My Kid is Selling Cookies for Her School...

Selling items on behalf of your child's school is a great way to raise money for education. However, it is also the fastest way to workplace awkwardness. Modern Manners Guy has 3 tips for selling cookies in the office.

Richie Frieman,
October 2, 2012

My Kid is Selling Cookies for Her School...

Anyone who works in an office has inevitably had a coworker approach them about a raffle or sales event that their child is doing for school. From cookies, to pies, to wrapping paper, to popcorn, kids are asked to hustle all kinds of things to raise money for their chronically underfunded schools (and of course, to win prizes). 

And I'm all for this. There is nothing wrong with a little entrepreneurial spirit at a young age. Plus, I'm the biggest sucker in the world for those elegantly-wrapped boxes of cookies. However, the selling of these goods falls mainly on the parents, not the kids. And this pressure turns perfectly amiable coworkers into aggressive, crazed salespeople who act as if winning this contest will fund their child’s free ride to Harvard. 

As always, Modern Manners Guy has the recipe for a polite life. So here are the 3 ground rules for selling tickets to your kid's school raffle in the office:

1. Ask the boss first. Don't assume it's proper to set up your lemonade stand outside your cubicle and act like a carnival barker to hustle treats. The first step is to ask the boss if this is sanctioned activity in the workplace. Make sure to let him/her know how much time you plan to dedicate to peddling your wares. After all, your work is more important than selling enough popcorn to win your daughter a Hello Kitty purse.

2. Don't badger your coworkers.  If you tell me once that you are selling something, I don't need to be reminded every 10 minutes. As well, if I say I'm not interested, stalking my office won't help the cause. It's rude to assume that everyone wants to shell out $20 for that 5-pound tub of cookie batter. Shockingly, not everyone is that interested. Ask once and that's all. If they are interested, they will come to you, I promise.

3. It's not a competition. I've noticed that when I see one coworker selling something for his kids, chances are there will be at least two more coming up to do the same. That's when it gets awkward. I mean, you can't buy from one and not the other, right? If you buy $20 of cookies from Employee A, how can you pass up on Employee B's scented candles? And the next thing you know, you just dropped nearly $50 out of pure guilt. Not cool and a total imposition. So if you’re the one who is going to be selling, make sure to check with others in the office and work out a good plan. Don't make it a competition. 

For more tips on living a polite life, check out Modern Manners Guy.

Boy with Money image courtesy of Shutterstock