“Dad, can I have the buffet next time?”
Hello. Hope you had an enjoyable weekend.
I had a sporty weekend. It started on Friday afternoon. Jo and I left work early on Friday and had a game of tennis.
After an incredible, hard and tough struggle I managed to just win…….6-0, 6-0, 6-0. Hehehehe. And I mention this only to brag!
Saturday morning was spent watching my boys play soccer, Saturday afternoon I went on a 50 km bike ride with 3 friends.
Saturday evening I played a mate in tennis. The loser payed for dinner. Beat him 6-2, 6-4, 7-6. Then we went out for dinner and a few beers.
Sunday I went to the Gabba, Brisbane (100km up the road) and watched the Brisbane Lions football team play against the Melbourne football club.
I’m a member of the Queensland Cricketers Club. The Club’s facilities are great – you can watch the game from inside (floor to ceiling windows), it has 2 bars, 2 restaurants, plenty of room.
The club also has hundreds of great seats reserved for members. So it’s a pretty easy way to watch the footy.
My brother took one of his boys, and I took my son Jack.
The boys has a pie and drink before the game started. Sitting inside in comfort. The pie was hot. The drink was cold.
The club also puts on a buffet lunch. For $10 you can have chow down to a decent lunch.
So Jack sees this and says “Dad, can I have the buffet next time?”
The answer to that was “No. Unless you pay for it.”
That’s when my brother and I start reminiscing. When we were kids this was our day at the football.
1. Leave home from Burnside Ave, in New Town in Hobart, Tasmania. Walk the 2 kilometres to the local football oval.
It would often be raining, with a decent cold wind blowing down on us from the beautiful Mount Wellington that overlooks the city.
2. So the Sinclair boys – 5 of us – would arrive at the ground.
3. We’d then walk past the entrance and around to a side street called Ryde Street. There was an old, disused entrance there that was away from prying eyes.
4. One of the older Sinclair boys would climb up and over the barbed wire fence. The younger boys would then be lifted up to him and carried over the barbed wire. Once the youngsters were up and over the last Sinclair boy would make the climb.
So great! We’re all in. Now what? Watch the footy? Nope.
Now we started work. In those days soft drinks came in glass bottles. These bottles were recyclable. You got 1 cent for each one when you had emptied the drink and returned the bottle to the canteen.
The Sinclair boys would start working the crowd.
“Can I have your empty bottle please mister?”
By doing that and going through the bins, we’d soon have enough to buy a pie and a Coke. The pie was usually cold, and the Coke warm. But that didn’t worry us!
So we’d sit there eating our cold pie, drinking our warm Coke and watching football being played in the freezing cold and rain.
Those were the days!
Yesterday, we drove to the football. We parked in a car park about 50 metres from the entrance. Jack gets his hot pie and cold soft drink. He sits in a lounge chair to have it.
The game starts. He can either watch it from inside or sit in our reserved seats. We sit outside. It’s about 22 degrees C.
We’re sitting there watching world class sport. And then he comes out with that “Dad, next time can I have the buffet?” line!
Life does get easier. Although having said that, we certainly didn’t have it tough as kids. But expectations have changed.
What we used to do as kids wouldn’t happen for many kids today. The whole culture has changed.
Expectations keep rising
And I don’t know if that’s such a good thing. I see a lot of parents who never say “No” to their kids. The kid has the latest Playstation, the latest computers and the latest designer clothes.
Kids, whether they’re 3 or 13, have an enormous economical influence these days. They are responsible for the purchase and/or choice influence of billions of dollars worth of buying decisions.
As businesspeople we need to be aware of their influence. And we need to meet the challenge of marketing to them.
Because parents usually don’t make the decisions these days. It’s often the kids.