The Sky is Not Falling
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from Frozen & Dairy Buyer magazine.
I’ve concluded that the
sky is not falling after all. This startling epiphany came after I sat through
a series of presentations at three separate conferences. At each, speakers
held forth, convincingly, on the dreadful things that are poised to hit the
fan and soon. I heard how business is tougher than ever, and that 53 percent
of us will be lucky to be Walmart greeters in five years.
Confession time: I’ve
probably been in the “glass is half-empty” camp
for way too many years. And I’ve always taken these dire predictions as
gospel. But then one sleepless night, pondering how the long-ago death of print
media would surely be the ruin of me within a fortnight, I suddenly thought, “Bullcrap!”
a mildly related aside here, you may have heard of “Bullcrap Bingo,” only
under another, coarser, brand name. Bullcrap Bingo calls for audience members
to keep a little card in their laps during speeches at conventions. Terms such
as “at the end of the day,” “paradigm shift,” and “negative
earnings” are checked off at the time they’re heard, until someone
in the audience crosses off a straight row of them. He or she is then supposed
to jump up and shout “Bullcrap!”, thus embarrassing the speaker
and seriously damaging the shouter’s career trajectory. (All stories of people
actually getting up and doing that are urban legends, or I suppose I should
say convention legends.)
Anyway, it dawned on me that I’ve been hearing these
same death rattles from lecterns for several decades now, and while they make
good copy for the columns of newspapers and such, not a whole helluva lot has
really changed. In cleaning out some basement cabinets last week, I found stories
I’d written way back in the last century. Not much had changed except for the
names and the dates.
So I’ve decided that the glass is half full, by gum, and
between you and me, I just took a swig of it. Would you believe it’s an excellent
pilsner? Really. Try some. I’ll wait right here.
The point of all this is that if you expect disaster, that’s probably what
you’ll get. And if you expect good things, you’ll probably attract
them. Zen folk have been telling me that for years, and I’m finally starting
to believe them.
From this day forward, I’m moving ahead as if print media will
never die, frozen and dairy foods will thrive forever, and prognosticators
of doom will be sufficiently wrong as to be nearly irrelevant. I wish you patience
and fortitude, gentle reader. You gotta believe.
Discussion Questions: Does the retail industry and related businesses seem to generally have a “glass half-empty” mindset? How should retail leaders balance their own “glass half-empty” versus “glass half-full” attitudes?