atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#780: Christmas is Coming

I have my doubts about having a white Christmas this year, despite the eleven inches of snow we got on Saturday night--temps have consistently been above freezing whenever the day star curses us the sun is up; and right now, it's raining. Eleven inches have become four, and the next few days promise enough warmth that I expect patchy snow at best to remain.

I don't really give a rat's butt, though. A non-white Christmas is the least of my worries right now.

For example, our Christmas tree is shy a string of lights. Several years ago my parents bought a smaller tree--about four feet, maybe--and decorated it; and when the season was over, rather than disassemble the entire thing, they instead put it on a makeshift rolling platform, covered it, and moved it into the garage.

This works very well and is an incredible time-saver. The tree consistently looks nice and we don't have to worry about where everything is or putting it together and the tree instructions got lost and these freaking tangled lights for God's sake!!! ...just open two doors, move some furniture, bing bang boom, plug it in, done.

But we had a string of lights go bad on the thing, and so right now it sits in the living room, lit, with its top quarter dark--except for the star--because neither Mom nor I have had the time (nor have I had the energy when I did have time) to fix it. I have a string of lights to put on the thing, so at least I don't have to go buy some. I've got a feeling that this little job won't get done before Saturday or even Sunday.

While I was removing the dead string I found myself quoting How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the part about Cindy Lou Who asking "Santa" why he was stealing their Christmas tree. "...he went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up." Heh.

...'cause..."there's a bulb that won't light on one side"...hehheh?


I also haven't set up my Christmas tree yet. I've got a revolving fiber optic tree which I set up in my bedroom, and I've got ornaments and battery-powered LED lights for the thing--but it's another thing that wants time.

Christmas snuck up on me this year, I guess.


I'm not going to watch It's a Wonderful Life, either. I'm sick of that movie. George Bailey is a jerk, anyway.


The scene in Charlie Brown Christmas where he hangs a single ornament on the little Christmas tree, and it bends right to the ground, and he yells, "I killed it!" is hilarious if you add, "I'm no better than Hitler!"


With the holiday food shopping done, really all we have left is to go get the Caramel Pecan Silk Supreme pie from Baker's Square.

Well, that and the Cinnabons. My first girlfriend got me started on having a Cinnabon on Christmas morning, and that's too good not to do every year. I don't know all the addictive chemicals they put in those things, but sugar, butter, and cinnamon are high on the list. With extra frosting and a big glass of milk, it can't be beat.


With Christmas almost done, the store is now gearing up for Valentine's day. *sigh* It never stops. We'll have approximately ten tons of "holiday plastic"--ornament and roll wrap storage, wreath boxes, etc, etc--on sale until after the first week of January, and then it'll be time for the multicultural/ethnic merchandise ("Global Bazaar") stuff to start coming in.

...and by the way, I am not exaggerating when I say "ten tons". Or not much, anyway. A typical pallet of plastic storage boxes weighs anywhere from 250 to 500 lbs, depending on what kind of plastic storage it is. And, ironically, the lighter the pallet is, the more of them we need, because "lighter" equals "fewer units". We're going to get tens of these pallets; and there'll be huge stacks of various plastic storage products on the sales floor--and we will sell almost all of them.

I always find myself wondering, where does that crap go? I mean, it's persistent--it doesn't disappear after one use--so one must assume people keep buying the things because they have more stuff to store every year. Still, I end up imagining someone's garage filled with Sterilite or Rubbermaid storage tubs....


This weekend ought to be a big sales weekend, too. Our daily sales forecasts have consistently been about twice what a non-holiday season day's forecast would be, and we've been beating them pretty consistently. Whatever malaise is supposedly effecting the economy is not apparent at the store I work at; people are buying--holiday sales are meeting or beating expectations in our neck of the woods.

I mean, when I read the paper or listen to a newscast--mainstream media, I mean--I hear noises about how retail is having a season that isn't meeting their expectations. Well, maybe their expectations were unrealistic, or maybe it's more of the same BS we get from the press when there's a Republican in the White House--or maybe all of the above. Because our store is freaking busy.

We're not doing as much business as we did three years ago. That's because three years ago our store was the only Target in a fifteen-mile radius, and it had to serve some four or five affluent suburbs. Now it's got competition from two other stores--bigger ones than ours--and we're still consistently hitting our holiday sales targets. (Heh. "targets". heh.) I mean, come on, if we can do that, why can't Wal-Mart and the others?

The answer is, they can (and are, I expect) and we're just not hearing it from the media because it doesn't fit their prejudices.

The store I work at is a "Greatland" store. About 1/10th of the sales floor is devoted to groceries. The newer stores are "SuperTarget" stores; they're about twice the size of our store, and half that space (about the entire space of our store) is devoted to a full-service grocery store. The so-called "big box" or "one-stop shopping" store, where you can get groceries, toys, underwear, socks, a winter coat, etc, etc, and an iPod.

So despite our handicaps, we're doing reasonably well. And if that's the case, I fail to see how other stores and other chains can't also be doing reasonably well.

Unless Target just kicks that much ass...and let us simply say that I have my doubts about that.

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