Friday, October 18, 2013

A Happy Ending ...

Marlene Terry
How many people do you think, can comfortably stash themselves inside a normal size store on any given Saturday?
Normally, weekends are busy in the retail world, but one recent weekend? ... Unbelievable!

I should have expected it. But I'd forgotten how the time of the year and especially the WEATHER, can turn a normal day into a nightmare.

It started on Monday a few weeks ago and persisted almost every day that week — the wind, rain, and the colder than normal temperatures. ... And being October with outside chores fading fast, it was bound to happen.

When I worked in retail years ago, we had a name for it — the "Holiday Syndrome."
We'd wake up in October to an early fall snowstorm, head to work, enter the store through the back entrance and be greeted by literally hundreds of lined-up, anxious, shoppers, who'd suddenly realized the holidays were on the horizon and .. with coupons in hand ... could hardly wait for the doors to open.

For the first few hours everyone was happy, patient and friendly. But after the crowds increased (to about a million it seemed), and the lines became increasingly longer... well … suffice it to say that wonderful holiday spirit changed slightly.

I was the only one in my department for the first eight hours on that aforementioned Saturday. And with many out-of- normal needs that took me forever to complete, folks rapidly began to shift from one leg to the other. … Or they were showing signs of irritation that I COULDN'T MOVE FASTER AND BE IN MORE THAN ONE PLACE AT A TIME.
... Yep. It really put a damper on that cheery, festive atmosphere.

"Did everyone quit but you?" More than one asked.
"Is this going to take much longer? I left my kids in the car," another impatient, harried lady commented when the incessant horn-honking coming from out in the parking lot became more and more noticeable.

That's when the thought came to mind that if this had been a scene in one of those olden-day Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movies, all of us would have suddenly started humming, and clicking our fingers as we swayed to the beat of that honking horn.

Then wonderful music coming from unseen instruments would increase in volume and I, being the star… or in this case, the only one working ... would have jumped onto  the display tables where the newest models of very expensive sewing machines were displayed. Then, without missing a beat, I would have tap-danced my way through and over the top of each one. 

... And those who complained the most?

They would have also sprung into action being suddenly moved upon to help out and be team players.

… And you guessed it. … Right after they … still in sync… shuffled over to the cash register, they would have magically moved along every remaining unhappy customer, checked them out, waved goodbye and had them on their way home in an instant.

… And if that doesn't qualify as a Happy Ending, I don't know what would!

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