Becky the Cow

“Just squeeze here and aim.”

There’s nothing like milking a cow to turn you off dairy when you’re a kid. Except maybe being expected to drink it when you’re done.

I’ve had such an on-again-off-again relationship with all things dairy. Uncle Herman had a cow named Becky and at ten years old this is just not flattering.

When I was 21 or so, I had strange little bumps that felt like small bones sticking out here and there. Dr. Fred said they were calcium deposits – not dangerous, don’t worry about it. But I thought, if calcium is piling up all over my body, where’s it coming from? The pint of yogurt I eat daily? The block of cheese? Pizza? Lazagna? Grilled cheeses? You can see where this is going. So I went off dairy cold-turkey as a test. The last thing to go was the drop of cream in my coffee. After three months the little bumps were gone and most startling of all, I could breathe through my nose.

I’d never done that before. I was gagging and choking and had to train myself to breathe through my nose. I could smell things I’d never realized that I couldn’t smell before, like cut grass and that fresh rain smell, and My God – the reek of McD’s! I stayed off dairy for about ten or twelve years until the cheese festival in Montreal. It was all gourmet after that.

The idea at the cafe is to bring some of those gourmet cheeses in from Quebec, where the artisanal farmers have been practicing their craft for hundreds of years (really!). In keeping with our efforts to find the best food and beverages, I want to get organic milk and cream for coffee from a local farmer, but it’s tricky shopping for things you don’t want to taste – like milk.

People seem to love Organic Meadow so I contacted them and was redirected to the distributor. And somehow, that crazy idiotic system that forgets that businesses aren’t things, they’re people, has reared it’s ugly head again.

“Hi there, I’m calling from the Heart of the Hammer Cafe to talk about your organic dairy products.”

“Ok, I’ll start with your banking information.”

“No no, I’m just calling to find out about the different products, what they cost, how it works.”

“I need your banking information.”

“I don’t understand. I just want to talk to someone first.”

“And I need your banking information to proceed.”

“Maybe I have the wrong line. Can I talk to someone in the sales department?”

“That’s me-ee!”

“Ok, bye.”

I begin to wonder; am I a cow after all or is something rotten in the state of business?


2 thoughts on “Becky the Cow

  1. I am curious about the distributor you were directed to.It seems to me they have bought a softwares system that tracks customers and deals with credit at the same time. You got the sales department, but inside sales is staffed with people that work at a terminal and input data (sadly).
    Customer service in large companies is sanitized and de-personalized precisely to treat every one the same. (Shitty?, not intentionally but thats the result) Since large distributors deliver, and drivers don’t pick up checks or handle cash, and receivables kill more businesses than a lack of sales, there will always be the banking question first.
    Money may not make the world go round, but it does for the world of business

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