What’s It Like Being a Budtender?
People always ask me, “What’s it like to work at a dispensary? Whoa, is that like the coolest job ever? Like, is it just crazy?”
And I always tell them, “It’s great … but no, not exactly”
Working for a dispensary is just like any other job in the retail space; only it takes a little bit longer for work to get done. I mean, we probably have to reprint our menus more often than most, but besides that, it’s a small shop with a small staff and customers looking for good products at a good price.
Well, maybe there’s a few more perks than working at a ‘Bojangles’ or a ‘Gamestop.’ Let me tell you about my favorite part of my job …
I see a lot of people every day—a lot of the same people even when they are different people, if you know what I mean. They all seem to fall into basic categories:
The Casuals: People who don’t put a lot of thought into what they are getting. They just want you to help them have a great day at the park, or get a better night sleep. Their eyes start to glaze over when you get into strain genetics or bring up terpenes.
The Numbers Chasers: People who just want whatever is testing best with highest percentages of THC, etc.
The Connoisseurs: People who really know the strains and the products, and have a long-time passion for exploring new things.
And then there I what I like to call …
The Fake Ass Connoisseurs: People who have seen a YouTube video or two and come in looking for Blue Dream, then argue with you how it’s their favorite indica—trust him, he knows the grower. They are often seen wearing Sublime T-shirts.
I expected all of these customer types when I started working, but what I did not expect was my favorite type of customer …
When someone walks into our shop looking for something he or she can’t find in any other store. Trust me, they have looked. These are people who have walked into doctor offices, pharmacies, liquor stores, back alleys, and shady living rooms looking for relief and instead found addiction and a new need for relief from the very things that gave them relief. These are people who tell me how they were on two or three medications for their fibromyalgia and that they now use one topical. I love when a customer tells about how a great CBD strain allows them to go back to work and not feel foggy-headed. And when I see someone tell me how RSO helped them through drug withdrawals, or how our honey sticks are helping a loved one manage their seizures.
I’m not saying they we are selling some wonder drug that is a catchall for whatever ails you. It’s not. Doctors are smart as fuck, modern medicine is a wonder and something we should be so grateful for. Trust me if you’re not feeling great, your budtender is not the first person you should see, or really any person selling you something just because it’s natural. Ask Steve Jobs or Jim Henson about that if you don’t believe me, oh … wait ….
But seriously, working at Foster Buds I like every type of customer who walks through our doors. People are always in good spirits. And for so many, the novelty of being able to buy pot (and fill potholes with their tax at the same time) has not worn off.
When I go home at the end of the day I don’t think about the customer who is having a great day at the coast or is relaxing in the movie theater, just as their edibles are kicking in. I’ve been there, done that. Instead I think about the customers who are now getting the relief they need. I have never been where they are, in their shoes, or chair in many cases. I think about the years (and for some decades) they had to go without access to what we offer now. I think about how the way their faces light up when they tell me their stories—the relief from relief.
Everyone is going to get what he or she is looking for when they come to Foster Buds, and that’s awesome. Well, except for the dudes looking for a heavy indica* Blue Dream.
*Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain, not a heavy indica