Bah Humbug, Haters! 

  

Amazing! Had a customer enter the store tonight and I could see by his immediate disgust, as he looked around, that he was thoroughly ticked-off about all of the decorations and such – (it wasn’t helpful, either, that ‘Silent Night’ was playing over the P.A.). As I was in his line of fire (so to speak), he belts out: “This is ridiculous! It’s complete bullshit! It’s. Not. Even. THANKSGIVING. Yet!” – as if, I personally, had set all of this into motion. (I agree, that November 12th is a bit-early for the Christmas music, though… Can’t we wait until the bird is eaten – first, before Bing Crosby starts crooning ‘White Christmas’?!) 

But, being a professional, I smiled and said: “We are here to serve you, Sir. How may I help you?” In my mind, I was thinking: ‘You’re a little late, Sir. Bitching and moaning about the rush to this ‘sacred’ holiday began weeks-ago!’ Oh…about the same time ‘Christians’ began knocking the ‘Spock Dying’ Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan Hallmark Ornament, for not setting the proper ‘tone’ of the season. Really? You’re fucking kidding me – right? I don’t remember hearing any complaints about any of the other ‘non-Christmasy’ Trek ornaments that Hallmark has produced over the past 25 years; but, that’s a debate for another time… 

I used to be like that guy, though. Hell, I still am! However, I have a new perspective on it, this year. I’ve spent my entire working life in customer service, in one capacity, or another; but never, have I worked in such a large store, as this one. Over the past year, I’ve watched our overnight team-of-associates busting our asses, as we try to anticipate the ‘needs of the many,’ in regards to the changing of the holidays. We hear the complaints, and the bitching and moaning; the groans of annoyance, the snide comments…and, yet – we toil on. 

Our society’s greed and gross  materialization of Christmas (indeed, of all of the holidays), has set all of this in motion. (Ahem, BTW…Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, folks; only 103 days, to go! Whoop whoop!) Yet, the same ones who complain the loudest about our rush to put the tree and tinsel up, are the same ones who will be trying to kill one another come 6 o’clock, Thanksgiving Day -over a marked-down big screen TV! And, most-likely, are the same ones who leave their Christmas lights on their houses ALL YEAR

Putting all of that aside for a moment: Do you have any idea as to the logistics involved (on our part) in keeping up with the holidays? I mean, I don’t hear anyone complaining about, say – putting summer clothes out in winter, or vice-versa… Yes, back in early October, we began redecorating the store and puttting out the thousands of Christmas items that will have you flocking to ‘The Extravaganza’ on ‘Gray Thursday’ – (same as we began stocking school supplies, etc, in June… “My God! They’re already getting started on ‘Back to School’ and the kids just got out for the summer!” – said no one ever). With that in mind, though, we’re STILL preparing for your Christmas/Holiday/Festivus/Whatever-shopping! 

The planning, the manhours, the scheduling, the endless delivery of freight – (we’re talking about thousands of pallets, ranging from toys, to clothes, to food, to candy – my God, the fucking candy – from appliances, furniture and housewares, to electronics, hardware and automotive products, to those ‘must have’ Christmas items, tree/house/lawn decorations and stocking-stuffers…); plus – there’s the moving of the normal, day-to-day merchandise, to make room for Christmas… (I mean, just where do you think all of those Garden Center products go?!) It’s staggering, folks, the amount of merchandise we (the ridiculously-underappreciated workers) have to move around, put out, set up, display – months in advance, mind – just so you can complain about it! Hey, guess what? It’s all for you! So that on Christmas Day, you can sit back and enjoy the holiday with those you love; while boasting/whining about how much money you spent, and/or – complaining about what you didn’t get, etc, etc…

Look, I get it; but all of you folks need to see the other side, as well. We spend a lot of time, and take a lot of pride in, being prepared for you – ALL. YEAR. ROUND! – so that you can have a joyful and merry holiday with your family, friends and significant others. We want you to have the very best! We also-want  you, to have a bit of respect – for us, as we bring in these holidays, together… 

So, I’ve had my say. Thank you, for hearing me out… I won’t go into ‘Murica’s made-up ‘war on Christmas’; or – preach to you about ‘the reason for the season‘; or – God forbid, get into the brouhaha over those Starbucks ‘Devil-worshipping, you hate Jesus’ red coffee-cups – (where’s the outrage over those white lids, dammit? Or, for their horrible coffee, for that matter?!) But, I will leave you with this: Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! And, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah, and a joyous, safe, and prosperous New Year, as well!

‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…

Lt. Eric Cone 

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2 thoughts on “Bah Humbug, Haters! 

  1. Great article from the perspective of the superstore employee. I have often found myself thinking that it seems way too early to be setting up for holiday shopping, but then, there is a certain logic to it. It is nice to know that at least some of you are thinking about providing customer service. There are a few of us that are also very appreciative of people like you that are busting your butts to keep the masses happy. Thanks to you, I will remember to smile and say thanks to the associates I see in the stores as I go on my materialistic way this year.

    • Well…thank ya very much. I hope I didn’t come off as too harsh. LOL! The customer is always right; but they can be so wrong. The one I spoke of hit a nerve (as you may’ve guessed) and I felt compelled to educate the masses; I just don’t think they get the sheer volume of goods we have to put on those shelves. Even if I reach only one, then I’ve done what I set out to do; as you will no doubt spread the word to those who may complain within your circle. All my best to you and yours, Jim…

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