Attention Shoppers!

Dear Grocery Shoppers,

My son and a few teammates will be standing outside of the grocery store this afternoon for about four hours, most likely in the pouring rain that is forecasted, selling $5 coupon booklets to benefit our Lacrosse club (and help our own registration fees go down).

I just have a couple of requests.

1. These are good, smart, polite young men. The media trumpets mostly bad stuff about teenagers when in fact, the majority of teenagers are awesome people. Don’t let their letter jackets or their team jerseys color your attitude, cause you to think of stereotypical teens, and make you crabby before you even approach them. I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

2. Yes, they *are* selling something. Believe me, they’d rather not have to. The truth is, most school organizations (and schools themselves) require participants to become salespeople; these programs wouldn’t survive without fundraising. Please watch your rudeness. They’d rather not be there either.

3. If you don’t want to buy what they’re selling, they won’t take it personally. Just please don’t tell them on your way in that you WILL buy on the way out, and then run away from them when they try to follow up with you as you’re leaving. If you have no intention of buying, no big deal. Just be honest. Either say “No thanks” or, if you’re too intimidated by the above-mentioned polite young men to say “no” right off, just say “I’ll think about it while I’m shopping.” The “maybe” that you’re giving them isn’t as annoying to them when it turns out to be a “no” on the other side.

4. Feel free to ask them about their sport and/or their club. They’re proud of what they do and would love to talk to you about it.

5. If you don’t want the actual coupon book, they will accept donations for the club if you still want to help. Even a dollar is fabulous. If you can’t or don’t want to give anything, smiling is wonderful. These boys actually like to talk to friendly adults. Really, they do!

6. They know when you open up your flip phone and act like you’re on a call as you approach them, so you can sneak by without them being able to talk to you, that you’re faking. Again, see #1.

7. They also see you sneaking out the other store exit and speed-walking toward your car, because their minds are like steel traps and they know exactly who they’re watching for at all exits. Again, see #1.

8. A special note to the dad of a player on one of our rival teams who was rude to my son the last time we did this in October. There was really no need for you to identify yourself as the parent of a player on an opposing team and say “There’s no way in hell I’m giving any money to your cause” and then state that, this season, your son’s team will “kick the a$$es” of my son’s team. What kind of d-bag says stuff like that to a boy who did nothing but politely ask a stranger if he wanted to help his club out, especially when you’re in our club’s area of town? All you had to do was say “No thanks” and keep on walking. No confrontation necessary. I hope you don’t need groceries today. And if you do, please keep your foul mouth shut. It’s people like you who turn teenagers away from adults.

9. For the rest of you, if you are impressed with the manners and conversational skills of these boys, please compliment them. They may not show it, but they love compliments. A kind word goes a long way, especially with teenagers.

Thanks for your time and attention.

10 Comments

  • WeaselMomma

    Poor kids. Bad day to be out doing this. I’ll take a book. Bring it to lunch next week.

    My verification word is blesses, huh.

  • The Microblogologist

    I hope the store lets them set up inside, it is too cold and wet to have them sit outside! The father from the other team needs to be thrown in rehab for idiots, what kind of lessons is he teaching his kid about sportsmanship and being a decent human being going off like that?! As a sports father he should empathize with your kid since theoretically his kid has to do the same stuff for his team…

    PS: You never told the story the Rabbi told at younger boy’s Bar Mitzvah about why he chose the colors and such he did. I was so not Bar Mitzvahed out, that was a fascinating series of posts =). Totally understand if you don’t feel like it or it is something you want to keep private, just got my curiosity going when you mentioned it (like a year ago).

    My captcha is “typolend” which seems like it should be typoland, Google you totally failed at dissing my crappy spelling abilities by misspelling that!

  • Kat

    You rock. You and the teens can stand in front of my supermarket anytime 🙂

    People are just freaking rude. They ought to have their asses kicked.

  • Mom24

    good luck. i hope he sells lots. It drives me crazy that people act like this…even to younger kids who are selling. Just say no thank you.

  • NukeDad

    Great post Melisa! I do my best to support teams/clubs when I see them at stores because I know what it’s like to have to fund raise like that. Right now NukeBoy1 is selling “World’s Finest” chocolate bars. Yep, the same ones we used to sell back in the day, and, they’re still only a dollar. Makes you wonder how much bank they were making when I was in school. Sounds like the Dad from the rival school was probably the last one picked when choosing sides.

  • Melisa with one S

    Weaselmomma: You’re sweet. As I told you on Twitter (I don’t want folks to think I ignored your comment!), I appreciate it but the books are good at Carson’s this Saturday only, so I’ll ask you next time around; I didn’t post about this to sell them, but I luv ya for offering to buy one. 🙂

    Microblogologist: You’re right about the dad, what a jerk. Oddly enough, he wasn’t setting a bad example for his son that day; HIS son wasn’t even with him! He was totally alone! And re: the colors? WOW, I forgot about that! I should regularly have somebody go back and read all of my archives and let me know what I forgot to explain! 🙂 And now, sadly, I can’t remember the whole story about it. I know that each color symbolized something in the Torah portion that we read that week. I will do my best to remember to ask my son when he gets up, and get back to you. 🙂

    Melissa: I love tripping people on accident. 🙂

    Kat: My son would LOVE to go to Munich and stand in front of your supermarket. ha ha

    Mom24: Thanks. I think they did okay while they were there, but the rain became of the torrential variety so they all left after 2 hours.

    Nukedad: Thanks! I also try to support them. My favorite are the little Brownie Girl Scouts at Cookie Time. I always walk out of the store to their table and act like I have never seen anyone selling cookies there before, and act like it’s going to change my life if they sell me a box. Their little smiles are so cute when they get someone who is really interested! And: “World’s Finest Chocolate”? YUM. Made in Chicago! Woo hoo! I can’t believe they’re still a dollar.

    Seashore: Thanks! It ended up not being so bad, as I said above, with only 2 hours…he was glad to be done!

  • Michelle

    Wow. Someone really said that? Yikes.

    And umm #6 and #7, really? Seriously people do that?

    Here’s hoping the sale went well. And that they didn’t freeze OR get flooded out.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah! You tell that DIRT BAG dude! Right on! I enjoyed your post… how did your son do? Every year I admit dodging the Cornell Crew “Phone-a-thon”… need to change that…
    … still in Fla and now on hold with US Air instead of Expedia…
    wx kim

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