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SHOPPING IS HELL

William Tecumseh Sherman knew war firsthand and famously declared, “War is hell.” Many modern shoppers see Black Friday – the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US – as a hellish ordeal fraught with too little sleep, too many choices and too many people jostling others seeking the best deal.

Shopping this upcoming weekend takes on some of the sophistication of battle strategy and tactics. Shoppers gearing up must marshal their resources (savings, credit cards, coupons, Christmas lists, troops, transportation), deploy their forces – Aunt Jane camps out at Big Box Mart while Cousin Jim waits in line at Mega DIY World – establish lines of supply, e.g., When will we eat? Who’s bringing the coffee?, and even synchronize their watches and calendars to be sure that they can coordinate all activities without missing a beat.
Though I love stores, spend time in them a lot and thoroughly enjoy studying the psychology of shopping behavior, I choose to remain out of the line of fire and away from the trenches this weekend each year. I leave the field of battle to the more tenacious, determined and battle-hardened professional soldiers of holiday sales.
As you think of me in the rear echelon this weekend, recall the words of Dwight David Eisenhower: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because (s)he wants to do it.”