As I was driving down I-75 this afternoon heading for a trade show in Knoxville ducking road kill an idea struck me. Why not start a blog about my adventures (or is it misadventures?) in my everyday C-Store foodservice broker life? I've been working for ULTIMATE SALES, THE PREMIER C-STORE FOODSERVICE BROKER (shameless plug) for a little over a year now and this is my first adventure into the broker world. I came from the manufacturing world and have a new found respect for brokers that I did not fully understand in my previous life. (But you will never hear me say this phrase....."Well, when I was on the other side of the table....." Or did I just say that?

This site is adding a new found dimension to my everyday work life. For example, a certain division of a large retailer that I have been trying to get into see....I now have a new way to try and get through to him. But strangely, after more than a week, I noticed he still hasn't accepted my friend request? Hmmm. I guess it's like that ex-girlfriend who keeps sending you friend requests on Facebook!

By no means will I provide you with mundane daily details, and in your posts to this blog I don't want your mundane details either. For example, this would be a bad blog post; "Why oh why isn't anybody calling me back today?" Or "why does manufacturer X not understand what I'm telling him about this customer?" Blah blah blah who really wants to hear that, right?

Here's an example of a good post to my blog. "I was at dinner with a key customer and my boss farted so loud I thought we were under nuclear attack. After it happened he pointed his finger at me and said, 'if you accept responsibility for your actions I won't fire you.' The crowd goes wild with laughter and the day is saved!!!" (Yes, this is a true story).

My blog will be centered around unique and random observations or experiences that will shed some light on this bizarre, sometimes rewarding, sometimes frustrating, and yet strangely fun world we find ourselves in. The bottom line is in this business we all come from diverse experiences, and in this mad C-Store World it all somehow makes some sort of strange sense at the end of the day........I think.....maybe....well, I'm not so sure.....So why not find a glimmer of comedy in all of this madness?

My favorite poet/philosopher/life-guru Ferris Bueller once said - "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it." So enjoy what you do, focus on the postive things, and shed some light on what you makes you laugh everyday.

Or, you can just post random stupid stuff.....links....goofy photos....whatever. I don't care, I just like a good laugh every once in a while. Kind of like the laughter that engulfed me when I heard Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize! I honestly have no idea where this blog is going (if anywhere), but I'm a Leo and we Leo's need lots of attention - so this might be a round-about way to get it!

(Note: The events depicted in this blog are NON-fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.)

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Comment by Lou Pazderski on September 13, 2011 at 11:18pm
Lost late night foodservice sales? Just stopped into a Speedway in Sandusky, OH, and a customer in front of me said to the cashier "can I order a pizza?" Cashier said "no." However, the same cashier said "you can come back during the day, it only takes a couple minutes for a fresh whole pizza." Customer visibly puzzled (and yes, maybe slightly feeling 'happy'), says to the cashier, "if it's that easy and and you're not busy, why can't you do it?" Great question, and it made me wonder why myself. And those of you thinking it, don't give me the labor excuse. If there are sales out there to be captured, find a way to do get them!
Comment by Lou Pazderski on June 3, 2011 at 9:06pm
OK. That was fun, enlightening, and educational. If you want further details, you need to post a reply.
Comment by Lou Pazderski on May 31, 2011 at 7:43pm
Heading to a region of the country on Thursday that is very unexpected, for a very unexpected reason. So, how do you deal with an unexpected 'Bizarre' change-up in your work lives? Please feel free to share your stories. My bizarre details to follow....
Comment by Lou Pazderski on April 5, 2011 at 7:40pm
My Blog has lost some steam, but I'm hoping it picks up some with all the great new members we have on board. Please share your stories that are 'out of the ordinary' in our crazy C-Store lives! Look forward to hearing from you.
Comment by Rusty Young on March 28, 2011 at 1:07pm
My wife and 18 year old have convinced my 6 year old that when I am at tradeshows I am Mr. Peanut, for some unknown reason I used Mr. Peanut as my fb profile picture for awhile. Last night she comes running downstairs to tell me I'm on TV. It seems I am doing commercials too. I had to break the bad news that it was some LA actor cutting into my gig. I hope the suit made to Las vegas for Global Shop. Wait a minute I'm the customer at this show . Do I still wear the suit?
Comment by Lou Pazderski on July 13, 2010 at 9:37pm
Today, I discovered Ohio Amish country and a few other interesting things by taking an alternative route to my meeting in Massillon, Ohio. Instead of trekking along I-71 as usual, I found a direct route (Route 62) that goes from my new home all the way to Massillon (approx 100 miles).

