling. One day she was starting to pack up as the market wound down, and set aside a piece of cheese for her own lunch. She turned to put a box in her truck and when she turned back she saw a guy shoving the whole chunk of cheese in his mouth. This wasn't a sample size cube, it was a sizable piece, enough to make a satisfying meal with bread and an apple. It's good cheese, but very pungent, so I think the last laugh was on him...

                                                                            1. You should have barked and bit him on the ankle.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                yeah...that biting on the ankle...a little difficult since i have not kept up with aerobics exercise!

                                                                              2. At Costco, the sample woman was putting together appetizers from some sort of kit. I wasn't interested in samples, but in the arrangement. I was watching patiently, when a woman walked up to the cart, looked at me and took two samples. When the sample woman told her it's one per person, she pointed to me and said since I wasn't taking one, she's consuming my share. At this point, the sample woman just shook her head and laughed.

                                                                                At Gelson's in LA, they had a table full of cheese spreads and crackers/breadsticks. I saw a woman walk up to the table, lift each container to find the top taped to the bottom, replace the top, and put each container into her handbag. She then took out a Ziplock and filled it with crackers. Maybe she was having a cocktail party??

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                  THAT is shoplifting, and I would have reported her immediately.

                                                                                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                                    I kept my mouth shut, but my husband and I had a good laugh.

                                                                                2. Indeed, what is happening when you behave so petulantly toward another person over a free sample. His behavior was bad, but so was yours. It's this sort of situation where rudeness is repaid with rudeness that, at times, leads to altercations. It's not worth it, and it serves no purpose. He knew he behaved badly the moment he took it and said it was for his dog. There was no reason to pursue the issue after that.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Orchid64

                                                                                    orchid, i'm curious: do you think that the situation i described would lead to an "altercation" in japan? second, do you think japanese people (these days) are more likely (compared with westerners, particularly americans) to let rudeness pass without any reaction from the "rudee"?

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      The Japanese social structure still remains very much intact. People still use different politeness levels to speak to elders and supervisors, and some of my Japanese friends my age (30s) continue to use honorifics even when speaking with friends who are only a year or two older. Saving face is very important and singling out one person is not something that would typically happen. You'd never make a snide remark to someone who is older or could be older, and my guess is that the only possibility of this type of situation happening would be if the observer is much older than the offender- say someone in her 70s watching someone in his 20s. Even then, a look would probably be the most that would happen. If it were an elderly person taking 7 samples, no one would dare speak a word.

                                                                                  2. First off, I am getting tired of all the doggie bag, it's for the dog excuses. Fess up, it's for you. And BTW - cold steak in a paper cup that comes out to the car is not going to make a dog happy. There, from the POV of the excusee.

                                                                                    Now with respect to the sampling scenario. Jfood has always stated that one does not take the discussion from the gutter into the sewer. There are just people who act differently than many of us approve of. Jfood has not read the whole thread but he would not be surprised if someone wrote "if you could not take more than one the store would have placed a sign there." Or , "hey first come first served." So there are all kinds in the world.

                                                                                    And since jfood is not a sampler nor does he care for TJ, he can only give an outside in opinion. Sure the person who took the last one in addition to the penultimate one was not acting with the best motives. So move on. Is a lousy 0.01 oz of steak worth opening your mouth on? Absolutely not. What would you have done if he said, "here, you take it a$$hole."

                                                                                    Need to pick your battles and this sounds like a no-brainer on the Not Worth It List.

                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                      I wondered when jfood would weigh in on this.

                                                                                      I must disagree with the sentiment that it's not a battle worth fighting. It's not the .o1oz of steak you're arguing over. It's the incessant lack of manner and comportment that we all face each day. That IS a battle I feel is worth fighting.

                                                                                      Now, had you said it's not a battle you can win, I'd tend to agree with you. Sadly.

                                                                                      DT

                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                        What ever happened to common courtesy? As a kid I was taught the basics: wait my turn, take only one, smile and say thank you.

