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Should Single Mom Have Been Fired for Selling Girl Scout Cookies at Work?

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM
  • 172 Replies

Single Mom Fired for Selling Girl Scout Cookies Should Have Followed the Rules

by Sasha Brown-Worsham

girl scout cookiesAs parents, we all want what is best for our kids. For Tracy Lewis, an employee of American University in Washington, DC, that meant selling Girl Scout cookies at her job as a retail service manager for Bon Appetit, which provides various food services on the university's campus.

It seems like no big deal, right? Selling some inexpensive cookies to people who are under no obligation to buy them seems harmless. Or does it? First of all, a rule is a rule. If she wasn't allowed to sell food, it was probably for a good reason. She works in food service and maybe there were contractual obligations her employer needs to meet and she was violating them.

But moreover, it's never as simple as saying that buying was voluntary. Of course it is. But if someone tells you their kid is selling cookies, who DOESN'T feel obligated to buy?

Personally, I have no issue with buying a box or two of cookies. In fact, give me some now! But it's a lie to say there is no pressure to buy. Only a jerk wouldn't buy cookies from a co-worker or person you know selling for their child.

But more to the point: a rule is a rule. We may disagree with rules at work, but we do have to follow them. We can protest, talk to HR, or make our voices be heard, but in the end, the people at the top have the right to make rules and expect them to be followed.

Does it seem silly? Sure. Why can't she sell cookies? Also: She is a single mom and she deserves a second chance. All of these things are true. But from one story, there isn't enough information to glean whether she knew the rules or not.

An employer owes it to his or her employee to try to be understanding, and lord knows, a woman on one income needs her job. But was she warned before? Was she knowingly violating policy? These are the things we need to know. While "Single Mom Fired for Selling Cookies" will sell papers on sympathy alone, it seems like there is a more nuanced approach to looking at this story.

I hope this woman finds another job quickly where she is allowed to sell cookies and this is all put behind her.

Do you think she should have been fired?

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:54 PM
6 moms liked this
No....given a warning to stop seems more appropriate.
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by ❀️Lucy πŸ’‹ on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM
No I never want a single mom to be fired. Write her up sure.
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by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:57 PM
No how stupid. My ex takes all my sons fundraising junk to work with him
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by Katie on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM
12 moms liked this

 If company policy was that she couldn't sell food at work, then yes, she should have been fired.

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by Emerald Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM
1 mom liked this

First of all, no one is obligated to "buy".  I am a diabetic and certainly should not feel obligated to buy sweets(although YES, I do like girl scout cookies) ALSO, I do not think it was a big deal.  No matter where I have ever worked, someone ALWAYS sold GS cookies.  To get fired over this and take away someones livelihood is just wrong, IMO.  A warning, maybe a write up, but come on.  This was most certainly not a serious offense.

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM
She shouldn't of been fired. I don't think she damaged her company's reputation or hurt their business. Just give her a warning.
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by Anonymous 1 on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM
7 moms liked this

Was it her first offense? Is it clearly written that it is a terminatable offense? If so, yes she should be fired if there was clear warning. Why should it matter if she is a single mom? In the hiring process, they are not allowed to ask questions about family. So why should it matter to keep the person from being fired? If the same person was a married man, would you still agree with the termination if it was clearly written that to do so would get you fired? 

by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM
2 moms liked this

Obviously I don't know all of the details and it seems a bit of an over-reaction but according to the article she wasn't just offering an order form to her fellow co workers she was actually selling the cookies to customers off of her food cart as if it were an item Bon Appetit was selling and I'm sure they have contracts in place about that. Also depending on if it could have been considered a cookie booth she could possibly have gotten her daughter's troop in trouble because any booth not on their list has to be approved by your local girl scout counsel.

by Anonymous 3 on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:02 PM

If there is a rule not to sell stuff at work, then yes. Does not matter if your single or not. Most companies dont like you selling your stuff on the clock.

by Anonymous 4 on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:03 PM
4 moms liked this
She is selling them when she should be promoting the food her employer sells? Yes, she should be fired. Should I be allowed to sell my crocheted scarfs at Target, while working at Target? No, I shouldn't, so what makes this different?
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