The Points Don’t Matter


During the school year, my strategy for shopping with the kids is this: avoid at all costs. During the summer, my strategy for shopping with the kids is this: when unavoidable, award points—generously.

Yes, I’m that crazy mom you’ll hear in the health and beauty section saying to my sluggish and bored children, “50 points to whoever finds the toothbrushes!” You’d be amazed at how it sends those kids running. And, don’t worry, whoever’s the runner-up in the toothbrush department doesn’t really lose out, because he or she will get 50 points just for not clobbering the sibling who made it first to the oral hygiene aisle (and maybe 25 more for finding the toothpaste that’s 2 inches to the left of the previously mentioned toothbrushes).

In case you’re wondering, I should tell you that a la “Whose Line is it Anyway,” the points don’t matter. You can’t turn them in for valuable prizes. They don’t have any cash value. There’s no extra tech time associated with them. If they mattered, then we’d need a whole documentation and accounting system which’ll just bog things down. Nope, they’re just points, pure and simple. Take ’em or leave ’em, but they’re all you’re gonna get. And, surpisingly, they work.

In fact, last week I awarded an unprecedented 100 points to a Target employee just because she nailed the precise location of the clothespins for us. Honestly, she was thrilled to accept them! I used to think money was the only real employee motivator (that and some really well-timed carbs), but now I think differently. It’s all about the points, baby!

Do you think the State of Delaware’s powers-that-be considered offsetting the 2.5% paycut with meaningless points that won’t buy you anything? Well, perhaps they should.



  1. Lorraine said,

    July 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    100 points for this one Cheryl! I use points in class but we tally them up for a whole class treat like 20 minutes of extra sport or play. It works well, doesn’t cost me anything and the students love it. Definitely a win-win situation!
    We’re back form our wintry, wet week in Robe which is a pretty little coastal town in the South-east of S.A. Managed to get in one beach walk, collected shells but no sea glass!

  2. Cheryl said,

    July 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I love that there’s a place in the world called ‘Robe’! You know, I find that the bulk or our sea glass findings happen in June–Craig says that’s when the “bottle boat” (a product of his imagination) delivers all of its broken glass into the ocean for our future enjoyment.

    I had a walk on the beach on Friday, where I became completely enveloped in fog. I couldn’t even see the waves beyond the ones that were breaking. So eerie, but fun.

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