By David G. Firestone
So here is the situation. On Saturday, I had to go the emergency room, nothing too serious. I called a family friend and she drove me. As we are driving I am obviously nervous, but I notice something that we drive by. It was an advertisement for a farmer’s market that advertises “artisan foods.” I thought about that as we drove, but more on that later.
So we get to the emergency room, and the first person we see is a young nurse, maybe 5 or 6 years younger than me greets me with a cheery greeting and an overly positive attitude. She kept this attitude up as I described my ankle situation, and I was getting irritated with her. I understand that in an emergency room the need to be positive toward patients is a requirement of the job, but there gets to be a point when enthusiasm just gets to be obnoxious. No one wants to go to the ER. No one enjoys it. We don’t want to be there, and we would rather be anywhere else than the ER. Be positive, but don’t take it too far.
In certain situations, being too positive can turn people off. This happened to me at a DMV. I go there the week before my birthday to renew my state ID. In all honesty, I would rather be at the ER than the DMV, at least the ER has a water fountain. At that time, the DMV I went to had two women at a podium to sign you in, and give you a number. They were way too enthusiastic. One of them said to me “Well it seems you have a birthday coming up.” and being who I am I thought “and I have a 1000 other things I would rather be doing than waiting at the DMV for a state ID.” Be positive and polite, but don’t go to far.
While I was waiting for x-rays to come back, I thought of the farmers market sign advertising artisan foods. There are a number of words that have been overused to the point they are losing their meaning. Independent, ironic, literally, unique and awesome fall into this list, now I think we should add artisan to the list. If we were to take the literal definition of artisan in food, it means food that is made in a traditional or non-mechanized way using high-quality ingredients.
OK, that sounds good, but when I see stuff at the grocery store like Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins, where the product does not come close to the definition of artisan, it takes the whole idea and kills it. Blue Diamond calls itself “the world’s largest “tree nut processing and marketing company,” the crackers in question are sold nationwide, and yet I’m somehow supposed to believe that this is made in a non-mechanized way. Not buying it at all. The people who make bread from scratch and sell it at farmers markets sell artisan food. Blue Diamond sells food. It’s that simple. Artisan is being used as a buzz word to market products to “more discriminating customers” many of them are smarter than that.
So I’m now out of commission for a week due to my ankle injury, thankfully it was just a mild injury, not something much worse. So I’m gonna spend time at home, really bummed I can’t go into work this week.