I Feel Guilty – Guest Post

February 25, 2009 by admncc

Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they would like complaint about.  Leo Nevoli submitted the below-Guest Post.  His complaint is office etiquette.  Whether you have children or not, I’m sure many of you have encountered this situation at work.  Enjoy and without further adieu, here’s Leo.

I have been feeling guilty for something I am doing right now.  No, I am not cheating on my spouse; it is nothing like that.  For those that work in an office and have kids, you may have felt this guilt at one time or another.  It happens just before the holidays every year around my office.  Right now it is happening to me, and you may be feeling that same guilt as I am having.  My child is selling Easter Candy to help raise money for the daycare’s new playground.  I would not normally ask my co-workers but since the Wife is employed at the place, I should buy something from this fundraiser and support them.

On the order form and product sheet it clearly states, “We do not promote door to door selling of our products, because your children’s safety is in our best interest.”  If I do what the company suggests, then not selling it door to door limits the people my Daughter can sell it to.  My Daughter is 3, so having her go door to door is out of the question to begin with, but if we want to sell any of the candy, it will be done by my Wife and I to the people we know or work with.  Well, mainly me, since the Wife can’t really sell the candy to her co-workers.  I am making an attempt to see if family members want to order some candy, mainly my Parents and relatives that don’t have kids, because I feel guilty about asking the relatives with kids.  I don’t want them to feel that they need to buy from me, if they want me to buy from them in the future.

I have had the sales sheet with me at work for a few weeks now, and the order is due tomorrow.  I finally got over my guilt and started asking my co-workers today if they want to buy from me.  For those that do this, I am wondering if you feel the same guilt as I do.  What guilt am I feeling right now?  That guilt of if you buy from me, I will have to buy from you in the future.  My sales pitch has been to the co-workers with kids that you don’t have to buy from me, because I know these are the local popular candy, and your child maybe selling these for Easter also.  I have had a few employees buy from me, and it might be because I have bought a few things from their kids in the past.  I don’t know if any of my co-workers are keeping score as to how much I bought from this guy, or how many items I bought from the receptionist?  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping support a kid’s fund raising sale, but I don’t want to guilt my co-workers in to buying something from me, because I bought from them last year.  As much as I keep repeating it to my co-workers that you don’t have to buy from me, I think a few of them bought the cheapest item just because I bought something from them before.

Last year I had a co-worker who came to me with Christmas Wrapping Paper for $20.  Should I ask him, even though I did not buy from him?  I could not use the wrapping paper.  I can only hope that if he buys from me, that next time his kid is selling something, it is something I can use.  I want to be fair to all my co-workers, this way they don’t feel guilty about asking me to buy something from them in the future.  I also don’t want to feel guilty about buying some junk item from a co-worker because they bought from me this time.  Should I also try to ask all my co-workers including our President, and CEO?  When I first started here, I saw our CEO go in to a guy’s office and say, “You remember when I bought that candy from your kid last year?  My kid is selling this stuff, what do you want to order?”  I thought to myself that there is nothing like putting pressure on the guy to buy something now.  A few weeks ago my CFO came up to me and said, “You don’t have to buy from me, but if you want Girl Scout Cookies, I have an order form here.”  He is my supervisor, so I bought 3 boxes, but I am off the hook with him because this is Easter Candy I am selling and he is Jewish.  I don’t mind buying things from my co-workers, but I just feel guilty about making them feel that they have to buy from me, if they want me to buy from them.

Fund raising is a big part of kid’s school life, without it some kids will not have the chance to go on a field trip or get an item for the school that can benefit them.  Maybe it is just me, and not wanting to pressure my co-workers in anyway, but I honestly feel guilty about asking them to buy from me; but that is not going to stop me from asking.  I’m Leo Nevoli, and if you want to buy any Easter Candy, let me know, quickly!

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  1. The Constant Complainer says:

    Leo, I think your post also raises questions on all these schools that are going to “pay to play” for sports. You just wonder if a good athlete is left behind because their family can’t afford to buy the candy themselves and they couldn’t sell it either. When I was a kid, my parents just wrote a check for the candy and we ate it. I never sold it because they didn’t want me to. We could afford to just outright buy the stuff, but I realize that isn’t the case for a lot of people these days. Maybe a little off-topic, but that’s my two cents.

  2. NeoConDon says:

    I seem to remember that you’re in an accounting office, correct? If you think the rest of them are honest (???) perhaps you could set the box of candy next to the water cooler and go on the honor system that people will make the transaction themselves.

    Another approach is to remind them that the cost of the candy that goes beyond the fair market value is tax deductible since it is being used as a charity or fundraiser. So, if the candy costs two dollars, but the market value is one dollar, the extra dollar is deductible. I know this because I buy a lot of girl scout cookies. I’d rather give my money to the girls scouts and get some cookies out of it than give it to the gov’t and get crap.

  3. Judith says:

    NeoConDon has an excellent idea with his honor box suggestion. That is what we do at my office whenever anyone is selling candy for their kids.

  4. Mike says:

    Grow a pair Leo. If you want the best for your kids then you need to ask anyone and everyone to buy some stuff from you. Don’t feel guilty about it. If they don’t want to buy from you then so be it. They’re not going to hate you for asking. Quit worrying about what other people think about you. I think Don’s an idiot, but I’m sure it doesn’t bother him that I think so…and vice versa. Notice how he had to bring up the government and taxes again…

  5. Leo Nevoli says:

    I do want what is best for my kids, and that is why I sold the candy for them. The point I am trying to make here, is when the kid of the co-worker who bought $50 worth of candy from me, is selling something that I have no use for, should I tell the guy nothing interests me, or am I obligated to buy $50 of something I can’t use, just to make it fair and even, because the next time my kid is selling candy or something, he may not buy as much or may not buy at all because I did not buy from him.

  6. Seth says:

    I think it is funny how Mike has to attack everyone in every post. Beat your opinion onto another. Isn’t that a blogging rule or something.

  7. c.princess says:

    I live in a neighborhood with two private schools so there is never any type of fund raising but I have noticed the children from the public schools will come around selling chocolate almonds or chocolate thin mints. I never say no. In some ways I feel obligated, the money they raise is for new school equipment or for a school field trip. It’s all for a good cause and I love chocolate almonds.

  8. Jane says:

    Some of these schools actually cutting out sports and going pay to play is sad. I guess I would buy all their candy if I could.

  9. Mike says:

    Actually Seth, I didn’t attack anyone this time. All I said was for Leo to not feel guilty for asking his co-workers to buy candy. It’s something that has to be done and there’s no point feeling bad about it.

  10. Zig says:

    Leo, I am with Mike. You need to grow a sack! You need to just pony up the $50 to make it even and stop crying about everything not being fair. You should have thought through your decision to take the candy form to work, in the first place! Please tell me how “wanting the best for your kids” and “selling candy for them” is related? Don’t try to makle yourself look like dad-of-the-year, when you are really just an absent father trying to make up for lost time with your kids… They would rather have a father there to play catch with them than one who sells the candy the teacher told them they have ot sell in order to win a class trip to the Great Wolf Lodge!

    Mike, when you tell a man to grow a sack, you are attacking his manhood! Similarly, when you tell someone to “Quit worrying about what other people think about you,” it isn’t complimentary!

  11. I try to always buy something if I can because I know it is for the child. I don’t expect anything in return. If they want to buy something when my child is selling it fine, if they don’t I just move on.

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