Seasonal Sales Swindles

Wiggy's Words of Wisdom is a weekly blog based on humorous philosophical commentary written by someone who knows what goes into the making of scrapple and still eats it.

In honor of National Girl Scout Week, a public service announcement...

As a parent, or through interaction with co-workers, most everyone has been forced to peddle or procure some type of “fundraising” dollar store reject. It’s bad enough one has to endure the torment of hauling your little one around to push this stuff to unsuspecting neighbors and relatives on a Saturday morning. But to be subjected to the belittlement of approaching fellow co-workers and neighbors and begging them to support your child’s extracurricular activities is tantamount to panhandling to supplement your kid’s college fund.

Several times a year, these seasonal sales swindlers descend upon us like a plague of locusts awakened from a thirteen-year underground snooze. You can’t approach the coffee room without seeing Girl Scout cookie signup sheets and “make it yourself” pizza order forms “benefiting the East Side Youth Center Pee Wee Football League.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against fundraising activities for children’s groups, such as sports team, Girl Scouts, etc. I, too, will sometime in the not-so-distant future be required to “help support” some type of social or athletic organization through my own attempts to broaden my son’s socio-pee-wee-catho-scoutness.

What I have an issue with are the aggressive and harassing guilt tactics used by the parents. Hang the thing outside your office and if people want to donate to the well-being of your child’s extracurricular activities they will. DO NOT directly confront your co-workers, shoving the sales sheet in front of their faces.

As a public service I am warning you to be on the alert for pesky co-workers and overly aggressive parents armed with seasonal fundraising sales forms, for useless and/or overpriced items such as wrapping paper, cookies, popcorn and worthless magazines.

If you are cornered and need a quick excuse to not spend your money supporting this idiot’s kid’s class trip to the local sewage treatment plant, use one of the following, believable excuses:

  • I’m sorry, but my next door neighbors’ kids just hit me up for three boxes last evening.
  • My wife/husband would kill me if I brought any more of those home.
  • I’m against what that group stands for.
  • That stuff is just crap.

Keep in mind this can also be a good way to get back at a pesky co-worker or annoying neighbor. If you would like to exact revenge on a few irritating acquaintances, simply suggest the names of people “who would really love to buy something.” Just add that phrase to the end of any of the above excuses and enjoy the fun.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs - Slinger of Sagacity to Combat the Seasonal Sales Swindler

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Mary Anne Looby March 13, 2013 at 01:18 PM
My kids are all grown up. On the few occasions that our four children were required to sell things, my husband would find out, from the person or persons in charge, what the minimun number of items our child had to sell. Of course no one wanted to you to just sell the minimum, but so what. Once he had that number, the next question was how much profit does the organization make on each item. Once he that number it was simple math. A hoagie goes for $1.50, profit on it .75, minimum amount required to sell, 20 hoagies, profit realized from our child $15.00. Write the check. It's a win win, 20 less hoagies to make for the organization, Satuday morning saved from delivering the hoagies, and a tax write off for a non profit contribution. When the kids were young we told them it was against our religion to sell stuff, and when they were older, they really didn't want to sell the stuff. Moral of the story, if you don't ask people to buy from you, it's much more difficut for them to ask you! On the other hand, we never say no to a child who approaches us, but we still do the same thing. We don't take the product, we just give a donation. For those of you who will say not everyone can afford to do this, I say bull. Don't buy that six pack this week, or those cigarettes, or the fast food, there is always something you can readily give up for your kids.
Jill March 13, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Mary Anne, I agree with you! I hated going to family get togethers in years past only to get hammered by my sister to support everything her three kids were involved with. She always had an envelope and pen in hand. I have three other siblings with kids that followed her lead. I hoped it would stop when I moved 2000 miles away, but it didn't. I got the donation call! I have four kids of my own. We bought or donated for our kids. We never asked other people. I usually support the kids that come to my door, but that can get costly. I feel we all are so stretched now a days. Can't we just take care of our own. I don't mind if I pass a table and stop on my own. I also think parents don't mind supporting their kids activities. I would rather just write a check! Wiggy, I love your sense of humor!
Marc Kovacs March 13, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Thank you ladies. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece.
Linda March 13, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Hey Marc, you do have a good point - sometimes I see these catalogs, and try as I might, I cannot find anything I need, and would actually prefer to just make a donation. But I love Girl Scout cookies, and look forward to the sales - in fact, I actually seek them out. Same with the popcorn - I actually ask my colleagues when the sale is coming up. So everyone, please don't stop leaving those brochures out and letting me know when the time comes - I'd hate to miss out on those Thin Mints!


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