Buying girl scout cookies is a part of Americana. Every year, there is a time when little salespeople ask grown ups if they would like to buy a box – or boxes – of cookies. Quite often, it’s grown ups – the parents, actually – who ask other adults if they would like to buy girl scout cookies from their child.
Personally, I think it’s a nice tradition. Something about it just seems right, like it’s a normal annual ritual where we try to be a good sport and buy a box or two to help out. Of course, not everybody sees it that way, and some see it differently than me. A recent article in US News discussed, interestingly enough, ways to avoid buying girl scout cookies in the workplace.
Here is the advice they gave, for like-minded folks:
- Claim that you are on a diet
- Say that you can’t afford them
- Pretend to have already bought some
- Stage a preemptive strike (bring up conversation topic that sends the coworker running)
- Become an unapproachable person
As far as those last 3 bits of advice are concerned, the one word that came to my mind was: Seriously?
I will go on the assumption that at least part of that article was tongue in cheek, written to amuse. However, I have to say that the first two tips are reasonable. It’s fair to say that you’re on a diet, or that you’re on a budget and can’t afford it. That’s probably true for many people. If you feel strongly about not wanting to buy something, you shouldn’t have to.
However, like I said up front, I’m a fan of the tradition. I don’t care about any bigger picture issues, it’s more about the notion that these children are putting themselves out there to try to sell cookies. It’s hard to say no to a kid, at least for me.
Now, I haven’t always been like that. Here’s my evolution as a girl scout cookie buyer.
Right Out of College –
I wasn’t hit up by coworkers too often when it came to girl scout cookies. Perhaps it’s because my peers were relatively young too and didn’t happen to have kids at the time, or maybe it was because the more senior people didn’t want to ask us because they felt guilty doing so. Or, perhaps they thought we couldn’t afford it:) Anyway, I didn’t buy many cookies at that time.
Established in the Workplace, But Not a Parent
After working awhile, I had of course gained additional responsibility and worked in a different capacity than I did right out of college. Accordingly, I got asked more by coworkers to buy girl scout cookies. My attitude then was to think it was kind of cool, but I was leery of spending too much and didn’t want to part with my money. If I actually met the kid, or knew the coworker really well – or it was my boss – I would buy a box. Otherwise, which was most of the time, I would avoid buying the cookies without question.
Established in the Workplace, But I AM a Parent
Fast forward to today. I happen to be the parent of a little girl who now sells girl scout cookies during this time of year. It’s not an intrusive thing, just involves getting parents to get others to buy them, and the kids will go to a restaurant or grocery store to have a short shift of selling them, for like 2 hours.
Anyway, my view on this has changed of late, as you might imagine. When I know that my daughter has a sign up sheet for cookies to sell, I of course want her to have fun with it. Also, I have to admit, I just so slightly think about the personal aspect of someone saying yes or no. After all, this involves my kid! If somebody says yes to buying a box, it’s cool.
I think about this now when somebody asks me. I think about how behind that coworker you may or may not be good friends with, is a little kid they care about who’s simply selling cookies. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m always guilted in buying them. Excuses #1 and #2 from the list above are valid:) However, being a parent now makes me more empathetic and happy to help out. I’ll happily buy a box or two from multiple people.
In the end, I see it as just one of those things we can take part in and be a good sport about. Besides, some of those cookies are pretty good – especially Samoas 🙂
My Questions for You
What do you do when people ask you to buy girl scout cookies on behalf of their kid?
Do you have a strong feeling on this either way?
Bonus Question: What’s your favorite girl scout cookie?