Saturday, October 20, 2012


If you've come here (or if I've come to you via you Following me!) for art, today you will be disappointed. I have an egg picture and that's it! Had a couple of the brown egg layers lay double yolk eggs and one of the chocolate egg layers is finally laying! So I have that one pic to share with you today.

I've had quite a few emails asking me how my NEW JOB training is going. And I'm taking the lazy man's way out and blog posting about it! Then instead of typing the same thing over and over, I type it once and send everyone who's emailed me the link!

I did not realize how much about produce I did not know! And it's not so much about the produce itself that I didn't know but more about safe handling procedures. Whole Foods Market (henceforth to be known as WFM) is the world's largest seller of organic and all natural products. Not everything in WFM is organic. There are many conventional items. As more farmers switch to organic farming (defined as produce that has been grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or chemical or synthetic fertilizers) and they are approved by WFM's buyers, the amount of organic produce will increase. WFM tries to buy local when and where it can. And Florida is an entity unto itself in the WFM world! We are our own region all by itself. So "local" in FL can mean strawberries in the spring from Plant City or tomatoes in the fall from Immokolee which is down by the Everglades.

The first two days was learning all about the WFM way of doing business. We are Team Members, not employees. We don't use last names. From our Store Team Leader to the dishwashers and maintenence people, first names only. Even the CEO/founder is John. We were given several exercises where we had to problem solve, first verbally then non-verbally. And with each excercise, we changed Teams so we could learn to work together. We all did our safe food handling certification. We each have a card and we have to have it accessable in the store if we are on duty should the Health Inspector ask for it. So if it is not on my person, it has to be in my purse in my locker and not in my car in the parking lot.

We were given a tour of the store with each dept having something that they make (or in Produce's case, an organic banana!) We were each given a T-Shirt to wear on Grand Opening day and on any other day that we want. So if it's Tuesday, I can wear my shirt. I don't just wear it once and stick it in the bottom drawer never to be seen again. We were each given a reuseable WFM shopping bag made completely of recycled water bottles. And in that bag, we got a coffee mug, a water bottle, 365 Brand (WFM's store brand) breakfast bars, Organic Salt & Pepper potato chips, trail mix, Organic bar soap, a WFM "globe" skooshie ball, fruit leather, milk and dark organic chocolate bars, 2 different beef, pork or chicken marinades, gum, recipe cards. There's more, but I don't remember it all! The bag was over half full by the time our tour was over! Then they turned us loose on 3 different food trucks in the parking lot for our dinner. Oh, and one dessert truck with CUPCAKES!!! Even gluten-free cupcakes. There were gluten-free and vegan dinner options from the food trucks as well.

Yesterday was getting our Produce Certification. Yep, ya gotta be Certified to work in any dept in the store! They want you to be educated about what we sell because the typical WFM customer knows what we sell so you are expected to be educated as well. Lots of info! Safe temp handling procedures. Steps to take if I am cutting conventional fruits as opposed to organics. Yep, they are both handled differently! You clean and sanitize one way for conventional and another for organics so as not to disrupt the integrity of the organics. The list is endless!

Next week we will be learing how to properly close down the dept at night. Also we will be trained and certified on operating the pallet jack, baler and juicer. There will be other training as well, but these were the only things we were give "sneak peeks" of.

I'm tired. Or shoud I say, my BRAIN is tired! But it's a "good" tired. It's nice to have some interaction with people again. I had gotten used to being here in my bubble every day. But you need that human contact!

Thanks for listening to me ramble! And here's a couple of pics. I took one of the front and back of my shirt!

 The two in the back are the double yolkers and the one up front is from the chocolate layer. See how much darker it is?
 Front of my shirt.
Back of shirt. Bottom, which is sorta hard to read says Nov 1, 2012


Liane said...

Totally awesome! I love our Whole Foods here. The people that work there rock. Glad you get to be part of that wonderful team!

Anita Houston said...

WOW!!! Fab training, and fab perks! Love all your free goods! Those eggs are gorgeous!

Donna Gibson said...

Hi Sue, Whew! I'm exhausted just reading about your training! It all sounds so interesting. Who'd have thought there'd be so much to learn about produce! I'm so glad you're enjoying it. I'll definitely be stopping by the new store to say Hi!