October 9, 2007

Can we talk?

Ahhh... it is that time of year, folks. The trees are losing their leaves, the air is getting crispy and cool, and ridiculous amounts of birds are congregating on power lines.

It is also " school fundraising" time. I do not have any particular issues with school fundraisers. If a kid comes knocking on my door hawking his over-priced wares, I usually will buy something. What I find icky is the parent calling or emailing me. It is troublesome to me that the kids are not doing the work themselves. My mom refused to take fundraising stuff to her job or even to ask her friends. And yes, at the time, it did hurt my feelings and made me anxious. Hell, yes. I never won the contests for selling the most product and the pressure itself of selling stuff myself was pretty intense. To this day, I am still not a good salesperson and I was horrible at telemarketing. It is also one reason why I left public accounting - to be an effective manager, you also have to be able to sell work and as such, I knew that I could never be management material. However, my mom did me a favor. She taught me to face rejection, but to keep trying. It was a life skill that has served me well. Because I am not afraid to "put myself out there", I have done some pretty cool things in my lifetime and taken on some freaking scary challenges.

I suspect that Arun's school will have some sort of fundraiser soon - they are already doing the Scholastic Book thingie. However, until Arun can dial a phone or schlep his tiny butt around the neighborhood, I will be taking a page from Goofy Girl's book and just writing a check myself.


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

This is one of the things that still traumatises me from childhood.

Now in high school we did a TON of fundraising for debate team, and since I was captain, and prior to that, angling for Captain, I was heavily involved. I remember that we raised 30K under my senior year reign. I didn't mind it at that point.

But when I was little and growing up in a rural area where the govt was deliberately undercutting the local English school? HORRIBLE. It wasn't once in a while-it was constant. My mom used to walk around with us around the neighbourhood but we had to do the door knock ourselves.

The dumbest one was where we had to sell balloons-and then on a designated day the balloons would be released with a tag attached with the name of the school and person who sponsored the balloon. And the balloon found furthest away from Chicoutimi won a prize or something.

Anyway, I don't mind when kids are out selling stuff for their extra-curricular clubs, but I get incredibly irritated when I see them selling directly for the school, like I did in order that we not combine 3 grades at a time because we didn't have money to pay teachers. Not at that kids, but at the situation.

funny that you posted this because my dad and I were laughing over the ill-fated balloon challenge last night.

Mamma Sarah said...

Fundraising... man... it sucks! And what did I go and do for a living? Become a Development Director (aka professional fundraiser). I sold my share of Girl Scout Cookies and that crap from school (gift wrap) not to mention the football subs for band... ugh! I do have to say I worked hard for top cookie seller every year (1st grade - 12th!)!

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

More than likely the school has told the kids they aren't allowed to knock door-to-door for the fundraiser. They are encouraged to use the family and friends and colleagues of family connections in order to sell. I remember doing Math-a-Thon to raise money for St. Jude, and I did go knocking on doors to get my sponsers, but I know, at least in central Florida schools, that the kids are specifically told NOT to go door-to-door for fundraising. It does take the spirit out of it, though, so it sucks that the world has become viewed as so scary.

Diana said...

I'm one of those horrible parents: The crap gets sent home from school and I bung it straight into the recycling.

I love the book orders, though. You can get some nice deals on good books. As a kid I always loved book order day. It was the one thing my folks let us get as many of as we wanted.

Anonymous said...

So...I'm thinking I can't talk you into buying one of these $20 Entertainment Books, huh?


pharmgirl said...

I refuse to participate in school fund-raisers. Kids have enough stress without getting roped into this deal. When kids knock on the door, I just say someone else beat them to it so they don't have to hear a plain 'ol "no"...again. My daughter's school doesn't jam it down your throat too much (yet), so we haven't had it too bad. And yes, the book sales are different. We order the hell out of that stuff!

Cagey said...

I am loving all the differet opinions. I agree that the book order thingie is not nearly as irritating. I am divided between getting a few more books for Arun or just doing a straight donation to the school.

Dee said...

I just got suckered into the whole fundraising thing at Zach's school. Really, how do they expect 2 year olds to sell stuff? I did bring the form to work, and asked a few family members, but that's where I call it quits.

The school also just had a Scholastic book fair and sends the order forms home. I buy quite a lot of books anyway, so I don't mind buying them from the school now and then.

Goofy Girl said...

I review the Scholastic flyer for good books, then go reserve them at the library. Cheep-cheep!

Goofy Junior doesn't like to read the same books over and over anyway. Hmmm...wonder where he gets that from? :-)

Anjali said...

This is why I love my daughter's elementary school. The PTA asks for a $30 contribution per student at the beginning of the year, and then, aside from the Scholastic stuff, there are no fundraisers. I love it.

Rozanne said...

"My mom refused to take fundraising stuff to her job or even to ask her friends. And yes, at the time, it did hurt my feelings and made me anxious."

OMG. Those are sentences that could have been written by me. Girl Scout cookies, 6th grade candy bars, band fruit and hoagies (yes, hoagies!). I had to try to sell all of that shit and my mom made me do it all myself. She refused to allow me to even approach our neighbors for fear of putting them on the spot--I had to go far afield. The scars remain.

The upside. People were generally very supportive and would buy stuff from me--that is, if some other kid (or their parent...grrrrrrrr!) hadn't gotten there first.