Retro Bribery

The news today is that McDonald’s has decided to re-introduce some of their retro Happy Meal toys. To celebrate the 40th birthday of Happy Meals, they are bringing back some of the toys that were most popular in the past.  This means some little Beanie Babies, a Mulan figurine and even a Tamagotchi.  I remember my sister waiting in line repeatedly for the little Beanie Baby toys from McDonalds for her kids; I expect we will see more of the same with this promotion.

When YA was young, our go-to restaurant was Noodles, who didn’t do kids’ meals or toys. McDonalds still isn’t the most vegetarian-friendly place and it certainly wasn’t 24 years ago.  Same with Burger King, Wendy’s and the rest.  I do remember that Taco Bell (our other favorite) had a kid’s meal w/ a toy, but Child didn’t like the inclusions, so she never got the kids’ meal.  And if there was an occasional cheap plastic toy, it usually went in the trash when we got home.  Two big dogs and little cheap plastic toys are not a good combination.  (Side story.  When Child was little I had told all my nearest and dearest that I didn’t want Barbies in the house.  Not because I have anything intrinsically against a Barbie doll, but because they always come with lots of little bits; Child was still too little to be held responsible for picking up lots of little toy accessories and I didn’t want the dogs ingesting them.  That Solstice, middle sister sent an Arial doll.  Little coconut bra, little comb, little Sebastian and little Flounder.  When I questioned my sister, she said “but it isn’t a Barbie”.  We donated it.)

Long story short, it makes me wonder that our society thinks we can’t ask our kids to sit through a short meal without being bribed by a toy and now retro toys.   Personally I save bribery for much bigger issues!!

Have you ever had to coerce someone with toys/treats/gifts?

38 thoughts on “Retro Bribery”

  1. This story made me laugh. “Bribery” is such a coarse word.
    I get along well with the business office. They tend to process my requests fairly quickly while others may linger in a pile for weeks.
    Doesn’t hurt that I do my paperwork effectively and quickly nor that I occasionally deliver home made treats to them.
    A Handful of candy dropped on the desk once in a while greases a lot of gears.

    Cracker Jacks and the comic from Bazooka Joe bubble gum. And maybe the treat in a box of cereal- those were my childhood bribes.
    And stopping for a toy at Woolworths after the dentist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It all works out beautifully, Ben. Eat enough Cracker Jacks and your teeth get rotten, so you go to the dentist’s. Then your reward is a trip to Woolworth so you can get more Cracker Jacks. It is a sweet system that keeps dentists rich and gives kids no end of Cracker Jacks. Some folks say there is no God, but things like this convince me otherwise. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Funny. I just got off the phone ordering donuts for Monday morning for the warehouse crew. I believe I’m the only one that does this but the warehouse crew is really really good to me on my warehouse days.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. reminds me of the story my dad told me made him quit the bridge and road construction my moms dad owned and had him working for. my dad was at a job site and was finished with the construction and after the work was doen all that was left to do was to get the place cleaned up get the inspector form the state to sign off and head to the next job.
      my grandfather who owned the bridge company had been an inspector for the state before he started the company that made him his realized entrepreneurial self made man and when my dad told him he had bought the state inspector a bottle of whiskey when he cam to the job site and the inspector let him off without an intense costly cleanup effort my grandfather threw a hissy fit and told my dad the whiskey was not allowed on the expense account and would instead be deducted out of my dads check.
      it works , just dont get caught is the moral


  2. Rise and motivate them to bend to your will, Baboons!

    I think bribery and coercion are really harsh words for something that happens a lot. I have been especially solicitous of every clerical person in my life forever. I learned early on, when I was a clerical person in various organizations, that if you make the clerical staff miserable, they will return the favor. However, if you are kind and considerate to those folks, they return that as well. I watched a therapist treat the front receptionist with contempt. That receptionist would “lose” her clients, “forget” to tell her the client called to cancel, somehow bungle phone calls to her office, and on and on. I brought that lady raspberries from my garden, flowers, engaged in small talk, and none of my clients, phone calls, or messages ever disappeared. And if I made a mistake she would cover for me.

    When my dog decides to sniff in the yard when I want her to come in the house, a rattle of the “treat bag” tends to motivate her to come in for the treat. I don’t know how you raise children without little treats and bribes. My son would dawdle at every meal and not eat much if I did not set the timer and have an Oreo visible as a reward if he finished before the timer went off.

