The reason for my blog absence was simple and not nearly as exciting. For the last few weeks I seem to have been taking on yet another job to add to my resume. Mother, Wife, Taxi Driver, Cleaner, Chef, Nurse, Attorney, and (drumroll please)….Saleswoman.
And boy has my Saleswoman life has been in overdrive.
Have you ever noticed that once you become a mother to a pre-school or school aged child you are instantly made a salesperson? I don't have a degree in sales, never been any good at it, yet as a Mom I am forced to be an expert at it. Now don’t get me wrong, I have fond memories of being so excited to earn a heart shaped cassette player or set of fruit flavor smelling erasers after going door to door to sell wrapping paper or summer sausage to my neighbors…but why does it seem like now a days it is so much worse? One fundraiser a year is a lot different than 1 a month.
Now, before you all jump down my throat, I do understand that fundraising is important. But I have to sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to just send a letter home to parents: "Dear Mom and Dad of student, we want to update our school and hey, we don't have the money. So please send a check for $X of dollars so we can keep up with those fancy schools you see on TV. Sincerly, Your School". Trust me after the fundraising stint I have had lately, I would happily rip that check out of the check book and would even add on $20 for not having to look like an idiot walking around selling bread dough. So just ask me for money....I promise I'll give it to you!
From the moment J started school it literally feels like almost every month there is a new fundraiser in her backpack. Pizzas, cookie dough, you name it, they want J to sell it. And because J is only in kindergarten this means that I have to sell it. Not J.
We just finished a stint of the biggest fundraiser we’ve had to date….girl scout cookies. I swear God is paying me back in kind for every hurried trip I had to Wal-Mart and breezed past those little girl scouts standing there selling cookies. J’s troop leader encouraged the girls to hit a goal and thankfully for me J wanted this little stuffed animal thing and only had a goal to sell 150 boxes. Okay, 150 boxes, we can do that right? Actually what I honestly thought was “Okay get my calculator, how much would I have to write a check for if I couldn’t sell them”. So we started selling girl scout cookies. At first it was easy, as Todd works nights at a factory and so those guys were eating them up (literally). But after 75 boxes we hit a stall. Fundraiser Mandi stepped in and my Facebook, emails, and office were filled with “Buy J’s Cookies” speeches and posts. Finally, we sold the last box of Thin Mints and we were done.
Now I’ll be honest, I don’t really mind cookies or stuff like that, but the absolute worse fundraiser out there, the one that makes me cringe every time I unzip the backpack and see it in there is... MAGAZINES. Seriously, who was the person who invented making kids sell magazines? I mean I can't talk my co-worker into buying a box of Caramel Delites, but you think I can convince them to have a year subscription of Better Homes and Gardens for $49.99? Cookies, bread dough, pizza...zero commitment, but magazines that's a commitment.
No joke, J has had 3 magazine fundraisers this year. 3! The only one we did was the girl scout one because I was terrified if I didn’t do it that J would be the only little Daisy up there without a patch. So I emailed my family, begging them to please get a magazine from J. Sure enough we sold them, as I think my family could sense the desperation in my typing. But oh it wasn’t that easy, as now my brother texts me at least once a month telling me that some random Bass Fishing magazine or something he didn’t ordered has filled his mailbox. So now in addition to the sales department I am head of the complaint department as well. Oh how I hate the magazines.
The bad thing all this fundraising has done is that it has just made me mad about them, and so I’ll admit that 3 out of 4 times I don’t even do them. But then I realized that’s not good because every now and then there is a good one I want to help. For example, just as I boycotted all fundraisers I realized almost at the last minute that J was doing Jump Rope for Heart…and that’s a good one. So, I grabbed my check book and instantly wrote out a check. I felt bad I almost missed a good one just because I was so burned out on sales.
The sad thing is that I have 1 child in school now. H is right on her heels and L is a few years away. I can’t even imagine what it will be like when all three are in school. I’m literally going to have to create a facebook page of “I have something to sell, so please buy it”.
So next time you see a fundraiser in your break room at work, or you see a little girl scout at Wal-Mart…do me a favor, buy from them. Not just for the cute little boys and girls selling you stuff you don’t need…but simply for the Mom, as behind each cute face is a stressed out Mom that desperately needs you to buy their stuff so she can stop selling and get on with her life!