How I Fudged the Numbers to Win the Top Sales Award

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Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

And learned a hard lesson instead

In 1985, I joined Junior Achievement (JA) with my friend, Monica.

JA was a program to help youth learn about running a business. Fifteen students met weekly in a small building with a boardroom and a large woodworking shop located on Perry Street, Peterborough.

As a group, we had to first agree on a business name and a product. We were limited to anything made of wood. Many ideas passed around the room until we finally settled on a Spaghetti Spoon.

Yes, a spaghetti spoon.

This was a large wooden spoon with three drilled holes. Each hole measured a certain amount of spaghetti. If you wanted to make dinner for one, you’d use the smallest hole. Dinner for two required the medium hole. And the largest hole was dedicated to dinner for four.

We named our company Kitchen Accents and voted for a President and an Executive. I ran for Vice President of Personnel and won. Monica wanted a more hands-on role and became the Production Manager.

In my role, I kept all attendance and payroll records.

I enjoyed the entire experience from selling shares to form our company to setting up a booth in Lansdowne Place Mall to sell our wares.

The company ran for the entire school year. At the end of the year, we would celebrate with an awards ceremony.

Monica and I plotted to win as many awards as we could. One of the awards was “Sales Person of the Year”.

We had a deadline to submit our sales receipts. JA would take those receipts and award the certificate at the ceremony in April.

We decided to tip the scales in our favor.

We cheated.

We pooled our savings to buy as many spoons as we could afford and inflate our sales numbers. Then we planned to sell them after the award ceremony to recoup our money back.

On the night of the Awards Ceremony, I did win the Sales Person of the Year Award.

But only 4th place.

And I had a closet full of spaghetti spoons that I had yet to hawk.

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