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Monday, February 05, 2007

I Eat Cheese For a Living

One of the great things about my consulting gig with Zabar's is I get to try some incredible cheeses. Sometimes Olga and I sit there in her office - which is noisy and cold because it's barely a little annex located just off the receiving area - and try new cheeses. Every once in awhile one of us says, in-between mouthfuls of whatever just arrived, "Man, this job is SO HARD. I don't know how we stand it. Mmm, could you pass a little more of that [whatever delicious cheese we are eating]?"

And I have to try EVERY cheese that comes in to the store. I'm the only person who writes cheese descriptions, so if I don't try the cheese, I can't write about it. And if I can't write about it, the staff may know nothing about it, and the customers definitely won't know anything about it. And Olga keeps ordering some pretty rare and esoteric cheeses, many of which I've never even heard of and I've been working with cheese for over ten years. So if I don't know it, most customers won't, either.

Last month I was visiting some friends in Vermont and they were asking me about my work life. I admitted that essentially I eat cheese for a living. This impressed their teenage son and made him a little envious. (Maybe he'll grow up to be a cheesemonger! That would be cool.) During my whole visit, every time a friend of his or his parents came over, he'd say, "Did you know that Wendy eats cheese for a living?!"

I think I picked the right career path.