                                                                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                          Exactly. It's all me, me, me now.

                                                                                          DT

                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                            Every time something like that happens, it really ticks me off. I've been brought up differently, and it irks the crap out of me that a lot of other people don't have to abide by the same rules that I feel I do. Believe me, I can get pretty self-righteous, especially when I'm hungry.

                                                                                            On the other hand, I am not God, so who am I to sit in judgement?

                                                                                            It's a constant struggle in my soul.

                                                                                            I don't know if I would have had the cajones to bark out loud, but I would have at least woofed under my breath, and mumbled a few choice words. And probably wished secretly that his doggie would have whomped up that steak (along with the rest of this stomach's contents) all over the car seat. There is something to be said for karma.

                                                                                        2. re: Davwud

                                                                                          we all appreciate people like you who have the enrgy to change the world one rudeness at a time. but after raising two wonderful girls, jfood wants to relax when he is not working and does not feel it is his responsibility to teach grown ups basic manners.

                                                                                          So more power to you D, but the barking routine gotta go. Be polite and explain versus acting in just a bad manner as the original offender. Remember in sports it is usually not the first person that gets thrown out of the game but the retaliator.

                                                                                          Ciao

                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                            oh come on, j food, it was done in a playful way. if anything i was amused myself, and i had a silly smile on. i wasn't mad, and it wasn't "barking"* and.... i "guess you had to be there". oh well, everyone has their own level of interaction with the world, and what they choose to respond to. i am simply tired of all the selfish folks... who sample... who drive.... who hold political office...., who step over regular folks and always get away with it. it is "not worth the trouble' to you, fine. it was "worth the trouble" for me.

                                                                                            ....even the trouble i catch on chowhound, for being honest.

                                                                                            *oh, i just remembered, you are the *dog* who writes for and on behalf of jfood. you of all living creatures should know a "play" bark (woof) vs. a "real" bark. ha ha. (now, go get yourself a sample...)

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              hey, not giving you trouble, just disagreeing.

                                                                                              If someone would act like a dog and bark at me in a store jfood would think they were a jerk or more. And yes jfood thinks the double-grabber is a jerk, but he does not agree to get to their level. If you took a higher approach and said..."sir, it is more poilite to take one sample so others can sample as well" he would have a totally different opinion of the retort. that's responding like an adult to the situation.

                                                                                              And remember one man's playful is another man's in your face.

                                                                                              ciao

                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                yes, "And remember one man's playful is another man's in your face."

                                                                                                ... a good maxim* to remember!

                                                                                                * and for those studious types who like reading lots of maxims, go look at this list: http://onlinedictionary.datasegment.c...

                                                                                                like:
                                                                                                * In dubio pars melior est sequenda.* In doubt, the gentler course is to be
                                                                                                followed.
                                                                                                *In dubio, sequendum quod tutius est.* In doubt, the safer course is to be
                                                                                                adopted.

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  great site A. Thanks

                                                                                                  Debet esse finis threads.

                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                    *Debet esse finis omnia threads?*

                                                                                                2. re: jfood

                                                                                                  jfood, a lot of men are not very playful. I can think of 100 places where your comment " sir,it is more polite to take one sample so others can sample as well" will get you a broken mandible faster than you can eat a bacon-wrapped scallop. Your idyllic world of politeness is laudable, and perhaps New Canaan is as close as it gets (probably got closer when I moved out ), but preaching politeness to those who want no part of it can be a slippery slope..I'm 56 and I'm through preaching etiquitte to strangers and I hope my final brawl is in the books.

                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                    Hey V. If you read upthread jfood wants nothing to do with it, but if you need to say something be polite. Catch more bees w honey sorta thing.

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      jfood, 98% of the time your tactics and instincts are on point. We have never met, but you seem to have the smoothness of a Cary Grant. It's the remaining 2% of the goons with whom we inhabit this planet, for which there is hardly a solution that doesn't make it to AP or UPI. My role , and not a chosen duty, is to fix that 2% stuff. Between us, we got it covered.

