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Friday, November 20, 2009

Retail Rant Revisited - Episode Two - What Month Is It Anyway?

Ever since I started my career in retail, my sense of time has become a little...skewed. The retail calendar differs greatly from the calendar that most people follow.

A great deal of the product in my store is seasonal, and switches out rapidly from one season and holiday to the next. This is to be expected, but our timeframe for such things is slightly different from how we live. Therefore, I constantly find myself in a conflicting set of environments.

You see, when everyone is celebrating winter and Christmas, my store is putting out the spring, Valentine's Day, and Easter items. Barely into spring, the summer flowers flood our sales floor, along with all the kid crafts that parents seek out to keep the little ones busy while out of school. Summer is usually when fall and winter start to rear their heads, pumpkins and santas piling into the store at an alarming rate.

Before retail, I couldn't imagine anyone needing to buy Christmas decorations in the summer. But sure enough, customers flock to our doors, asking for the ornaments and giftwrap before the school year even starts.

Why?

Don't we spend enough time commercializing each holiday already? Do we really need to drag everything out months and months in advance?

Not to mention the confusion it causes those of us that deal with this juxtaposition daily. Smelling Christmas Pine candles and listening to the animated santas all day, then stepping out into warm September weather is a bit of a shock sometimes. Not ot mention how utterly fed up with the holidays we retails workers get because of having to stare at the stuff months longer than necessary.

I used to decorate for every single holiday. My mother always made sure our house reflected every celebration - no matter how small. But as each year passes, I find that I care less and less, and my Easter bunnies, fall leaves, pumpkins, ornaments, etc. never make it out of their dark homes in the garage. I just can't seem to face them at home as well as at work.

It's almost as if the constant exposure has made me desensitized to the effects the holiday items have on other people. I no longer "ooh" and "ahh" over things like I did years ago.

Instead, my retail-muddled brain thinks:

We're putting out Christmas flowers? Must be August.

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