When my now 11 year old daughter was first starting to sell cookies, she sported the Girl Scout Daisy smock and we could not wait to sell the coveted cookies that come once a year. It was my first time in Girl Scouts, right along with hers. We went door to door, we solicited all of our neighbors and we traversed the several blocks around our home pulling a wagon, hoping to sell another few boxes.
Then, we got to booth at the local grocery stores and retail outlets! Our little ones could only tolerate an hour at a time, but we were willing and able! We coordinated schedules, we practiced what to say, they talked about the options of saving and spending this cookie money with their leaders and we were all excited.
And then, as you pushed your grocery cart out of the store, my 6 year old finally got the courage to ask you if you’d like to buy some girl scout cookies. But you didn’t answer her. You, actually, completely ignored her. You didn’t even look at her. And even I was taken aback. She looked at me in complete surprise and said, “Mommy, how come they ignored me?”
I assured her immediately that not everyone can hear her and that maybe she could speak up next time and wave. And in between the people who did stop to buy cookies, there were those of you who found a way to ignore the kids speaking directly to you.
I get it, maybe there’s a language barrier. Maybe, you’re thinking about other things right now. Maybe you just had to fend off the mall vendors trying to sell you flat irons and lotion. Maybe you have a horrible sense of your surroundings and had no idea you just ignored a hard working young lady who has made goals and is practicing her entrepreneurial skills.
Maybe you’ve never heard of Girl Scouts and you thought it was a group trying to convert you into a cult?
Now, 5 years later, with my second daughter who’s 6 and sporting that Daisy Smock, you are all struggling to find the ways to best ignore her. Well, never fear. I have 10 ideas so you can perfectly ignore my girl scout, who stands in the heat, wind and rain to raise money for herself, her troop and the bigger picture.
1. Walk straight past her, ignoring the fact that a human being is talking to you.
I mean, this really is the easiest way, isn’t it? Just pretend that you didn’t hear her. Better yet, maybe you’re actually preparing her for the real world where people will literally ignore her in her education, her workplace and in her home. I mean, I’ve got kids and they are the BEST at ignoring. It is life…there will be all kinds of people they’ll have to deal with, rude ones too.
2. Tell her how many you already have at home.
Oh, you do, do you? Okay, maybe you do. But please don’t go on for a full minute explaining to us that you purchased some at the last grocery store you went to and then at the store before that too. Because, if that’s the case, we’ll just start to wonder why you would stop buying them…why not get them here as well!? And you don’t want that kind of questioning.
3. Use the “I’m on the phone, finger wave” acknowledgement
This is seriously a creative one. We can’t ever tell if you’re really on the phone or not, but that little wave you give to us let’s us know that you see us but are not interested and the pace you’re keeping clearly shows us how much of a hurry you’re in. This works like a charm.
4. Make no eye contact, walk straight past while saying ‘no thanks.’
I mean, at least you’re saying something and not ‘completely’ ignoring, right? This seems absolutely acceptable to me. Be sure to walk fast, don’t look at the scouts, because they are, in fact, cute and will reel you in like a fish. Then you will be supporting the cause they’ve been working weeks on. And you really don’t want that.
5. When my Girl Scout says “Good Morning,” simply reply, “No thank you.”
It’s best to have your responses ready to go. Know exactly what you’re going to say the entire walk from your car to the entrance of the store. It’s not like you can’t see us with the uniforms and the rainbow colored boxes displayed with handmade signs. It would be harder to try NOT to see us. But, as long as you repeat in your head, what you’re going to say….when the scout says “Good Morning” to you, you’ll be able to quickly let her know that you’re are not buying cookies today by replying, “No, Thanks.”
Works every time.
6. Go in one entrance to the store, but exit the other.
Or better yet, avoid our entrance altogether. This will absolutely remove guilt from the deepest part of your core.
7. Say you don’t have cash….but ignore her when she tells you, “We take cards too!”
Oooh….we almost get you on this one. Just when you think you’ve gotten away, these little business owners remind you that it’s not that easy. But it is…just keep walking! Do not turn around. And if you do turn back, just know, we can all see the cash you actually do have in your pocket, as you pull out the credit card. Be careful. Turning around will reveal the deception. This is, indeed, a tricky situation. If you get suckered in to buying a box of cookies, just throw it away. I mean honestly, if you can lie to a Girl Scout, you can throw food in the trash. And please just ignore the fact you can donate a box for troops overseas…..who knows if you can believe that one, right?!
8. Tell the Girl Scout you’re on a diet.
Who’s not on a diet?! We are all watching what we eat. Try not to use this one. No one will believe you. Or, at the very least, save it for a last ditch effort in escaping the cuteness. But run fast after telling these kids this. They don’t believe in diets and won’t understand anyone NOT eating a cookie. And please just look away from the container saying you can donate to the troops. Disregard the fact that you don’t actually have to eat the cookies to be supportive of this organization in your community.
Okay, I’ll give you diabetes. Diabetics, you are off the hook. But Gluten free and vegan…we got your cookies.
9. Tell her you were a Girl Scout, in great detail, remind them how much cookies were when you were a Girl Scout and walk away telling her ‘good luck,’ without purchasing a single box.
This one is fantastic. Tell them your life story and how much you loved girl scouts when you were a kid and remind them that the cost of cookies has gone up tremendously in 40 years and then just walk away. Everyone will be all nostalgic and won’t realize for a full 45 seconds that you didn’t get a box. Perfect. Want an extra tip? Be sure to mention that the cookies from the Girl Scouts elsewhere are different and question us on why we don’t have ones that other girls in other parts of the state have. This will get you off scot free. We can’t control what we have, therefore, we can’t give you what you want…bam…no sale. You can walk away with very little guilt.
10. Tell her you have a Girl Scout at home.
Okay, this one is totally legit, and we thank you for supporting Girl Scouts.
You know who you are. We see you.
In all seriousness, we do not really care if you buy the cookies. (And we thank each and every one of you who do buy the cookies). We care that you treat these young ladies with the respect they deserve for the hours and hours of work they put in. We’re teaching our scouts to make a plan, count money, set goals and achieve them. We’re teaching them to ask for what they need, step outside their comfort zone, show up on time and do things every day that make them uncomfortable. Girl Scouts are leaders in their schools and sports teams. They are decision makers and first aid ready. They are hikers and campers and love selling cookies.
Just make eye contact, acknowledge them and say no thank you.
And we wont judge you for items in your shopping cart.
**And if you are looking for girl scout cookies, I am happy to tell you where to find them. Email me at Jessica@BurbankMom.com