Saturday, March 11, 2006

Vicarious Girl Scout Cookie Sales

We are well into Girl Scout Cookie season and I have already enjoyed two delicious boxes of All Abouts. But while I was out running errands today, I was reminded of something funny in the sales tactics I've seen so far this year. The first time I bought a box of cookies, the table in front of the store I was at was being manned by a scout and her mother. When I inquired about Shortbread cookies, the mother was quick to tell me about other varieties and generally work the sale. It wasn't until I paid my money that the scout herself had to cut her mother off to get a word in edgewise. Similarly, the second transaction I made about a week later went off in much the same manner. I didn't by any cookies today, but I did notice that yet another parent was dominating the sales over the scouts at the table.

I know that the parents are helping out so that their daughters will get as many sales as possible but it seems to me that they would also want to let the scouts do much of the work themselves. The more I thought about it, it seemed like some of these mothers I have encountered were more excited about selling the cookies than their daughters. I can't help but think of parents, especially fathers, who push their football, baseball and basketball playing sons to achieve greatness that they themselves were unable to accomplish as youths. These fathers look to their sons to compensate for their unfulfilled dreams vicariously. I can't help but wonder about the motivations of some of these scouts' mothers. In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed my cookies this year but have probably had my fill until 2007!


katielady said...

Hey, I know of 2 New Yorkers that would greatly love some Thin Mints and Tagalongs next weekend. Just FYI.

I totally agree. I sold cookies as a child, but my mom was no help. I liked it then, and I appreciate it now. I mean, really, the cookies sell themselves. The girls need to learn people skills and things like that by participating in the actual sale.

Stacy said...

I was never a scout, but I am a do-it-all mother. Any parent that tries too hard is either trying to make up for their own shortcomings, or they are just so darn compedative that it spills over into EVERYTHING. Some of the best Raymond episodes for me was when it dealt specifically with parenting and other parents. The mother who hosted a formal for 13 year olds, and you had to wear a specific $200 dress. The man that made a list of appropriate snacks for the tee ball team, including such things as plantains. Good times. I can't wait until my kids are older, at least I know how to cook a plantain.

Bubba said...

I like to ask the Moms, "Aren't you a little old to be in the Girl Scouts?"

We don't get that here in Manhattan, probably because some political reason, and Manhattanites like to not live in the world the rest of the US does.

I also belief that the Girl Scouts is really just a cookie company that exploits young girls for a cheap sales staff.