                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                        And jfood is glad that the 2% is safely in the hands of someone he trusts.

                                                                                                        Peace V.

                                                                                                        New Canaan misses people like you.

                                                                                                        The season is in full swing with the nutcracker on stilts, the people playing saxophones and rudolph walking around downtown handing out hot cider to the people shopping. A true Norman Rockwell scene.

                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                          Now you've got me really missing aspects of New Canaan: the soft-surface trails in Waveny Park, the cheese shop, my fish monger calling me when he had a fresh tuna, and DL trying to scare me in a fast Porsche. I had a huge blue spruce and did it up with lots of those little lights. Nice memories.

                                                                                          2. re: jfood

                                                                                            ~~"cold steak in a paper cup that comes out to the car is not going to make a dog happy"~~

                                                                                            You're the picky one, aren't you? Cold steak in a paper cup that comes out to the car would make my dogs ecstatic!

                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                              I have changed flat tires for less, tho' not on the Merritt Parkway.

                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                heck, my dog would even eat the paper cup....i'm pretty sure they're not that picky.......

                                                                                            2. Here's a confession: I've timed trips to Costco to coincide with the end of the day for the demonstrators. If you hit it right, they give out multiple and/or full size servings of what they are sampling simply because they are about to close up shop and would have to toss the food anyway. BUT, in my own defense, I also do my regular Costco shopping while consuming what amounts to my (late) lunch. And I can also honestly say that I've made many purchases based upon what I've sampled in-store.

                                                                                              Am I a bad person to scheme this way? This thread is making me feel a little guilty.

                                                                                              1. Well, neither wild nor crazy but I do see people at the salad/olive/condiment bar just eating away with their hands, in WF, Wegmans or your average supermarket. It just amazes me AND ensures that I will never buy anything from there. Those things need more than sneeze guards. They need people guards!

                                                                                                This also reminds me of a dinner I went to at a woman's house. When I got there this PhD biologist was making some kind of cake. She kept wiping the batter off of the spoon and bowl into the pan with her fingers and then licking her fingers and then wiping more batter in with her fingers. I just stood there and watched while she did this again and again. Needless to say I didn't have any dessert that evening. Yuck!

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Ellen

                                                                                                  baking the cake would kill any bactieria

                                                                                                  1. re: PurpleTeeth

                                                                                                    But the cooties would still be in there.

                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                      Exactly. I wasn't looking to swap spit with her.

                                                                                                2. Are new stories allowed? Time:1982. After job interview in Lufkin, Texas, I' m heading to the Houston airport in my future boss's limousine. I spotted a roadside barbecue on wheels in very rural Corrigan; I had the driver stop. Incredible brisket sandwich, $2.50.
                                                                                                  A month later, I'm on the job, passing through Corrigan in my company car. "Hey buddy, your 'cue any good?"
                                                                                                  "Any good? folk come for my barbecue in limousine." I didn't have the heart to tell him that was only me. He had his new marketing plan all in place.
                                                                                                  I spied a nice chunk of brisket and ordered my sandwich, thinking that that whole chunk would be a great sandwich. But he carved most of it and left a chunk on the grill. I said "If you not going to put that piece on my sandwich, you ought to feed it to your dog, I said slightly irritated." Which he did.
                                                                                                  "What do I owe you?"
                                                                                                  "Three dolla."
                                                                                                  "Your sandwiches are $2.50"
                                                                                                  "$2.50 for the sandwich, fity cent for the piece you bought for my dog."

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                    my dear veggo, yes! and thank you. new stories were the original quest of my post, (not a masochistic endeavor)....
                                                                                                    your story is a great one -- and, again, the dog wins!!!

                                                                                                  2. I've resisted posting to this thread for nearly a week, but seem to be constitutionally incapable of keeping my mouth shut. So here goes.

