The Daughter of Count Olaf And The Grinch

, , , , | Friendly | December 14, 2018

(My twins got into Kindergarten this summer, and they have a support club of parents raising extra money for the place. This ranges from selling cakes to encouraging sponsors to give something for certain events. Around Christmas, the town has stands reserved at the Christmas market that get used by all the different places and organisations who want to sell stuff to make money. The parents are encouraged to make cookies, jam, decorations, and such stuff to sell, and they need people to man the stand in two-hour shifts over the day. I am an avid baker, so I make a batch of very tasty gingerbread cakes and package them to sell, and volunteer for the six- to eight-pm shift. I encourage the Club to use a pay-what-you-want system this year, so instead of, say 50 cents for a little bag of homemade cookies, people are encouraged to just give a donation as they see fit. People love that, it seems, and when I get there, the stand is rather bare already. We still keep selling stuff. I go around to the nearby mulled wine sellers and offer cookies to people and tell them to come over and get some. After that, I am in the hut selling stuff, and so many people are like, “For the Kindergarten? Of course! Have 5€ for them!” and only take a couple of bags of cookies. But, of course, some people are just impossible. There is an older woman hovering over the free-sample dish we have. Her clothes are rather fancy, so she’s not likely a poor person by the look of her jewellery alone.)

Me: “Please, help yourself! These are made by the parents of [Kindergarten].”

Lady: “Oh, thanks! Don’t mind if I do!”

(She takes a cookie, exclaims it’s delicious, and takes another.)

Me: “I’m glad you like them! You are welcome to take a bag or two home if you want! Just give a little donation and the kiddies will thank you, as well.”

Lady: “No, absolutely not! I have no money at all.”

Me: “Well, you can give what you want, so you could just take a bag and give some small change. Like, 10 cents would be fine. Every little bit helps.”

Lady: “No, that is impossible; I have no money.”

(She takes two more sample cookies and eats them.)

Me: “Well, if you are that poor, here!”

(I give her a bag of some stuff; we have lots left over and will not sell out, anyway.)

Lady: “What? Is this free?”

Me: “Yes. Consider it a Christmas gift from the kids at [Kindergarten]. Nobody should be so completely out of money they can’t have cookies at Christmas.”

(She thanks me profoundly and goes off. The other people buying stuff make good for her at least thrice, exclaiming how nice that was and grumbling about cheap people. About 20 minutes later, I see a lady hovering over the sample dish again. I invite her to help herself, then spot the earrings again. She has taken off her hat and scarf, but I recognise it’s the lady from before.)

Lady: “Oh, can I take one for free?”

Me: “Yeah, sure. Take a free sample.”

Lady: “Can I get one of the bags, please? They are free, as well, right?”

Me: “No, the bags are not free. But you can donate whatever you see fit.”

Lady: “Oh, but I have no money at all. Can’t you give me one for free?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. We want to raise money for the kids at [Kindergarten]. And still, if you have 10 cents it would be enough if you think it’s enough to give to the children.”

Lady: “But you gave away the bags earlier; I saw it! Why won’t you give me one?”

Me: “Because I know you are the only person I’ve given one to all evening, and nobody else so cheap came here after you. Please enjoy the free cookies you got earlier, but if you want more, please donate at least something.”

(She then slunk off and that was the end of it. The vast majority of the people were great, but there are some that will never get into the spirit of giving, only taking.)

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