Monday, November 1, 2010

Psssst....Wanna buy a box of Girl Guide cookies?

I recently volunteered to sell chocolate mint Girl Guide cookies for my 10-year-old niece. Actually, the word "sell" gives me more credit than I'm due. I offered to put the word out that if people wanted cookies, I could be their source. No pressure. Completely hands off. I expected I might sell half a dozen boxes. Little did I realize that chocolate mint Girl Guide cookies are the crack of the cookie world.

No sooner had I put a supply on the table outside my office than they disappeared, $4 (or multiples thereof) slipped quietly onto my desk. Before long, the table was empty, and I was surrounded by desperate wanna-be cookie buyers, waving bills or toonies in my face.

"Where are the Girl Guide cookies?" they cried, while I called my source for a fresh supply.

"Don't pressure me into buying any more," said one friend after she had bought one box.

"OK," I said.

"Alright I'll take another box," she said, defeated. "Just stop pressuring me."

As quickly as I could replenish them, the boxes disappeared, my original buyers bringing friends to their newfound source. "I hear you're selling Girl Guide cookies," the newbies would say, their eyes scanning the room for the tell-tale green box, seeing none.

"I've got more," I'd assure them. "Just wait 'til tomorrow." They'd pay in advance, not wanting to take their chances.

Buoyed by my success at the office, I put a note on Facebook. Within minutes, I had seven orders. I would require yet another replenishment.

I called my sister, "I need more cookies," I said, to her delight.

"I'll drop them off at mom's and you can pick them up," she promised.

I made my way to the pick-up point to pick up the agreed-upon two cases. When I entered, I sensed something was wrong. I saw two lonely boxes of Girl Guide cookies atop my mother's dining room table.

"Where are the rest of the cookies?" I asked, my chest tightening.

"That's it," replied my mother. "Two boxes."

I gulped. "No, not two boxes. I need two cases! You don't understand. People have already ordered. They're counting on me to come through!"

I took a few deep breaths while my mother called my sister and explained my dilemma. My sister would call the Girl Guide leader and see if she could negotiate at least another case to satisfy my existing customers. It was a tense few hours as I waited for the call. Relief. They could come through.

I took the bus to work the next day, and carried the case of pre-ordered cookies with me. A stranger lit up when she saw me.

"Are those Girl Guide cookies?" she said much like a child might ask, "Is that Santa Claus?"

"Well they are...." I said, hesitating, but unfortunately they're all spoken for. "I'd sell you a box if I could..."

"I understand," she said, the light draining out of her eyes.

I have since received a few more boxes, and have seriously considered taking the bus again on the chance that I can find her (and perhaps other prospective buyers).

With only a few days and six boxes of cookies left, I'm not satisfied to return any unsold. I'm not saying you should buy them. That would be entirely up to you. I'm just saying: Mmmmm....chocolate mint. $4 a box. You know where to find me.

4 comments:

  1. margaret, you make me smile :)

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  2. hee hee. That's awesome!!! :) Love it.

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  3. i loved this line "Are those Girl Guide cookies?" she said much like a child might ask, "Is that Santa Claus?" - pretty much how my office responded when I brought a box in to share with them.
    Beth

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  4. The entire point of having the girl guides SELL THEM gets thrown completely out of this story.

    I told my family member
    "Nice that you want to help her but she will learn goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics far better by being in charge of her own sales.
    The activity of selling cookies makes a point of helping all girls realize their full potential and become strong, confident, and resourceful citizens."

    I refuse to buy cookies from anyone that is not 4 feet tall wearing a girl guide uniform.

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