Holiday Stress

wreathTVThe holidays are here – ‘tis the season for miscommunication big time!  At this time of year, more than any other, we start stressing all over the place – and when stressors go up, communication tends to go down.

Since Thanksgiving, retailers are desperate to catch shoppers for pretty much 30 straight days, to wring out every last opportunity they can to stay in the black this year.  And after the economic woes, it’s a bleak attempt.  It started with the madness of Black Monday and went downhill from there.

In the frenzy to hook shoppers, retailers advertise special print ads, in store specials, online only prices, with prices sometimes changing multiple times throughout the same day!  Prices are even reduced further with coupons mailed, in store coupons, emailed coupons – where’s the best price?  What’s the best deal?  Who has the bottom bargain?  Do you even know what you’re actually buying?

My daughter bought a 50” LED Westinghouse TV for $349 and I bought a similar 50” LED RCA TV for $528 – in another life I would have taken my time and known the factors that warranted a $179 price differential – a whopping 50% increase!  But in the frenzy to get the best deal before you miss out, communication is limited and the decision making process is so rushed that rationality is compromised.  I still have no idea why one TV was worth 50% more than the other, which I doubt it actually was.

I miss the days when you could actually talk to a knowledgeable salesperson, who would communicate with you the differences between two similar products, especially when making a major purchase and you could make up your mind with good trust that you understood what you were buying.  Those days are gone – not only are salespeople less knowledgeable across a variety of products, but a 50” TV hardly qualifies as a major purchase anymore!

Maybe the communication is that we live in a pretty disposable society where you pretty much get what you pay for and good service is the exception not the norm.  No maybe about it – that is our reality today.   Sadly, the commercialism of the holidays intensifies this sorry state of affairs.

My hope is that in your life, you don’t let holiday stressors get to you and instead you maintain your good communication skills for an enjoyable season – or at least renewed spirit in the New Year!

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