The other day, I saw a sign of the changing times.
I was heading for the bus when a kid stopped me and said “Hi, do you want to buy a magazine to support my school?” My first response was no, since I can’t very well read print magazines, and even if I could, I didn’t have any cash on me. He would not be deterred. “You could buy a gift for a friend for Christmas, and we take credit cards.”
Pardon? The school kids are taking credit cards? Credit…cards? I think when I sold chocolate bars for school, I took cash and that was it. Did I take cheques? I don’t remember ever telling someone who to make the cheque out to, so I’m pretty sure it was cash. Or, they’d fill out an order form, but they would still pay cash. Now, little Johnny is accepting Visa!
The little guy looked so sad, and so determined to tell me all about all the zillion types of subscriptions he had that I felt guiltier and guiltier that I couldn’t think of someone who would want a magazine subscription, and because of that, he was going to go the extra mile for absolutely nothing. I even phoned Steve and asked if he knew someone who would want some kind of magazine subscription. Nope, he couldn’t think of anyone, so I had to say no. I felt even worse when the little guy said he hadn’t had a lot of folks buy magazines.
I missed the bus because I let the little guy read to me, so I guess he’s not the only one who didn’t really benefit from this conversation. But I didn’t want to run off on the little guy. It’s a kid! You can’t give the brush-off to a kid, unless he’s being rude or something.
But it scares me that kids are taking visa now! I personally think I would rather just give the school kid cash. Or maybe they’re not actually taking credit cards, and this kid learned from that last kid who ripped me off. Maybe they all think I’m an easy mark. I don’t want to think that’s what’s going on.