Submitted by Lauren Wu on Sun, 06/02/2013 - 11:08pm
Yeah, it’s really fun! I feel like such a pro and true Portlander having experienced this.
Last week, when biking to SE and back, I did not feel confident enough to ride in the car lane. I biked as closely to the curb or parked cars as possible. But, this week was a different story.
It was decided that I’d help and learn from Meichen, a college student who helps Laura with bike delivery on Fridays. We met at The Original (one of GO Box’s washing sites) after the lunch rush and after loading the bike trailer with clean clamshell containers, commenced to the 4th and Hall PSU food cart pod. Meichen was such a considerate and fantastic mini-mentor. She asked if I was more comfortable with taking Broadway (bike lanes the whole way) or 5th (mixed-use lanes).
It’s clear from Meichen’s words and demeanor just how much she loves doing this. She told me a funny story of how she came to work for Laura. When she moved here from Bellingham, Washington, she was unpleasantly surprised by how comparatively un-green Portland is—she worked at a place that served in styrofoam, for example. She had heard about GO Box before she met Laura, and was trying to convince her boss to instate it. So, when she met Laura one fateful day, she overwhelmed Laura with her enthusiasm-- so much so, that Laura offered her this job. This job really is the best—you get to bike around town, talk to people, have terrific food (a nice food cart owner gave us tea after we told him how he could get involved with GO Box), make an impact, etc. Just from helping her with her 2-hour shift, I came to love this job too.
Paul, my project advisor, came to visit this week. As usual, it was fantastic conversation and discussion. He asked many questions of Laura and even proposed a few business prospects. After, he tried and loved the seafood noodles from The Noodle House (highly recommend!).
The other half of my week I spent putting my refined sales pitch to work. Amy gave me absolutely instrumental advice, which led to completely different outcomes than what Laura and I did my first week. My first couple of days this month, I asked people if they had heard about GO Box, explained what it was and how it worked, then sent them back to their day with a flyer and coupon. However, Laura and I deliberated on whether planting a seed and delayed results were enough. Then Amy’s advice came along. She said that we need to take it a step further, to make an offer, and ask: “Would you like to sign up now?” When Amy first told me that, I was incredulous. I was amazed at how intuitive yet evasive that concept was to a person without professional sales experience. It was definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of that?!” moments. But a lesson well learned and applied, because I signed a total of six people up right on the spot.
I’ve had such a fantastic ride (quite literally) with GO Box, and this week was no exception. A big thank you to Laura, Paul, and the Senior Project Committee for making my senior project possible!