Several observations:
1. The chain I was calling on today had three locations on the route. (and I discovered the BigFoot subs I sold them are appearing in the stores already).
2. Horse and Buggy Wagons were almost as prevelant as cars. (also saw a few Amish actually driving cars, interesting).
3. There are more hills in east central Ohio than I thought.
4. I came across the longest covered bridge in the state of Ohio.
5. There were at least a dozen country furniture stores on the route (hmmm...wonder if that has anything to do with the Amish?)
6. Massillon, Ohio is the home of the late, great, legendary founder of the Cleveland Browns, Paul Brown.

Taking that "road less traveled" today added a little interest to what would normally be a routine trip.
Comment by Lou Pazderski on June 29, 2010 at 5:03pm
Been a while since my last post - but since I appear to be conversing with myself in this blog I've been remiss in keeping up with it.

Anyway, just a little story about how small our C-Store world really is. We recently met the owners of our condo we just purchased here in Columbus, very nice people. After speaking with the husband we exchanged information on our chosen careers. As it turns out, he is a real estate developer and happened to build our development we currently live in - which probably explains why our house has all the primo upgrades! I on the other hand, being a C-Store broker didn't think we would have much to discuss. However, turns out his mother is an accountant for Par Mar stores, and one of his close friends is a category manager for Speedway. Also, he opened a new coffee house in our little town of Gahanna (Crazy Goat Coffee). www.crazygoatcoffee.com. So he took my wife and I to his new coffee shop after we finished up all the closing paperwork and proceeded to have an interesting conversation about the business and the town, and we will be having dinner with them as soon as we are settled in.

Moral of this story is always take an interest in people you encounter in your daily lives - you never know where a new connection can lead to.
Comment by Lou Pazderski on March 27, 2010 at 11:48pm

Comment by Lou Pazderski on March 26, 2010 at 10:39pm
This post is about loyalty, persistence, and enjoying the gifts of moments you find thoughout your day.

A very interesting, unusual and prolific Friday I had in Louisville, KY in my meeting with Thornton's. It started out as any normal call on a major retailer. I showed up with prepared, samples in tow, smile on my face, and ready to dazzle as I usually do. I showed up 15 minutes early as any good salesperson would do. However, due to circumstances beyond my friend Melina Hall's control, her corporate leadership meeting ran long....very very very long. The 10am meeting we were originally scheduled for turned into a 12:30pm meeting. OK, no problem. I'm patient (well sometimes). So what am I to do with this unforseen 2.5 hours of wait time? Yes, I e-mailed a few people back, made a couple calls, and let my mind wander into next weeks challenges. But all of a sudden an unexpected diversion was in my midst.

When I walked into the office, this Daffy Duck looking character was barking at me at the door as if to say - "hey knucklehead what are you doing here on my turf with that goofy looking sack of stuff?" I as usual had 1000 other things on my mind so I sort of ignored him. When I checked in and sat down waiting patiently I turned around and Daffy was staring at me through the window. Interesting I thought - doesn't this goofy creature have a life? As I was chatting with the receptionist I pointed out my amusement at Daffy, and she explained he's been hanging out quite a bit. She pointed to the corner of the building, and I saw the mother in waiting keeping her eggs warm. No wonder he was barking at my goofy ass. I also noticed that the Thornton's staffers had equipped the nest with seeds, and a cup of water which they have been refreshing several times a day. This duck family was quite the spectacle and talk of the office. Fifteen eggs was the count, and everyone was patiently awaiting their arrival.

Finally, after Melina came out of her meeting we chatted about the duck family. She apologized profusely about the delay but I told her no worries. Life is short and you can't get upset at things beyond your control (although we all do, especially control freaks like myself). We had a fantastic meeting, and I secured an opportunity to cut one of our lines in FULL against a MAJOR competitor. I explained to her that this family we would be bringing in to do the presentation is passionate about their business, and stands behind their customers like family. Not to mention that the product is far far superior as everyone in the industry knows ;) I can't wait for this meeting to take place.

The moral of this little bizarre C-Store Monologue story is this....surround yourself with passionate, loyal, and genuinely good people and there is really not much in the end that can go wrong. And enjoy all the goofy and wonderful things that happen to appear right in front of your eyes.
Comment by Lou Pazderski on March 26, 2010 at 10:14pm
This is the mom nesting outside of Thornton's office...dad is overseeing and protecting..

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