Monday, February 18, 2013

Girl Scouts and Band Camp

Based on how tight my belt has been lately, I can only come to one conclusion. It's the Girl Scouts fault. Those cute little girls are all sweet with their perfect little sales pitch that they've no doubt been testing on their parents for years. And if you succumbed to their charming ways like I did,  your pantry is probably stocked with enough cookies to make the Keebler Elves cringe. I've survived enough sub-arctic winters in Minnesota to have already established a layer of fat that keeps me warm. I don't need any help. But nonetheless, every year I find myself doling out my hard earned money to support my favorite Girl Scout. 

A few years ago, my source in the Scouts (read: a 9-year-old) informed me that her council had changed the way they sell cookies. Instead of filling out the order form and waiting patiently for cookies, it now works more like a drug deal. You give them cash. They give you the goods. I wish it had been that way when I was selling candy bars door-to-door for band. 

When I was in 7th grade, the school band was low on funds...I think. Either that or the band teacher needed a new set of golf clubs. Regardless, it was up to the band members to scour the town in search of people hungry enough to buy a candy bar, but not so hungry that they wanted to eat it right away. 

The way it worked was this; I'd show a client pictures of the candy bars they could choose from. They would pick out what they wanted. I would note it on an order form. They'd give me the money. I'd give them a promise to return in a couple weeks with their one dollar candy bar. I don't know why anyone would buy candy in such a manner, but nonetheless I sold $70-80 worth of caramel goodness. All I had to do was deliver the candy and I could move on with my life. It would have been pretty easy...if I hadn't lost the order form. 

I lost the order form. 

How many houses had I gone to? 100? How many people did I sell candy to? 40? I was racking my brain trying to remember, not only who had purchased a candy bar, but how many and what kind. 

So, with a box of candy bars in hand, I set off on my original route and hoped that as I walked past various houses, I would suddenly remember what kind of candy they wanted. It was a little embarrassing explaining my situation to someone who may or may not have purchased a candy bar from me, but after a couple hours, I had rid myself of most of the candy bars. 

On the way home, I stopped at a park and helped myself to one of the spare candy bars nobody else had claimed. I thought about what lessons I learned and came up with the following list;

1. Don't loose important things. 
2. Don't ever become a door-to-door salesman, you suck at it. 
3. When you grow up, don't trust 7th graders. 

So here I am, a grown up who doesn't go door-to-door selling crap. And I still have trust issues with 7th graders. But Girl Scouts? Well, as long as they keep my freezer stocked with thin mints, they're alright in my book.