Girl Scout Cookies & Hitting up the Office
The other day, I left work an hour early to pick up my daughter from her skating lesson in Central Park. The plan was to bring her back to my office a few blocks away. I usually try to avoid this since children in the office can be distracting especially since there’s a candy jar just outside my boss’s office which always causes trouble. I warn my daughter not to misbehave, threatening some vague punishment should she act-up. But once we walk through the doors she instinctively knows she’s in command and usually flashes me a sideways grin that says, “Don’t-try-to-stop-me-or-I’ll-make-a-scene.”
So why put my professional and personal dignity on the line? Three Words. Girl Scout Cookies. Yes, it’s that time of year when parents across America face the humiliating prospect their child will sell the fewest boxes. No patch. No prize. No honor.
My daughter had succeeded in selling cookies to her grandparents & younger sister who bought seven boxes and whose ability to pay (like people targeted in the subprime fiasco) was highly questionable. I was concerned I’d end up like my own mom, forced to buy 50 boxes so her painfully shy daughter could win some small prize and save face. Thus, the office trip.
Following the Brownie code, my daughter was adamant she be the one to sell the cookies explaining, “Otherwise it doesn’t count.” She also told me she had to bake the cookies herself (1000 of them) though she clearly spaced out during that part of the Brownie sales pitch. Also, the order form slogan "Every Box Makes a Difference" she took to mean, "If I sell enough, I win an iPod Nano."
Having pre-selected a few friends with the enticing email “They sell themselves…”, I guided my order-form-toting daughter from desk to desk. The cookie names aren’t that easy for little kids to pronounce. Trefoils came out sounding more like tree-foils. Do-Si-Dos sounded like dew-si-does. Samoas sounded like sah-moos and you can forget about the new Dulce De Leches, which may explain why the easy-to-say Thin Mints sell so well. I’m pretty sure I saw tears of joy in my child’s eyes when one person ordered 10-boxes though admittedly that set the bar pretty high for everyone else.
As she made her way around, I was racked by guilt and conflict for bringing my personal life into the office and appearing less than professional. But then we went to an office area where I was told, “Oh, sorry, Ross is selling for his daughter so we’re buying from him.” Later, I saw a woman armed with her niece’s cookie form and I joked, “I’m working the 4th floor so find your own corner.” When I told a friend the story, his response was, “Darn! I forgot the order form at home.”
You see the order forms are due this week and all of us were scrambling knowing we had to produce. Its one thing to lose face at the office, quite another to be the Brownie parent who let their daughter down.
Deb Feyerick loves Samoas & Thin Mints. This is an original post for NYC Moms Blog.