The Charming Veronica
Sometimes, you get a feeling someone is going to be successful in life.
I’ve got that feeling about Veronica Rigatti.
Veronica, 9, is a member of Girl Scout Troop 2208, based at Glendaal Elementary School in Glenville. Because winter is the season for Girl Scout cookies, Veronica and her fellow Scouts are signing up people for $4 boxes of “Tagalongs,” the peanut butter and chocolate models, thin mint cookies, lemon cream specials and other flavors.
Veronica’s mother, editorial assistant Andrea Cramer, works at the old Gazette. So — like other parents, I suspect — Andrea brought Veronica’s list of options into the office for prospective investors.
I thought Veronica showed some spunk and initiative by volunteering to visit the news room last Thursday ... and answer any questions reporters might have about the 2011 product line. Bold move .... reporters can be a curious bunch. I’m glad my colleague Carl Strock was not around; he throws nothing but hardballs during interviews.
Auburn-haired Veronica made an appearance during the late afternoon with her father, Tom Rigatti of WGY radio, and her brother Anthony, 4. She was wearing her green Girl Scout sash, and took her sign-up list desk to desk. Her visit to writers and production staffers included a pitch and a smile. The photo above shows Veronica getting a positive response from staffer Kristin Leonard.
Bunches of people decided Veronica was an excellent saleswoman, and signed their names. Even my friend Hop-Sing, the muscle-minded foreman in the composing room, took the plunge ... although “Tagalongs” and lemon creams are hardly proper fuel for bench pressing 900 pounds and doing 1,000 push-ups at 5 in the morning.
And speaking of exercise, it is somewhat unfortunate cookie season coincides with the newspaper’s current collective weight loss challenge. “News Hounds Lose Pounds” is a 10-week drive to decency for many of us hoping to lighten up. But few could resist the charming fourth-grader.
Veronica said she has never come up with a sales routine. “I just go up to people and ask them if they’d like some,” she said.
Whatever it is, Veronica has it. She moved about 100 boxes last year to lead her troop, and sold 37 units to 16 people here at the Gazette. The gang at WGY has also purchased some of the Scout snacks.
I bought two boxes of “Tagalongs” and box of the lemon cookies. I’d have given a box to Veronica for showing such sales moxie, but it would not have worked out. She is allergic to dairy and peanut products, so the industrious sales kid never samples the sweets.
“A lot of them have peanut butter in them,” Veronica said. “I can have certain kinds of animal crackers and my mom can make stuff, but with soy milk in it.”
Veronica isn’t trying to just fatten up the news hounds. She said family members and friends are also on her list.
There is competition for the Maxon Road market. Aryn Elizabeth Gaffney, 8, of Girl Scout Troop 2142, from Rotterdam’s Jefferson Elementary School, is also hoping to snag a few customers. Aryn’s mother, Lisa, is a receptionist and clerk at the paper.
I’m wishing good luck to both kids. I’m also kind of wishing the Girl Scouts were selling salads during the winter months.