December 4, 2010

Full-time Licorice Lass

I've been appreciating my job a lot lately. I'm picking up extra hours during the holidays, and besides a happy bank account, I'm grateful for a supportive workplace.

Working part-time gives me plenty of time to connect with my inner college kid. I can ponder graduate schools, work out for hours (I could, anyway), attempt to read complicated books, volunteer and catch up on NCIS.

But for the hours that I am actually at work, I think I've hit the jackpot. When my mother first suggested I apply there, I didn't take it very seriously. A candy store? Are you kidding me? But I went in anyway, and one meeting with the Licorice Ladies convinced me that I would fit right in. Being such a small business, the employees are a critical part of Licorice International's success. The Licorice Ladies and the other employees have treated me like family right from the start. It's nice to work with people who ask about your life outside the office.

Since July, with the help of my licorice co-workers, I've become a licorice aficionado. I've tasted nearly all of the 160 varieties of licorice in our store, and I've become familiar with licorices of yesteryear. Customers always ask about my favorites: the Salmiak Rocks from Holland and American Bridge Mix. Along with my ever-refining pallet, my sense of smell continues to improve as my nose is constantly exposed to the different smells of licorice. I can recognize many licorices just by smell--not just anybody can put that on a resume.

Besides eating and sniffing, I have recently been given a few more responsibilities around the store. During the holiday rush, I get to work in the back: pulling orders, packaging licorice and labeling bags. Because it's out of the ordinary, working in the back is exciting for me, and I can see my contributions immediately. I like seeing the online orders because I imagine who is eating the different kinds of licorice. Some people order the really salty Dutch licorice or the really bitter stuff from Italy. I always wonder when and how they eat it because it's not a typical bag of candy.

I never imagined that my first job out of college would be selling licorice, but I think it's been a blessing. I work with good people in an interesting part of town, and I can eat licorice all day. It's a good gig.

 P.S. We're doing a gingerbread house contest this year. I made a house that is displayed on the Licorice blog:
link to my gingerbread house at Licorice International