A long time ago I got offered a dream job. I was to become the area sales rep for Cadburys chocolate. Upon announcing this to the world my friends doubled overnight.
My first day was spent at the Cadburys annual meeting where reps from across the land came to see the launching of new chocolate bars and how to sell them. How to sell them? PFFFT! Like that’s hard! When I arrived at the meeting the rooms were awash with Cadburys purple and the whole Cadburys range was displayed in every nook and cranny of the place. I felt like I’d walked into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
“Oh my, there’s chocolate everywhere I look” I gasped as my eyes soaked up this visual feast.
“Yes” said a nearby rep “ Just help yourself and eat as much as you want”
My mouth dropped open in shock and with it’s natural desire to make room to shove as much chocolate as possible into it, which I promptly started to do.
“I am never leaving this job, I am never leaving this job, I am never leaving this job” I repeated the mantra over and over in my mind as I unwrapped bar after bar.
I noticed that a few employees put a couple of bars in their bag or jacket pocket and I realised it was there for the taking. Well, I wasn’t going to miss THAT opportunity! I opened my bag and rid it of anything unnecessary in a nearby bin and began to load it with chocolate. When that was full and straining to support itself I found spaces in my pockets, up my sleeves and in my bra. As I was trying to fathom where to stick the next finger of fudge I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“What are you doing?” said my new boss.
“ERRRR...ERRRM...showing my passion for the product? Sampling the goods so I can sell effectively? Collecting evidence to study later?” I offered.
She smiled with one of those smiles that means ‘I will let this pass but I’m going to keep my eyes on this one’. She further explained that upon leaving I would have several outers (that’s boxes - I know, BOXES!) of chocolate to take home with me and would receive these every single month. Whilst these were supposed to be used to swap chocolate for retailers there would be tons left over for your own personal enjoyment. At this point I didn’t even care if they paid me or not.
And so it was. Every month the Cadburys van would deliver my outers of chocolate and my garage and boot of car became like sweetie shops! I proudly wore my Cadburys badge on my jacket lapel so the world was clear about my position and went about the selling of Cadburys chocolate bars. My role was to visit at least 20 retail outlets a day and make them buy more than they wanted and also ensure that it was displayed properly. This would mean that the middle two sections of the confectionery counter were always to be full of Cadburys chocolate as this is where the public first rest their eyes.
A selection of my shops were in extremely dodgy areas and I was told to be very careful. However I had to go as these outlets sold colossal amounts of chocolate and had to be well attended. On my first visit I was petrified as I drove past houses with boarded up windows, graffitied stories on who was next to be lynched and gangs of youths looking edgy and menacing. Outside one shop was a brand new volvo T5 police car that had been robbed of its alloys and torched. The owner told me not to leave my car outside for long or it was likely to disappear. Brilliant. As I dealt with his order I noticed the youths collecting outside and decided I had to act. I excused myself and went outside, hitched up my skirt and walked with confidence as I looked them directly in the eyes (I’d seen this work on a TV show) I opened my boot and let them gaze on my outers then slammed it shut and boomed “Right, lets do a deal”
I had their attention.
“You look after my car whilst it’s on this street and let no one even breathe on it and I will GIVE you chocolate”
The deal was struck and I became Queen of the gangsters. The original Heisenberg. Oh the power..
Anyway, things were going along nicely apart from one small thing. The Kit Kat rep. My main competitors were her and the guy who worked for Mars. All of us tried to get our chocolate in the best position and outsell the others with offers and such like. Now the man from Mars was ok. We’d meet outside shops and have a bit of banter.
“Got all my Mars bars on the the middle two” He’d say with a wink as he left the shop.
“Only for a nano second, I’m about to move them” I’d retort with a click of the tongue.
But then we’d have a chat and swap chocolate. This is what reps did, they’d share their product and you’d swap out. Except for the Kit Kat rep. She was a stuck up cow. Sorry, did I just say that? What I meant to say is that she was a little aloof.
Every time I bumped into her she would swan out to her beautiful car, dressed immaculately in her well fitting suit with her long shiny hair swinging. I on the other hand was stained with chocolate, probably laddered my tights and forgot to put any lippy on. It was like Kim Kardashian meets Bridget Jones.
“Hi” I’d say with the biggest fake smile.
She rarely replied, just gave a simple, half nod of the head acknowledgement.
“So... do you wanna swap some bars?” I’d ask tentatively “I love Kit Kat”
She’d peer into my boot with a look of slight disdain and say “ Hmm, not really a fan of Time Out, or Chomp or Double Decker...I think I’ll pass”
Then she’d perch on the edge of her shiny car with her shiny hair and right in front of me pull a two fingered Kit Kat from her bag. She would slide it effortlessly from it’s red wrapper and run her manicured nail along the silver paper until I could visibly see the word ‘Kit Kat’ appear like magic. She would gently peel away the glistening silver and break the bars in two with a firm, crisp snap. She would put one between her glossy, chanel covered lips whilst she gently wrapped the other one back up and put it away. That was when I knew we’d never get on. If you can’t manage to eat two fingers of Kit Kat in one go then there’s something wrong with you.
The same thing happened every week and she would never share her swag.
However, my moment of glory was soon to come. The Cadbury’s creme egg was due to come out. Now the creme egg is THE biggest selling chocolate ever. Period. What people don’t realise is that it comes out on January 1st every year and then goes off sale after Easter and is only around for 3 months of the year. People forget about them and when they are relaunched again in the shops they go “OMG I’VE NOT HAD A CADBURYS CREME EGG FOR LIKE FOREVER” and sales go mental.
This is such a big event that us Cadburys reps had to wear a creme egg outfit. For a whole 2 months we had to don a bright red and yellow creme egg jacket and/or sweatshirt and baseball cap to match with “How do you eat yours?” splashed all over. Belisha beacons looked dreary in comparison. My whole house was filled with creme egg outers week after week and I now had more friends than a Facebook junkie. Retailers would run from their shops pulling outers from my car. They’d want balloons and tubs and any POS they could get their hands on. My gangsters were the happiest I’d seen them as they danced around my car smashing creme eggs into each others faces. It was chocolate hysteria!
As I arrived at one of my shops and was at the boot of my car, I saw her. Out she raced from the corner shop like Bambi on acid.
“HEY” she enthused all white veneers and fingernails.
I gave her a half hearted nod as I got my creme egg ready in my hand.
“ So, I can actually do an outer of Kit Kat for an outer of Creme Egg this week” she said.
I perched on the edge of my open boot and carefully unwrapped the brightly covered foil of my egg. I bit off the chunky chocolate top and licked the creamy goo from the inside as I pondered her proposal.
“Kit Kat? I’m not really a fan of those anymore, they’re just a chocolate coated wafer. I think I’ll pass” I replied.