John is not his real name, and nothing about him is authentic. He comes from Afghanistan, and sells olives as well as variations upon the olive theme.
“How much you give me for your honey? I want to sell it?”
“No,” I said, “I sell the honey”
“No, no,” he replied,”I sell in Oxford”
“I don’t want that to happen!”, I was getting pissed-off.
“I am the beekeeper and it’s my reputation I am building!” He fucked-off and I was glad.
‘How dare he!’, I say to myself. Firstly, I do hard work of getting the honey from the hive to the jar, and I deserve every penny. He wants a ‘cheaper’ price for my honey to sell at a market not so far away.
John, if that is his real name, cannot tell the story of how my honey got into the jar. The story is its provenance, and customers buy the story. He sees my honey as a commodity and will sell it as such. He can never retell my story, particularly as his standard of English reaches the heights of pidgin.
John doesn’t do well. He buys olives and fetter in boxes from the cash-and-carry. He doesn’t know, or care, where they come from or the story behind them. The olive stall looks a dirty and he doesn’t even put sides on his gazebo. Do I really want to marry my reputation to his?
We are on two different paths. I am trying to race to the top, by making a remarkable handcrafted products.
John is trying to ‘pile ’em high and sell them low,’ and he know’s no better. Too many people at markets want to play this game, they fail and drag the reputation of the market down with them.
John doesn’t pile them high, as too few are buying. Let him eat someone elses lunch and leave mine well alone!
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