Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon

And we're moving full steam ahead, Halloween came and went before I realized it and now I'm thinking about Christmas gifts and travel plans for NYE. It's a little nuts. So, again I apologize for my tardiness even thought there have been small benefits for my schedule - 1/2 off pumpkins on the day of Halloween appealled to the bargain shopper inside me. October was a flash of planning ahead, living in the moment, examining some of my beliefs, travels, houseguests, and lots of work. My pace is good, my head is clear, and my heart is full - I love my life when I feel like this.

Working in a retail based business, I'm always amazed at how much we do and how little time we seem to have this time of the year. We approach fourth quarter with a different energy level - it's a great adrenaline rush as we start the final marathon of the year.

There's not anything quite like working retail - selling products, solving problems, and hearing the cash register clang. It's in my blood and as much as I complain about it, I love this time of year. The energy, the constant pace and the delight of wrapping gifts.

Lately, it's been about reflecting personal attacks for lack of poor planning and/or lack of money. Last year it was all about the money (too much to buy with too little funds) for our customers and I'm sure we'll see that issue come up again this season. It definitely bothers me. I don't know anyone who hasn't been affected (I don't run in 'those' circles) and people who are working retail generally are feeling it worse than anyone. Generally, hourly employees who weren't making enough money to begin with to deal with the crap that gets heaped on them daily. And now, their hours are cut, people are ruder and money is tighter. Show the shop keepers and sales associates some love this season and realize they aren't as lazy, stupid or as uncaring as you might assume.

I love dealing with the public, delighting customers with the 'perfect' idea or gift or invitation, instilling confidence in their decisions. I love to shop for gifts and I love helping other with theirs - I'd make a great personal shopper for someone who could keep me in the lifestyle I've become accustomed too - until then, there's this. And the rush that comes with it. I love it.

A local radio station does a retail vent line every holiday season and I get a great deal of pleasure listening to it. I can't wait to hear it this year. Because laughter is my new therapy and my cocktail of choice. People who have never expereinced it, just don't get it. And when you hear the stories of retail clerks, how they're treated, the ridiculous demands of the public and the unreasonable expectations, you have to laugh. Otherwise, you'd pull your hair out.

So, as we approach the retail maddness of the gift season, look for stories, forgive my sparatic posting, and enjoy the holidays. I know I will.

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