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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33 comments:

  1. Wow! Your son is a total entrepreneur. The principle should let him keep the money this time and take action if it happens again. Principles take all the fun out of school, lol. My step daughter would totally be doing this if she thought about it. : )

    Anyway, thanks for commenting on my recipe. As for finding pork butt (sounds funny saying that, lol) it was pretty easy to find. I found it right along with the other meats in the meat section of the grocery store. It's about the size/shape of a rump roast.

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  2. Holy cow that post was fantastic! Firstly your son rocks (in case you needed a reminder) and I think he's got spirit, creativity and passion. I love my kids school because it's pretty progressive - DD was selling paper airplanes in kindergarten and I never heard boo about it. Granted she didn't make $60 or anything. More like 60 cents.

    And for the record - I hate fundraisers! ;)

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  3. I remember when something similar happened to me in school. We were always selling candy bars and other candy to raise money for something. One day I had extra candy bars, of my OWN that I had brought with me to school. A few friends gave me money for them. I almost got suspended for breaking the rules.

    A few years earlier during the "POG" craze everyone wound up getting in trouble for selling their pogs and they were then banned from school grounds. (This was upsetting since the school store sold them!! So, explain to me, why it wasn't okay for us to do it?)


    I do not condone breaking the rules either, but I don't understand what is wrong with the situation. I like your line, that everyone has a job to do and that yours is to parent.

    I am a new follower.

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  4. I think your son is a genius. He had an item that other people wanted and he charged for it. I would return the wrapping paper too.

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  5. You've got a clever little guy, hope he's not getting discuraged by this. I would totaly support my son's efforts in doing business, as long as they stay on the legal side and he's not cheating anyone. I like your writing.

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  6. I agree with you!

    Thanks for following...I'm returning the favor and can't wait until your book is released:)

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  7. Wow! I'm not a parent, but how do you punish your child for understanding the concepts of supply and demand at such a young age?!

    -Kellie
    http://sixtieshome.blogspot.com/

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  8. Kellie -> That is a Wonderfull question - you may not be a parent, but you're thinking like one. I didn't punish my son. I told him I was extremely proud of him. I paid half of the return money and let him keep half. He knows he was not punished, but more importantly he knows that mom is not responsible to fix everything in life. He understands supply and demand as if he was born with it already... now he also understands that the road to success is paved with principals.. sometimes you jump over them, sometimes you knock them down, and every now and then you have to just take a new road.
    Thanks so much for reading and commenting
    -Buffi

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  9. Jessica -> my son was beaming from ear to ear when he read your comment. Thanks for making his morning a little brighter.
    -Buffi

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  10. FunFunFun -> Thanks for signing up! You rock!

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  11. mommysparadise -> I think he's clever too.. but it is awesome to hear someone other than "mommy" say that ;-) My daughter has a heat press and is getting into makeing t-shirts...thanks for reading!
    - Buffi

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  12. Buffi,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! I look forward to receiving the e-mail. This story about your son is wonderful! I do not think he should return any money to anyone.

    http://bkwilliams-catskidsandcrafts.blogspot.com/

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  13. BK -> Thanks for signing up to be notified and thanks for reading. I'll be headed over to your blog tomorrow (today I have a dirty house to clean) ;)
    - Buffi

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  14. Thank you! It sounds like you and your son are way ahead of the principal on the journey to finding normal. He, and you, are doing a great job. Please let me know when he needs investors for his next venture.

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  15. Thanks for following me! I'm following you back! On GFC via Both my blogs:
    www.mrs-marine.com
    http://novelbloggers.blogspot.com
    Please follow my other blog if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to stop by next week and link up again on "Stalk Hop Friday"!

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  16. I'd buy him a 15$ iTunes card, pretend I was the iTunes fairy and stick it under his pillow.

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  17. Thank heavens he has a mom like you who can teach him these things. If all learning was left up to the schools, our country would eventually become dependent idiots.

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  18. I think your son is showing great business skills! I was a school administrator for many years, so I see both sides, but I'm pretty sure we just ask that he not do it at school...since we had a rule about use of electronic devices. Calling the other parents seems a bit much. They wanted it, he had it. Even exchange.

    Looking forward to your book!

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  19. Good for you for standing your ground! That is hilarious.

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  20. I found you on the Be One Fine Day Blog. I am your newest GFC follower. If you could check out my blog and follow me back I would appreciate it. Thanks Amber
    http://dragonflysweetnest.blogspot.com/

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  21. A bus driver told me a funny story about 30 years ago. The bus had a breakdown on the road before school, before cell phones and he had to wait until another bus had delivered all of the passengers to come and get the children & take them to school. One enterprising young grade schooler started wondering aloud if they would even get to to eat lunch that day. He sold all of the potato chips in his lunch bag for 10 cent a piece. The bus driver had no objections and got a good chuckle out of the story.

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  22. I can't wait to read your book, it sounds really good. Also Just stopping by to let you know that I got a new
    email address so I am now subscribed via havingfunblogging@gmail.com
    and I unsubscribed with mrsphilipswithonel@gmail.com
    I didn't want you to think I stopped reading :)

    Having Fun Blogging
    http://mrsphilipswithonel.blogspot.com/
    havingfunblogging@gmail.com

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  23. My favorites this year were the "fill out these postcards with all your Friends' and relatives' addresses begging for sales" and the photo company that sent home unordered magnets and postcards - then wanted the money for them. What happened to FREE PUBLIC EDUCATION? Good for your son.

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  24. Lol, hilarious! This gave me a good chuckle. Typical that when a kid shows real initiative he gets condemned for it. We live in a crazy world. In my opinion, you have one smart boy there! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)
    Humble Homemaking

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  25. I read this to my hubby and we both thought your son was genius!!! We got a good laugh over what you told the principal as well.

    new follower :D

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  26. They teach our kids one thing and then punish them for it, go figure. Thank you for visiting my blog I'm your new follower.

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  27. Well that post alone sold me to be a follower of your blog!! That's a trip. I love the bluntness of your convo. reminds me of a story when I was in highschool.. the teacher yelled across the room "I HATE YOU" to me.. sad huh? Then had the audacity to call my mother and try to get me in trouble... As we sat in the conference discussing my terrible attitude and all things horrible about me, I then piped up and said.. well, I don't think it was very nice for you to reach across and scream what you said.. (this was 16 years ago) and my mother went from tapping her foot at me with the look of 'a grounding is in your future' to telling the teacher off. Ahh.. it was nice. She later wrote me a recommendation for college.. schools can be CRAZY! I think I said too much... heh.

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  28. I LOVE this post! So honest and right to the point. Your son is going to be something when he gets older!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!

    Jenny, The Healthified Mom
    http://www.healthifiedmom.com

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  29. Sounds like you have gifted kids on your hands! The challenge, like this story illustrates, will be helping them navigate pitifully un-gifted environments.

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  30. Thats awesome. I love that your son was renting his iPod. That is true entrepreneurship right there and isn't that what the American dream is founded on? What a shame the principal got stinky about it.

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  31. Sounds like you've got a kid with one smart head on his shoulders!

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  32. I'm not sure what I enjoyed more;your son's cleveness or yours. Both were spectacular!

    This is an amazing blog, by the way.

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