Parents: Go ahead, and tell your kids that I don’t want any cookie dough, wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions, or gigantic candy bars next year. Sure, I know the schools rely on your kids’ fund raising-efforts, but I just don’t want any of those old products. Not next year. Next year, I’ll give your kids an appointment only if they’re selling stuff I want — stuff like office supplies, car-care products, and building materials. If our under-funded schools need a cash infusion, then they’d better know what their customers want and equip their sales professionals accordingly. Well, I’m a customer, and I don’t want the current product lines that today’s students are offering.
Students: Your wares just aren’t doing it for me anymore. I read magazines on my computer, I’m no longer allowed to eat 20-inch candy bars, I hate wrapping anything, and I burn every batch of cookies I make. So, all that stuff in your sample cases is useless to me. But, I go through printer paper and car wax like a banshee, and I’m always looking for a sweet bulk deal on clear silicone caulk and roofing nails. You really should look into carrying those items, especially that one brand of caulk that lasts 25 years! Listen, I just want to see you properly educated, and the first priority the schools need to tackle is getting you firmly behind the right products!
Sure, selling new products is hard work – almost as hard as homework. And I know it’ll be disappointing if the cute cheerleaders get to sell designer luggage and you algebra-class nerds get stuck selling lawn fertilizer, but deal with it, and just be thankful you’ve got a job, OK? I know plenty of kids in other parts of the world who never get to sell anything because their schools have all the money they need. Do you want that to happen to your school? Now, settle down! I’m pretty sure America’s voters and politicians would never let that happen, but you just watch out! Anything’s possible if you forget your educational funding priorities. Now grab your order books and get out there on the streets with those products! I hear the cheerleaders are already ahead of their quarterly sales target, and you nerds would like to have some new Bunsen burners next year, wouldn’t you? Now, go sell some lawn fertilizer like your future depends on it!
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.