                                                                                                    If a community is to have any standards, they must be enforced by the community at large. If we expect someone else to deal with unacceptable behaviors, those behaviors will become more and more common. Being confrontational doesn't help, but letting somebody know they've been observed stepping outside the social norm can have a positive effect.

                                                                                                    The operative word is "can." If, in a community of thousands, only one person provides negative reinforcement in response to bad behavior, that person is a crank or a scold. But if 10% of the population gets involved, public behavior improves.

                                                                                                    Years ago I lived in Cincinnati, OH and rode the city bus to work. More than anyplace I've been before or since, the Cincinnati buses (or at least the ones I rode) are clean, well-maintained, and free of graffiti or other vandalism. They run precisely on time and transport a lot of professionals and executives to their jobs downtown.

                                                                                                    One day I was distracted while getting off the bus and left my New York Times on the seat next to mine. An older German woman who was sitting behind me loudly observed to her companion "well, it seems like some people think they can leave their garbage just anywhere." Needless to say, I was embarrassed enough to retrieve the paper and be more careful about such things in the future. More importantly, I learned why the bus was so clean - the community of riders wouldn't tolerate litter.

                                                                                                    If a community does not defend its norms, they will disappear. Boorish behavior such as sample-hogging and littering is common only because there's no deterrent for the boors. I'm not suggesting that a modern urban society can work up a good old-fashioned Amish shunning, but a gentle reminder here and there - woof - goes a long way.

                                                                                                    Long and short, I'm with you, alkapal. IMHO, if more people would do what you did, public behavior in general would be significantly better.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                      This is an interesting thread, if only because it also shows that the sense of how well certain responses maintain order is debatable. It can, but it is equally possible that it may not. I was already roundly chastised by Alkapal for my input so I'll stop here. One knows when they're not welcome! So I guess in that regard, it worked quite well. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                        Jfood agrees with you lIz. The response was wrong, even if it might hav ebeen funny in some people's eyes. The response you received was totally out of line though...sorry.

                                                                                                        you and jfood may not always agree but he always enjoys reading your thoughts and is always upset when the posts get personal. do not know why the totally hostile response remained.

                                                                                                        ciao

                                                                                                    2. As is usually the case with these types of threads, things are getting increasingly unfriendly and personal. We're going to lock this thread.

                                                                                                      1. Something i'm not sure anyone else has pointed out, is the fact that samples laid out in a store, are not ours, so we really don't have a leg to stand on if we feel put out by someone else getting there first or taking two. You didn't pay for it, nor did anyone wrestle it out of your hands. Sorry alka, but i don't think you would have been upset if he'd take two while samples remained. It's because he took "your" sample.

                                                                                                        On the odd times when i've found myself in a Costco and see something I might like, i'll take two or three, because I also think it's something my fellow shopping companions might like, who typically are elsewhere in the store ( I never Costco alone ). After reading some of these examples, i'm pretty sure i won't be doing that again, lest someone try to "teach" me in the right direction.

                                                                                                        Come to think of it, this past summer I stayed at a hotel with a continental breakfast, along with my parents. In the morning, I was the one who went downstairs and brought up a tray full of food to feed three people. I wonder if anyone posted about me here. hmm.

                                                                                                        I once watched an elderly lady fill her purse with cubes of cheese at a buffet line once. Seriously, we laughed our arses off. It didn't urge any of us to follow suit. Nor would most people, in my opinion. So I don't really think that sampling behaviours signal downfall of society.

                                                                                                        I, for one, try to model behaviour, as unless i'm tasked with being in charge of someone such as a child, or at work, I don't really feel it's my place to remind others. I admit however, to using the passive aggressive aka dirty looks route on bad days. Meh, who wants to PO the wrong person.

                                                                                                        BTW, for anyone exasperated on how the thread has gone, ANY thread that starts with give examples of said negative behaviour, or those that start with what do I do about this type of behaviour my SO or friend exhibits....tend to go this way. No one should be surprised. Sheesh.