Bah, Humbug! 2

That’s me. I am the original Bah, Humbug guy.

It is the Christmas season, and we are all  supposed to be jolly, but it wasn’t always that way with me, no matter how many nagging females or hopeful little faces were around the house. Now, before you get all upset and confrontational, let me explain a few things.

Until I retired (was fired at an advanced age), I was always under major stress during the happy holiday time of the year. For about thirty years, I was in sales, and the way things work out, the holiday season falls right smack dab into the busiest time of the sales year.

Let me explain.

Panic time in sales is the fourth quarter when you are trying to make up for slack months. The fourth calendar quarter is the time when you score LOTS of business for two reasons. First, many projects and contracts tend to be awarded that time of the year because other companies operate on the same fiscal calendar as yours. Secondly, some buyers find extra money in their budget, and they have have to spend it or lose it.

All this means that there can be TONS of orders to let, and lots of negotiations and pricing to do. If you are a sales manager responsible for tens of millions of dollars of business, just keeping up with your people and making sure nothing falls in the cracks is a full time job. Indeed, you can wind up working through the entire holiday season, except for Christmas Day. It’s true, and it always happened to me.

Add all this business to the idea that your management is constantly pushing for more, and more, and more. Now, you get the idea that the stress is coming from two different directions, from over you and under you in the organizational food chain.

Don’t forget your commitments to ship TONS of stuff before the first of the year  to meet shipments quotas. Or, don’t forget to make sure that the factory does not ship all your orders EARLY just because the factory manager is paid on how much ships from his little kingdom. It can be really embarrassing when a truck loaded with several thousand pounds of steel arrives at your customer’s warehouse, and there is no place for them to store it.

Next, try to explain to the customer why they are being billed early so your accounting department can look good at year’s end.

Oh! I forgot the Christmas parties, and the celebratory lunches for customers, sales people, office staff, and management. Lots of heavy boozing and late night pandering with people that can get you fired can put you into the hospital.

Every Christmas Day for years and years, I was sick with stomach problems. All the work, social activity, boozing, partying, and all those things under the heading of just doing my job damned near put me in the hospital.

Yeah, sure. Merry Christmas, everybody. Pass the Pepto, please.

Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city. Ring-A-Ding-Ding.

2 comments

  1. OH, my gosh! And they say shopping and decorating and cooking are stressful parts of Christmas…your story takes the cake!I'm sorry about all those Christmases and I do hope that the new Christmases can be filled with such love and fun that you (almost) forget all those bad ones!Enjoy the family, eat good…..no more 'Bah, Humbug', Scrooge! :)Merry Christmas, Bob(this was well written, by the way)

  2. Good grief! That's enough to kill any joy of the Christmas spirit.I understand completely.I used to work sales and it can be quite hectic. People forget why we celebrate Christmas.I do hope you have a Merry Christmas and also for our Lord to bless you abundantly.

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