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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Their Grades Suck

X is the girl who now sits with Little Boy. For some obscure reason, she has ready access to heaps and heaps of free sweets from Changi Airport. She brought them to school to share with her friends. Seeing an opportunity to make money, Little Y made her an offer she didn't refuse - "I will help you sell your sweets and we will split the takings 45% for you and 55% for me." Incidentally, Little Y was the enterprising young fellow who had some weeks ago thought up the slogan "Join Us We Have Cookies" and with it, ran the aggressive and highly successful membership drive for his gang. More details here.

Little X, sweet little girl that she was, accepted Little Y's offer of 45%-55% in his favour.

Enter The Business Consultant - Little Boy. In his own words - "I ADVISED X that since she is the supplier of sweets, she should get the bigger cut since without her sweets, Y would have nothing to sell... and besides, she can always get other people to sell her sweets... or sell them herself without going through Y." Whereupon, the scales fell from X's eyes. She marched back to Y and demanded (as advised by Little Boy) a 75%-25% cut in her own favour.

And so the venture began.

Little Y then went to buy his own sweets and put them on the market. However, Little Boy reported that his costs were higher so he was making less per sweet than when he sold Little X's sweets. However, having access to his own supply of sweets meant that Little Y could renegotiate terms with Little X and so now the split is at 50%-50%.

Last night, I heard that the business is booming. X and Y Sweet Enterprises now has an accounts ledger where they keep track of their clients and how many sweets they've bought. You see, if you don't keep good accounts, you can't report to the tax man. Besides, they need to keep track of how many sweets each customer has bought in order to honour their promotional package - Buy 8 sweets and get the 9th sweet free.

X has begun working on a sweet catalogue. She has to sort through her sweets, photograph them and print a catalogue to make it easier for customers to pick sweets. They've even offered their sweet selling services to other kids - "If you have sweets to offload, let us know. We will sell for you and take a 10% cut."

"Why 10% only?" I asked. "When the publishers sell Mommy's book, they give themselves a 90% cut (which explains why I am not working with the publisher to sell my book)... why did you advise Little X to take such a small cut?" Little Boy gave me an exasperated look and explained to his slow Mommy "Anyone in my class can sell sweets Mom. If we don't give them a big cut, they'll just start to sell their sweets themselves. Since you don't own a bookstore, you cannot sell your book yourself."

Oh well... he is wrong. In this day and age, I CAN sell my book myself sans bookstore.

Then I asked "Don't these 2 kids have to study for PSLE?" Little Boy shrugged his shoulders and said "I guess that's why their grades suck, Mom." Oh well... good grades or not, I say that Little Y is a boy to watch. He'll will be a very rich businessman one day if our educational system hasn't beaten the risk-taking bent outta him in the name of the Worship of Grades and the Right Answers.

I put a rather distracted Little Boy to bed last night. He was busy thinking of ways to help grow Little X's business. He even said "Mom... you're a Business Consultant. Give me some ideas." A few minutes after I had retired to bed, I was rather upset to find Little Boy bouncing onto my bed declaring "I know how to grow Little X's business, Mom! We need sales reps in the other classes so that we can sell the sweets to the children there!"

"But what's in it for you? Why are you getting more excited about X's business than your PSLE?" I asked.

The answer was beyond simple, "Mom! Little X lets me have all the sweets I can eat for free." I wasn't sure what to say to that because on the one hand the PSLE is Little Boy's ticket to a life of even more sweets (and other things)... but on the other hand, I am not keen to put the brakes on such a fun and educational project that has absolutely nothing to do with Direct School Admission, GEP, HAT and CCA points. It's so rare that our kids have the time to explore and generate their own unstructured activities to find their passion. So... I smiled and said "Go away. I am not interested. I am an HR Consultant, not Business Consultant. Until X &Y Sweet Enterprises starts to hire people, don't ask me for advice."

I'll just have to watch this carefully in order to ensure that Little Boy's grades don't begin to suck as he goes about trying to encourage his friends in other classes to suck sweets.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps becoming a dentist would be a good career option in your neighborhood! Hope all these young entrepreneurs and their clientele are brushing and flossing! ;-)

petunialee said...

Theanne - That is so true. I need to watch Little Boy's teeth too.

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said... fun + so funny! i wasn't tat smart when i was young.

Malar said...

Little boy can be a very good Business Consultant! Very smart kids!

My Sinfonia said...

Things that is not taught in the classrooms...a couple of many-times-over-millionaires send their children to set up and operate stalls selling toys, cornflakes and clothes in the local market. That I think is part of a good education.

petunialee said...

Sinfonia - Yup!

Blur Ting said...

Wow, I see a bunch of little business men and women out there. Little Boy is the business consultant. Let's keep track and see how it all turns out in 30 years.

petunialee said...

Ting - Yeah... I was pretty amazed too!!

Wen-ai said...

Haha. Good old days of primary school! That's how schools should be! ;) May there be more Little Ys, Little Xs and Little Boys!

petunialee said...

Wen-ai: It's good that the kids still find a way to have their own unstructured learning opportunities!!