Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cookie Wars

As I get ready for school in the morning, I usually take a quick minute to look up CNN and see what's in the news while I have my breakfast. This morning, this item was in the "iReport" column on CNN.

Basically, what the news item said was should people in the workplace sell Girl Scout cookies for their daughters? The hypothetical situation is that your "boss" basically demands that you buy cookies so that his/her daughter can "stomp" all of the others in her troop. I have quite a few problems with this scenario AND with a lot of the comments from random people about this issue on the site as well.

First of all, we certainly do NOT teach the girls that they need to "stomp" each other. I always told my girls that you are under NO obligation to sell *anything*, but because the cookie sale funds almost all of a troop's extra activities, that translates into "the more we sell, the more we can do". I never stressed a certain number of boxes, but instead encouraged the girls to set their own goals. If they do more than that, great. If not, well, that's okay, too. If one of their parents acts like an idiot, we have no control over that, but we HAVE taught the daughters better.

Secondly, a lot of comments were made that people don't think the office is an appropriate place for cookie sales -- my thought on that is "why not?" I never bother anyone about buying cookies. I asked my boss before the sale started if it was all right if I asked people if they wanted to participate; I sent out an email to all of my coworkers and said that they could see me if they were interested; and if someone said "no", I thanked them, and didn't bother them again. I never force cookies on anyone, and don't encourage anyone else to have aggressive sales practices.

Lastly, the Girl Scouts are a non-profit organization. The way we do most of our field trips and to buy supplies we need are paid mainly out of profits made from cookies sales. That's our bread and butter, basically. Fewer and fewer people are purchasing cookies, and even fewer companies allow Girl Scouts on their property anymore for public sales. Since when has having a Girl Scout standing in front of your establishment, selling cookies, been a BAD thing?

I have plenty of other thoughts about this swirling around in my head, but I am still a little too miffed to get them out of my head and onto the computer. It would probably also have language included that does not belong in the same post as the words "Girl Scouting" as well. Just get a grip, people! Really!


Songbird said...

I was not allowed to sell cookies in my daddy's workplace, because he was a United States Senator at the time I was a Girl Scout and felt his staff might feel pressured by his position to buy the cookies. I feel the same way as a pastor; when my daughter was a Scout, she sold cookies on our street and within the family. If a church member offered to buy from her that was fine, but we let other girls sell at church and stayed out of the way.
My husband always looks for the public sales when he is away for work (the timing often works out that way), and I'm sorry to hear there is an issue around letting those happen.

ccw said...

I see nothing wrong with selling cookies at the work place so long as you are not in a position were it could look as if you had to buy a box to gain favor. Also, as long as no one is actively pursuing/harassing their co-workers is an order form in the break room or on a cube hurting anyone?

Cookies sold = money to do is the lesson my girls will be learning this year. Half did not even attempt to sell a single box and of the rest only 1 actually went outside of their family for orders. We had 3 booths scheduled but have cancelled them since they are so much work on the adult end and the girls are obviously not up for caring. When we are having Taco Bell at the end of the year they will know why. :)

La Reina said...

All I know is in my town, the only way to buy Girl Scout cookies is if you know a Scout or work with one of her parents. I don't fall in either category. I don't recall ever having someone come to my door selling cookies and I live less than two blocks from an elementary school!

The last time I was able to buy cookies was when my cousins were Girl Scouts - and they're both college graduates now. In short: I'm glad I can bake!

kathy a. said...

i guess it would be bad if a boss is trying to shove cookies down the throats of employees -- but in my old office, we were THRILLED when a co-worker left an order sign-up at the front desk each year, on behalf of his girls. we were dismayed when they went and grew up.

[we also bought candy bars, jelly bellies, cases of oranges, etc. when the office kids were doing fundraisers. 'cause we wanted to support "our" kids, and also, we liked snacks.]

my sisters and i watch closely for the GS cookie sales outside the supermarket, these days. we MUST have our thin mints! we buy multiple boxes, adding a few of the other varieties for those family members who do not properly appreciate thin mints -- and freeze a few boxes for a rainy day.

halloweenlover said...

WHAT? I'm dying for some girl scout cookies and I always wished someone would sell them at my work!

I do get annoyed when people sell other things or when people would ask for donations for their races/walks/whatever. But for some reason, I feel differently about cookies.

APL said...

No signup sheet for Girl Scout cookies are allowed in the federal government workplace, basically for the reasons mentioned already (wanting to prevent people from pressuring subordinates, etc.). It's an actual ethics violation if you do it. I would be bummed about that (I used to get my GS fix from one of the partners at my old work, 'cause he had daughters in GS), but one of my neighbors has started going door-to-door (with her mom) to sell. Whew!

And why no more All-Abouts???!!! Who do I talk to about that? ;-)

liz said...

I second the question about All-Abouts!

I LOVE me my girl scout cookies and am very fortunate to have not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE! Brownies on my block!

Jenevieve said...

Oh man, every year GS cookie season rolls around and every year I almost weep at the unfairness of living in a country where such delicacies do not exist. *sob*

That has nothing to do with anything, except that I would, as this moment, buy cookies at any workplace or from anyone selling them door to door.

kathy a. said...

5 brownies on the block! some people have all the luck.

amy said...

some people have all the luck and the gall to celebrate it openly. :[

(i tease, liz.)

we have such a problem with solicitors in our area that we've had to put up TWO "no solicitors" signs at our house. sadly, these signs are really only effective on kids. to make matters worse, i never see table sales anymore.

i miss gs cookies.