Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Slows.

Boy, when things get slow after the holidays...they really...get slow...after the holidays.

And I'm not talking only about my eight-day hiatus from this little space I called home throughout December.

There's very little hustle and no bustle to speak of in the stores. The Christmas decorations that lined several intersections in my village have been taken down. And work? Let's just say it's gone from missing a few lunch breaks and working extra hours here and there, to the quote I heard today: "The workload is a little lean today, so you can probably knock off at four."

Whew! We've definitely hit the January Slows.
(yes, I thought about that phrase for a couple of hours both yesterday and today, and that's the best I could come up with. apparently, work isn't the only thing that's not moving at full speed these days.)

During my calendar year at work, there are a couple of very noticeable lulls, and the first few weeks in January definitely qualify. (part of July does a pretty good January imitation, too.) After running ourselves ragged writing stories and laying out and pasting up bigger issues, and special sections, January comes and the page total takes a hit. A few 16-page papers signify the dawn of a new year.

(I know what you're saying. "Did he just say sixteen?? What's he complaining about?" Yes, I know we're not the New York Times or the Detroit Free Press, but they've got more than four and a half people on their staff, now don't they? And they don't split time between newspaper pages and newsletters, raffle tickets, business forms, yaddayaddayadda.)

What I was trying to say...before I so rudely interrupted myself with what I thought you might be whining about as you read this that there's a big difference between a 16-page paper and a 20- or 24-page paper.

Pasteup on Wednesday mornings is done at an almost...dare I say...leisurely...pace. I get 30 entire minutes to eat lunch and check my mail, instead of wolfing something down during the drive to the printer.

I have time at the end of the week to work on tasks that were overlooked during the holidays, like...oh, I dunno...file backup. Machine maintenance. Breathing. Focusing.

Kinda feels like one big, "Ahhhhhhh."

Things will pick up again soon, and while they won't be Christmas season crazy, they'll But pretty soon, football season will be over, and we'll have a couple tough, slow months to continue slogging through.

A concert here and there, and maybe a baseball game in spring. A big Vegas trip to look forward to in June, and then a beer or two on the Fourth of July. Wind down the summer over Labor Day and put on a scary mask for Halloween. Cry in my wine over another crappy Lions season while stuffing myself with Thanksgiving turkey, and then wait until four days before Christmas to finish my shopping.


What was that I said about...slow?
Because that sure feels like how last year went.

Enjoy the down time when you get it, friends.

"I value the friend who for me
finds time on his calendar,
but I cherish the friend who for me
does not consult his calendar."
—Robert Brault


  1. Hi, Gregg!

    It's reassuring that I'm not the only one experiencing the phenomenon of "The Slows."

    For me it's not so much that there's nothing going's the same stuff going on as before the holidays. I just feel bogged down in the sameness of it all. I've had no enthusiasm for any of it since the new year began. So each day drags slowly along with no "new year, new outlook" propelling me. Ho hum.

    You have given me a shot of wisdom, however...I DO need to appreciate the down-time when everything is status quo because, things could be worse. At least there's nothing wrong and I'm not overwhelmed with work or worry. I will take your advice as a kick in the attitude and get myself together! Carpe diem and all that rot, right?

    As always, a pleasure reading you.


  2. We here in vehicle insurance adjusting industry (specifically Wisconsin) have no such problem this time of year...ever...and especially this year.

    With the current economic state, while nobody is getting laid off (thank you), nobody is also getting replaced when they leave...and people have left.

    So more work per person added to three company holiday days the last two weeks added to a record snowfall for December added to an ice storm last get the picture.

    So my friend, if you're interested in talking (read: arguing) to participants in accidents, or negotiating (read: arguing) injury settlements with attorneys, or properly documenting those things and many, many, many more...have i got a deal for you.

    There of course will be no pay (as i sublet my overflow to you), but on your death bed, you will receive total consciousness.

    How about that huh? :)

  3. Gina...I've had kind of the same "blah" that you speak of, to go along with my Slows. So my new year started as kind of a Slow and Blah. Not sure what to read into that.

    I do, however, very much like your phrase, "...a kick in the attitude..." I might have to tell myself that once or twice this month, to get '09 kickstarted.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    TheKid...I'd be more than happy to help, but umm...the commute would be too far, compared to my current commute. Shucks. Otherwise I would have, for sure. For...sure.

    I could use total consciousness, though. It'd have that going for me.

    Perhaps I should rethink.