This is why I dropped out of Girl Scouts: I hated selling cookies. I mean, back when i wuz yer age, we pounded the pavement, first taking the orders for the Thin Mints and Somoas and then a month or so later, trekking back to deliver the boxes of cookies and collect the money. I didn’t have a large extended family to shake down, and my parents weren’t the type to take the order sheet into work and guilt co-workers into buying their daughter’s wares. So, eventually Scouts and I parted way; it was an amicable break-up.
When I became an adult. I thought I would be off the hook forever. Oh, no. No, no, no. If you have kids of any age, then you have candy sales, all kinds of sales: wrapping paper, candles, popcorn, greeting cards, coupon books. But in today’s world you can’t allow your children to go door-to-door, or someone will call the police, “See that sign, kid? It says NO SOLICITING. Don’t they teach you how to read in school anymore?” (That was just one cranky old curmudgeon, but it gave us the excuse to scuttle back inside and never approach another neighbor.) And, sorry, sons, but I was like my parents and wouldn’t bring the sign-up sheets into the office. No, why ask others for help when I can do it all myself? My easy-peasy approach was simple: I purchased whatever was the bare minimum for them to win some flimsy piece of plastic crap that would quickly become a chew toy for the dog. I spent $100 on chocolate bars for soccer (such a sacrifice! I really took one for the team); we had $50 of Boy Scout popcorn (too salty, so that was donated); I bought it all, everything, I was their only customer. Very loyal. Plus, I paid on time, no questions asked.
Today, my sons are grown and out of the house. You would think hallelujah: no more sales quotas for me! But noooooooooooooooooooo. I joined a committee for a very worthy cause and we are organizing the Annual Benefit Luncheon. And do you know what that entails? (gritting my teeth) I have to approach people and sell them on the idea that they would really and truly like to support our cause. I ask them to donate items for our Silent Auction. Or purchase an ad in our Program. Or, the holiest of holy grails: become a sponsor!! I try to weasel out of direct confrontation by utilizing email. But eventually I have to place a phone call or show up in person. And this is one situation that I really can’t just buy my sweet way out of it.
Hey! Anybody want to donate a trip to the Bahamas? You get your name in the program … and my eternal thanks.