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Always keep some coins handy for the markets
Always keep some coins handy for the markets
Opinion » Cash Handlers

Quick Q & A with market trader Harry

Harry Smith, 18, is a market trader at Archway Market, in North London, and has been selected as our cash handler of the month, please read our interview with him below.

  1. In a nutshell how would you describe your job?  
    I sell organic bread at farmers’ markets.
  2. What would you describe as some of the highs of your work? 
    There is no particular high which I can remember, but you can get a great satisfaction from customer relationships. When you build up a relationship with them, you can remember their order, reserve that for them every week, and get to know them as the weeks go on. And when also celebrities come to the market!
  3. And the lows? 
    When I got slated by a guy once because my service was slow, because I was running late… It put me in a bad mood for the whole day.
  4. What’s been your funniest or most interesting cash-related incident to date?  
    There are quite a few nut-cases around the markets. One guy used to go the cheese lady next to me because she sold milk that was unpasteurized. He only drank milk and ate bananas, he was sexist and he believed the there was a conspiracy of bad energy trying to suck the good energy out of everything. There was also a guy who walked like a chicken with a hunched back and his elbows tucked in… He wished me a Happy Christmas in September.
  5. How would you imagine your work could change if everyone paid on their cards? 
    Because I sell large amounts of small orders, normally between £1 to £5, and I work alone, I would imagine the service would be a lot slower on if people used cards.
  6. Do you place your customers into genres when you meet them? Can you tell more about them from the way they pay and/or tip? 
    Most customers we get at any one market are very similar sorts of people; middle class, health conscious and very nice. The only way I would put them into genres would be by looking at the different markets. It’s understandable that people from Barnes Farmers’ market are a lot less frugal than those from Ealing Farmers’ Market. So some places you get more questions about the prices and smaller orders, and that is the only way I categorize.
  7. If you could give any pearls of guided wisdom for future customers that would make the service easier for both of you, what would they be? 
    Don't pay with large notes early in the market when traders have little change, and try to get there before closing time. It’s quite frustrating when you’re packing up and dreaming of home only to get the late comers that make you get your change back out and force you to re-count your money.
  8. If you had a choice to work with cash or credit which would you choose and why? 
    Cash because it’s always a quicker service when dealing with a lot of small orders! 

Wednesday, 23rd February 2011

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