Tis the season for Christmastime again and that means shopping! If you are like me, the stress builds up to a peak on December 23rd at which point the shopping becomes urgent and important. Kids need gifts after all. This is what I call Urgency Creep and it’s a classic procrastenabler. Every day the urgency increases until panic attack. It’s like the proverbial frog in the pot of water not noticing that the water is getting hotter. Slowly, the heat builds. “It’s not even Thanksgiving” I’m telling myself. I still have Halloween decorations up! Then it’s December all of the sudden and the heat escalates – I’m starting to think there might be a problem here. Then Little Christmas and another hot flash. Then the office and neighborhood holiday parties start. Still no presents come to mind – no presence of mind either. Now the room is starting to smell like frog noodle soup (tastes like chicken noodle soup). Add noodles at the last second until the timer goes off. How did it turn out? It’s hard to tell because the kids are grateful for everything they get, including soup, and that’s the best gift of all.
This year, in particular, is no year to procrastinate. If you haven’t heard, there is a supplyaggeddon happening and things might get dicey. Black Friday is right around the corner and what happens when the shelves go dry? Mayhem! It won’t be like some slow frog boil either; it will come fast and hard like a bacon grease fire. Lots of flash pop bang and possible scalding. But if you want that bacon, you reach for it anyway. You don’t want to have to tell your kids that it was a tough year and the bacon is a little burnt. It’s best to avoid the grease fire, though, and find a different strategy like not procrastinating this year. It goes against my gut, but it seems like good advice for a change.
There might be a bright side to the supplyaggeddon. Just the other day, I noticed a new toy store in a strip mall by my house and a new small bookstore a couple of stores down. There used to be big and small toy stores around but first Wal-Mart then Target and now Amazon have all but destroyed the business model. Supply chain perturbations will increase the value of inventory held locally or domestically and push the pendulum back in the direction of store fronts. More companies will grow inventories locally and with it more jobs. With some luck, manufacturing would follow completing a reversal of the process that has eroded our global competitiveness over the last 30 years. We should start training the workforce now! Add that to your To Do List, America.