    My sister was an elementary school teacher for 25 years. She was beloved by students and their parents, despite having some students who were difficult to manage. Her motto: “You gotta make ‘em love you.” She lavished approval on them, brought treats, gave them “special” jobs with high status, and so on. The “Pig” became her favorite animal which generated a vast student donated pig collection. Then the district hired a new principal in her building. The new principal decided to harass my sister. My sister quit. When the staff and parents discovered what had occurred the superintendent was deluged with angry parents, phone calls, and general unhappiness. My sister changed careers (writer) and the principal got fired.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well said, Jacque. I long ago learned that a great way to make people happy is to show them respect. Costs nothing. But showing respect is a powerful way to improve the day for folks. I suppose I should be sad that so many people feel they get too little respect, but let’s look at the positive side of that.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Early on in my advertising career, I came to the realization that whoever was executive secretary had a surprising amount of voice and the power, if you failed to respect her (it was always a her in those days), to make your life miserable and your tenure short. Advertising tends to attract some cocky young people, full of themselves—people who made no attempt to hide their sense of superiority over a mere secretary. It was always entertaining to sit back and watch what happened.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. In the 60s and even later it was common to find that a presumably powerful executive (always male, of course) was propped up by a highly competent woman. She actually ran things and kept the office humming. Sometimes the male executive understood he was a figurehead; sometimes he actually thought he was in charge. For their part, the women knew they’d never get appropriate recognition, but in an imperfect world they enjoyed exercising power even so. I think that arrangement faded away when executives got personal computers, meaning that fewer of them had personal secretaries who could make them look better than they were.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. wrong. the assistants still did the important guys work because that’s who the important guys were. the reason it faded was because it was wrong to begin with


    3. Our current college President has been here just over a year now. At a staff day about his 6 month point, he pointed out his administrative assistant had done a good job getting him to the six month point with out screwing up. He’s a good guy; diverts a lot of credit to others and he jokes that he knows she’s the one making him look good. Of course it’s not all her. Or him. They do compliment each other well.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In just about every company I’ve ever worked there are people who, regardless of what you would expect from the formal hierarchy, have a surprising amount of influence. When you are new to a company, it’s always a good idea to watch and figure out who those people are.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I worked in the College of Liberal Arts (U of MN) I was astonished to learn the most feared employee was a tiny woman named Flavia. Deans and Department heads quaked if they thought they had crossed her, because Flavia knew how to punish anyone who didn’t play by her rules. What was her secret power? She controlled office supplies. Powerful men who didn’t take her seriously quickly learned what it is like to run a college office without pens, staplers, paper or working telephones.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. My dad’s stuffed toy animal factory made much of its sales with products used as premiums. Premium buyers for major companies had great power. When they chose a business to supply premiums, that business got a huge contract and a fresh lease on life. Premium buyers routinely accepted bribes before awarding contracts. My dad refused to play that game, and it often cost him.

    He once set up a fishing weekend to thank people who had been good to his company. One of them, a buyer for a tissue company, showed up carrying a fancy briefcase. When he dropped the case, it landed on its latches, and the thing flew open. I now know what $6,000 in small bills looks like. It was a bribe he had just been given by some desperate businessman. Things like that almost literally killed my dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OT – Six degrees of separation! Gitte, the oldest daughter of my onkel Leo who passed away last month, posted an old photo from Stubbekøbing on Facebook yesterday, asking if anyone could identify where the photo was taken. We were any number of people who could. One of the people who responded pointed out that his grandparents’ house can be seen in the background, and identified his grandfather as the local bicycle shop owner/mechanic, Mr. Piil. I, too, could nod in recognition to the spot, and pointed out that the house next door to Mr. Piil’s, belonged to my onkel Ejner and tante Ingeborg. I spent lots of time there when I was little.

    Turns out I knew this fellow, his older sister was a classmate of mine in first grade. He now lives in Manila in the Philippines. Then the current owner of Piil’s house chimed in. She invited me stop in for a cup of coffee next time I’m in town. Small world.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. i went through the 80’s with a couple small children and a pending divorce. we went to mc domnalds and burger king so often and got so many toys i built shelves and used store display basket shelves to hold the small plastic figurines of the hamburgular beanie babies, race cars, all sorts of toy story figures. when we moved it filled an unbelievable number of boxes and buckets

    forgot to hit send


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