Are You a Grinch or Not?…

th[7]It is the Sunday after the biggest shopping day of the year and retailers are literally holding on. The shelves have been totally wiped out, employees are tired and the managers, well, they are just praying that they will make it till the end.

Company Leaders are wringing their hands waiting to see if they made their numbers for the big weekend. Some already know their stores made it while others are trying to figure out how to get you back into the store to buy, buy, buy.

If they can not get you into the store, they  bombard your email with cyber Monday deals. Go, shop online, from the comfort of your home. Slip into your favorite slippers and enjoy a cup of coffee while being hit from every pop up ad to buy, buy, buy….online.

Online shopping is easy, convenient and fun. It is a wonderful way to enjoy shopping without actually going to the store and who in their right mind would want to fight those nasty crowds! People are so rude these days. The only rudeness one may encounter from shopping from home is the occasional interruption from a child who whines about something they may not be able to have right away. Even that is manageable; just shut the door.

Here’s the Thing…how much shopping do we really need to do? Seriously, how many gadgets do we really need and don’t most of the Christmas gifts we buy end up in the landfill? How many ties, toys, electronics do we need to consume?

There seems to be a familiar sound rumbling in the air from all of you,

“What a Grinch you are! You need to get into the Holiday spirit.”

Really! Maybe the meaning of Christmas, yes, Christmas is about time together. The time spent trying to make cookies, buying a pretty tree, decorating that tree or just sitting and enjoying friends. Then, maybe, a small gift of love, friendship or just the joy of giving can be exchanged between all of you.  The gift then becomes a symbol of giving, gratitude, or love for another.

Do not miss the point here. Buying gifts is fun but when did it become the main attraction? Why do we allow commercialism take over the simple beauty of a wonderful Christmas holiday and make it a buy, buy, buy holiday?

What do you think?

Are you a Grinch or did you just yell at your kids to,

“Shut the Door, I’m  shopping?”

 

 

 


What about me?….

th[9]So, today is Black Friday and I am at home typing this for all to read. Figured today was a good day to finally come out of the shadows and start sharing again.

It is a nice feeling to be writing and believe me, I would have started a long time ago but I was always way too tired.

I am finally able to look out  the window of my apartment and see the light that somehow I thought was gone. Maybe it was the hours I was being forced to work. As a matter of fact, yes, it was the incredibly insane, not necessary hours that were hindering the very existence of my life.

You may say, when you work retail, you should know that you are going to work long crazy hours. What I did not know is that they would be beyond crazy and yes, way more than 45 hours a week. I love to work hard, see my accomplishments, see the satisfying smile on a customers face after helping them find something they really want or need. That feeling was waning when I almost ran into a guard rail coming home from work late one night after pulling a 14 hour day for the 4th day in a row.

Here’s the Thing…..Our unbelievable desire to get a bargain, to somehow feel like we are getting a bargain totally obstructs all logical thoughts on what is truly important…..family and friends.

Wake up everybody! We all complain about how companies are using people to gain profits and with no benefits to the family. We even complain how family values are slipping thru our fingers. Want to know why? Because you are making people work insane hours to satisfy some consumption need for the Holidays.

Really, what do you need? Please ask yourself, What do I REALLY NEED? What or why do you need to go out at midnight to buy something you would on any other day wait till 10am to get? I ask because THAT person behind the counter, in the stock room or on the register has given up their family time to be there FOR YOU. To give you, the customer, the best experience.  Frankly, IT SUCKS to be the person working retail. It does not matter if you are just an employee or the management…IT SUCKS!

Store level, the ones you run into, give up so much so YOU can “appear” to have it all. Please take a look around your home, do you have it all? I do not know many people who, when dying, say that they wish they had gotten that new TV or gadget on Black Friday or Thanksgiving night. I think they wish that they had spent more time with the family, smiling, hugging or talking.

Okay, family can be tough. Sitting with them in a make shift Norman Rockwell painting seems painful to some. We all should be able to try to find time with family. Everybody, even those who are trying to just make it by on a minimum wage retail job need to take the time to be with family.

Being realistic though, you can not stop the turning wheels of capitalism. They will keep going but that does not mean that you have to participate in the mayhem. You do not have to join in on the consumption frenzy that has been created to fill some void that will never be filled….except the pockets of companies.

On this day after Thanksgiving it can only be asked that you stop and question,

What are you truly grateful for?”

Who are you grateful for?”

Cause that retail cashier who is smiling at you, is grateful for the job they have but wish that they could be you…leaving the store.