I hate school fundraisers.
I always have.
When I was a kid they would always pump us up, show us this shiny new bike we could win and send us out to hit the pavement hawking our wares.
And you know who won?
The kid whose parent sold the most stuff.
And today, it's worse. They tell the kids NOT to go door to door for safety reasons. So what does that mean?
Hey, Mom and Dad, you get to sell stuff to all your friends and co-workers!
Which would be great except that I have 2 co-workers and 1 is my employee.
And my husband is a teacher and most of those kids are selling stuff.
As are my friends's kids.
Which means that I will shell out $200 to buy stupid sh*t that I don't need. I have enough wrapping paper to gift wrap our house. And for some reason, it comes in sheets that are smaller than a toilet paper square.
But this year it's worse.
I now have 2 kids in school.
Two Salesmen of Tomorrow.
The kids went to their motivational seminar, came home with their packets and this is what happened:
My son sat at the table and dreamily stared at all the great prizes he could win. For $100 worth of sales he could get a bouncy ball. Wow. He was pumped.
My daughter immediately opened up the brochure and said "Mommy, this necklace is so pretty. I think it would look really good with your purple sweater."
"Why yes, it would."
"And the ring matches-- you should get both. And they have shopping bags with designs. You use shopping bags... you would LOVE these...."
Within 20 minutes, she had sold me 10 items.
My son, however, was still sitting at the table dreaming of his bouncy ball, the parties his class would win.... he reminded me of the kid in "A Christmas Story."
When we sat down to dinner, he was still looking at the prize brochure, he asked me what I was going to buy.
I said I had bought all kinds of things--- from his sister.
"WHAT?" he asked incredulously.
"Yes, your sister. Rather than think about all the items she would win, she sold me a bunch of items."
Clearly his master plan to get the bouncy ball had been foiled. He had forgotten about the competition.
His sister beamed.
My husband backed me up. He had been hit up by Saleswoman of the Year as well. She was really good.
Skip was devastated.
"You seriously aren't going to buy anything from me?"
"Well, I don't think I have any money left. Your sister Zoe got it all."
So then he started to try to sell us.
Let's just say, I hope he gets a nice salaried job some day.
But I'm still a little torn-- whom do I buy from? It's not exactly Sophie's choice, but it's still difficult.
Zoe worked hard, had a plan. She should be rewarded.
Skip relied on the past history that I had always bought stuff from him. Should he be punished for assuming something after 10 previous fundraisers?
In the end, I'd rather just write a $200 check to the school and let them keep the crap.
However, I am wrestling with the dilemma.
In the end, I think I will buy a few things from Skip, so he can get his ball. Zoe, however, is going to make out.
And I think I'm going to hire her to do my marketing.