Funny old time of year really, we find people go mad each year for one or two products and this year is no different, not that we are complaining but I often wonder why.
We had the year of the Evasolo Grating Bucket in fact that developed into a Worldwide grating bucket shortage, a real drama as I remember; you didn’t know? Well I don’t think it made headline news, but a lot of people needed a calming phonecall responses letting them down gently and assuring them that life will not end if they don’t get a grating bucket in time for Christmas. So,you thought all we did by phone was describe products and take down card or address details when necessary.
One of the reasons I love this job is the people and there is nothing quite like having a laugh with a cheery soul on the other end of the line. People think that internet shopping is a faceless experience but actually a large number of internet shops have really nice teams of people running them who are more than happy to help or chat about things even if they have nothing to do with the order. Yes I know you are going to say what about the not so good tempered calls, they can’t be a nice experience, well no truthfully sometimes they are not but I find a genuine apology if we have not managed to fulfil their wishes, for whatever reason, does help a lot; and of course having empathy with the customer also helps. If I am the customer and I have a question I will usually pick up the phone to an internet shop and talk to the humans at the other end if I can. I do all my Christmas shopping online because I have no time to get out, the variety of choice is better and I hate standing for hours waiting to pay.
If this weather is set to continue, Christmas on the high street is going to be a cold toes outside, far too hot in your big padded coat inside experience and the best you can say about the latter is you suddenly have sympathy for all women of menopausal age. Boy its going to be a long winter if the snow has come already; it is predicted by some to be coldest winter in Europe for 1000 years and the dawn of a new ice age (although I am sure the UK had a mini ice age in the last Elizabeth’s reign when the Thames froze over thick enough to build bonfires; if I remember my history?) all because the Gulf Stream, that keeps these shores ice free, is slowing down. Well we will have to watch this space; I remember other past predictions that the oil would run out by the year 2000. However snow can also be fun, one of our courier drivers (the fonts of all knowledge about what’s going on) said he had already delivered dozens of toboggans this week. I am glad to see people preparing to enjoy it and if this early snow trend continues we may not have to go out of the UK for a decent ski holiday; any boost to UK business is welcome to us all.
No don’t worry, I am not actually going to burst into a song about silver linings!
With the current weather in mind you would think that our nifty selection of Stelton designer car ice and snow scrapers would be the number one gift. I am lucky enough to be able to walk to work as the office is about five minutes away from home but I have complete sympathy with all of you out there on dark cold mornings scraping snow and ice off your cars often with no more than a supermarket loyalty card and freezing fingers because you mislaid your gloves and you are late already. In another lifetime I was commuting 100 miles a day on motorways to work so I have direct experience of all of this; thankfully a long time ago now. I heard on TV the other day that it is actually an offence to leave snow on the roof of your car and drive it around! I never realised this, it is something to do with it slipping off when you brake and either blocking your vision or blowing off your roof and blocking the vision of another car; you live and learn. I wonder how they clear the tops of lorrys and double decker buses? I grew up in Southern Scotland in a valley called Eskdalemuir 17 miles north of Lockerbie into the hills and heavy snow and ice was just part of our normal winter life there; we were often snowed into the valley for a week or more at a time and looking at the weather map it may well be like that there right now. I wonder how often we drove around with snow on the roof? Not so many cars up there though.
Well I know you are all agog to know which paticular items are our number one best sellers this Christmas because you are still reading this blog. Not the obvious ice scrapers but it does indicate either that the British public have finally responded to the last decade or so of healthy salad eating mantras and they are already looking forward to the Summer next year. Or, alternatively, that they want to stay indoors in the warm and sit out the coming “ice age” in a nice warm relaxing bath.