Friday, February 18, 2011

Entrepreneur or Thief?

The Principal called me last night and said, “We have a big problem.”

She must have dialed the wrong number because my kids are perfect.  I said, “Really?”

“Your son is selling the use of his iPod.”
“Oh, that.”
“He was polite and honest when I confronted him. Did you know he's collected over $60?”
“I know. Pretty smart huh?”
The principal barked, “It’s against school policy.”

Wait a minute. What about your fundraisers? You gave my son wrapping paper and candles and sent him out like a traveling sales man. You enticed him with promises of a Super Grand Prize that he was convinced he’d win. Hmmm… I wonder where he got the idea it was okay to sell at school?

The principal continued, “We expect your son to return all of the money.”
“He didn’t bully anyone. He wasn’t charging for friendship. He was providing a service and they bought it. It’s an iPod, not crack.”
The principal said, “I’ll be contacting the parents of the other kids.”

Great. Let’s really punish those kids for participating in the foundation of our country’s economic system. Kids have been putting quarters in pinball machines for years. They get value and the owner of the pinball machine gets compensated. It’s called Capitalism. I agree my son should not be breaking any rules, but return the money?

“No problem. My son will bring back all of the money tomorrow.”

He’ll also be bringing in some wrapping paper and I’ll be expecting a $45 refund too. It’ll be a great lesson for my son about how the customer is always right and the duty of a business to provide refunds.

I wonder what the other kids will learn from this?

* Disclaimer for the lawyers: The conversation above is a representation of a real conversation.  My mind is not capable of recalling the exact words. I am in no way condoning breaking school rules, nor am I criticizing the actions of the principal. We all have our jobs and mine is to parent.

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