I am not sure if any of you out there have had a nasty encounter with the Grolier monster. They are the kind of monsters in businessman’s clothing and frankly speaking, yours truly despise them to death and wish that these monsters could be sent to the guillotine so that their obnoxious head could be seperated forcefully from their neck and consequently, they could stop stop trying to convince unsuspecting human from buying their products in an extremely persistent manner .
If you are young, single, have no children, then you probably haven’t had your unfortunate meeting with the nasty, time-eating monsters who talked non-stop to convince you to buy their products that in their eyes, are the best in the world.
If you are married, have children, or happens to go shopping in a supermarket with a toddler or children who are in primary school, then you probably have had your own share of nightmare of the Grolier monster. But for those who haven’t had the misfortune to meet with any of this monsters, allow me to tell you what is the Grolier monsters, and what they actually do.
Grolier…it is actually a company that sells educational program. Some of you may have heard of it. Their so-called bestselling product is Magic English and some bloody encyclopedia that I could not give a damn about, and every now and then, you can see their booth in major supermarket where unsuspecting parents lurk to buy their groceries… like Carrefour, Giant, Jusco, and many more.
I was approached by these monsters myself awhile ago when I was on my recent shopping trip with my family. I have to applaud their marketing strategy their booth are usually placed at the entrance or the exit inside those supermarket, where people could not possibly escape even if they tried. Their booth are usually decorated with balloons, huge toys, a tv set, a huge book rack to attract toddlers and children. They even played psychology game where they blow some balloons and offer it to little children as a lure to stop both parents and children to stop by their booth.
Now, here’s my story. I was walking to the entrance of the supermarket with my family and some of the children that I was taking care of. And you know that it is quite common for people to place children inside the shopping trolley so that the children will not run about and get lost at the hyper mart, right? Well, these Grolier monsters will stop at nothing until they sell their products, and will do anything to get parent’s attention or to persuade the children to throw tantrums so that the parents will have no choice but to give in and buy their bloody stuff.
What happened was that these Grolier salesmen will not give in when you told them that you are not interested in their products. They don’t take no as an answer. They are persistent bastards that would go as lowly as to stand in front of your shopping trolley, block it so that you could not push them away and continue to persuade you on the spot to buy their products (Magic English and some bloody encyclopedia).
Even when you told them that you are not interested to buy their freaking products or have no use for their products, they would say that it is good for your children’s knowledge. They claimed that their products are good investment for your children’s future, and the way they said it sounded as if that you and your children know nothing about English or the education world. When you wanted to leave, they will beg you for a bloody 5 minutes for them to explain about their products… and this bloody 5 minutes will usually last for more than 1 hour if you do not escape these bloody monsters.
In this so called 5 minutes… the monster that is assigned to steal your time will explain that they were from a famous publisher and distributer of children’s book called Scholastic. (Scholastic products are good, but these creeps are tainting Scholastic name by performing such an aggresive marketing strategy)
From the website, they claim that they are leader in educational technology, which is helping children around the world to ‘Learn and Read’ with their world renown programs. The product that they will try to persuade you to buy is of course, Magic English books and CD set.
But later, they will proceed to explain that this is Scholastic’s partnership publisher – Grolier’s book stall, and this is their booth, and the booth will only be there for only two weeks, which is a complete lie because they are there almost every goddamn day throughout the year. (I know so because I frequent the hypermarket often enough to know what stall and booth is there all the time and what is not.) Be forewarned, that they will usually tell you that they will only be there for a limited time for a reason-which is to persuade you to buy their products on the spot without any second thoughts.
The monster that’s assigned to you will further introduced you to one of the educational book set which is costed a whooping RM2300. Now, ladies and gentleman that’s such an expensive book set. Bloody hell! You can already buy a bloody laptop so that you children could learn from the world wise web under supervision with this disgusting amount of money.
Anyway, the said book set contains the following items:
- A few story books and CDs
- 10 sets of play and learn activities about colors, shapes, numbers
- A few books on common words and objects which can help your children to pick up more than 3600 vocabularies in each book. They cover a lot of different categories such as zoo, school, adjectives, actions and many more.
- Almost 30 “I wonder why, encyclopedia books”
However, ladies and gentlemen, if you listen closely enough to the Grolier monsters in the form of sales reps, you’ll learn that they don’t actually sell you books, but put you on a subscription program. It is noticeable because of the monsters’ condescending approach in trying to get sales. The way the behave is as if they are on a mission. No matter what they do, they will try their best to get you to subscribe to their ‘program’.
The monsters in question tried to point out the benefits of their books (especially the encyclopedias) by trying to ask questions for which they don’t think you know the answers. They too will treat you like a complete idiot who does not know English language and any common knowledge at all. This one pissed me off like hell. As far as I’m concern the Grolier monsters does not speak the Queen’s English, and therefore I blasted with some into their face when they tried to imply that I do not speak proper English and not fit to teach the children under my charge the bloody language. The Grolier monster was flabbergasted for a few moment, but quickly recovered by asking me some questions to divert my attention.
Obviously these monsters are the ones who do not understand English, for they do not comprehend the word ‘No’ or “I am not interested’. My encounters with these suckers is completely a waste of time, because I was not interested in their products and by the time they are through with their bla bla bla, the god forsaken hyper mart is already closed and I could not even buy what I intend to buy in the first place by going there. If I could sue them for wasting my precious time, I really would have done that.
Though yours truly have always believe that books are source of knowledge, but then again, this is the modern era. Books are not only the source of knowledge that you could feed to your young children. There are many more ways for you to teach your children knowledge.
While the products are good in quality, but could you honestly expect children who are as young as 3 years old to sit down and pay attention to read every single books and every single CDs that they sold to us? Children usually have short span of attention, and to most, reading are boring. I do not like the notion that the Grolier monsters are trying to send across, which is to leave your children unattended in front of the TV and absorb whatever the CDs displayed. The best way for children to learn is through playing, and that is not what they are doing. Children too need guidance from parents or caregivers when it comes to learning language…not just books and machines. They need human to teach them and books and CDs are best used as reference, that’s what I always believe.
Books, CDs and whatnot are just tools, not teachers. It is also no use if you buy the books and yet the children are not even interested to look at them. Parents who wants to cultivate their children reading habits should realize that it have to be slowly done… by showing them interesting books that they like, or the excellent show of reading habits by parents themselves. And the books that’s bought, does not necessarily have to come in set or bloody expensive. While the Grolier monsters thinks that children should not be exposed to the world of internet so early, I think getting the children IT-savvy at a young age by letting them use the computer often is crucial in this modern era.
Web sites such as Playhouse Disney Channel, Noggin, Sesame Street and the BBC’s Cbeebies have interesting educational web games and content for children so pray tell, Grolier monsters, why do I have to burn a huge hole in my pocket just so that I could educate the children while I can get high quality education program elsewhere for free?
Cleffairy: Some people have been wondering how I look like because I’ve never plastered any of my pictures online. Well,if one day, you happened to browse around in Carrefour or Jusco and whatnot and heard a skinny woman in her early 20s screaming her head off, swearing and hurling creative insults nonstop at a Grolier booth, that would be me.