Planning Ahead

Have you ever dealt with procrastination, or known someone who procrastinated a lot? I know I have.  I’ve met many people who procrastinate.  When younger I never thought I had that problem, yet over the years I find that I’m many times in the same boat. It could be because I get involved in too many things all at once, so something has to give. That is the majority of my problem I think.

What I want to talk about today is planning ahead which we all could get better at I’m sure.

I work in a retail store. The holidays are fast approaching. There is always much to do, presents to buy, deciding how much to decorate. Are you going to use your decorations from last year, or keep your eye out for new items that you would enjoy owning?

The store I work in sells leftover items on clearance after the Holidays are over, but lately, in the past few years, they’ve put things on mark-down several weeks before the Holidays. I’m sure they are hoping to sell the items at a smaller discount that they would be when marking them down after the event. Even though I’m mainly referring to Christmas, this could be applied to any Holiday throughout the whole year: Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, summer holidays, and other personal events like weddings and showers.

The store I work at lets you buy something, and if it goes on sale within two weeks, you can bring the receipt back and get the current discount for the item. I would recommend shoppers taking advantage of this if the item they want is running out of current stock. It would be better to purchase it then rather than wait for a sale that may never happen, or the item disappearing and not being re-ordered in time for the event.

A situation happened recently where one customer found an item and wanted a rain-check for several more. We used to give out rain-checks taking the customers word on whether the item was really out of stock or not. Someone finally realized that not everyone was being honest in this regard and would get a rain-check even if the item in question was still in stock. So now, we have to call the department first to make sure we are really out. If we find that there is more in the back room, the stock guys will bring it to the floor and oftentimes bring up the quantity of the item the customer wanted. If out, then we can write out a rain-check.

Some things on our ad are specialty items and aren’t in stock on a regular basis. For instance, I got a rain-check for some Bounty paper towels a few years ago. I don’t think I ever did see them again on the shelves, because it was a package size that we don’t normally carry. If you get an ad for your favorite store, I’d recommend that you not wait until the end of the week to purchase the item, even it that is your normal shopping day. The earlier in the day you can come in the better also, then if it’s a particularly busy day we should still have the desired items in stock.

Getting back to the customer I had recently, she was upset with me that I wouldn’t just hand her the rain-check, as she was in a hurry. (I’m not going to comment on that one, another pet peeve of mine). After checking with the department I found out that we don’t give out rain-checks when the item is a percentage off. Later after my shift was over, I went to the department to see where the item was and found well over fifty of the same item in stock.

Even remodeling fits with the idea of planning ahead. When you are ready for the tub enclosure, you would hate it if you found out that Lowe’s sold the last one yesterday. What if it takes a few weeks to get another one? Anything in life that we want to do, we should do some type of planning ahead, and follow through with whatever needs taken care of then rather than later, or tomorrow.

I think many people would say, “Of course, planning ahead is necessary, who doesn’t know that?” I see where it gets missed in other situations. For instance, in the business I co-ordinate, there are those that plan on getting their windows cleaned before a wedding or something similar. They plan ahead on everything for the wedding, and they know they want the windows cleaned, but they neglect to let us know what they are planning and call us several days before the wedding, expecting us to drop anyone else we have scheduled to fit them in.

One of our current employees in our window cleaning business told me that when he worked in Florida, it was common for those that needed wood to repair their boats to wait until the season began again to try to purchase the wood. When they waited until the last-minute, rarely was there any wood available. They weren’t too happy to learn they had to wait for the new shipment to arrive.

So it behooves all of us to plan ahead in all situations in life. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, if at all possible. It should help eliminate some of that stress we all deal with also.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roz Weedman
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 01:56:56

    Good topic, Marsha. Something can always go wrong when we procrastinate. When it comes to on-line classes, for example, and something is due on a particular date but there’s a whole week’s lead time to do it (let’s take the example of a test with a deadline since no one in our class violated that deadline on our midterm quiz), it’s within a student’s right to wait til the last hour to take the test. But then I am not sympathetic to power outages, computer snafus, or other technology issues.

    As I was reading your piece, I wondered why someone would request a raincheck for an item in stock? Why wouldn’t they just buy it then? Is it a way of securing a lower price until they have more money, do you think?

    When I was 17 I went to work in a law office and was mentored by an older, very professional legal secretary. She always made the case that procrastination paid. If you didn’t rush to do a divorce complaint, for example, and the couple reconciled a few days later, you hadn’t wasted your time on it. She, however, seemed to have a sense of what to procrastinate on. It would be inadvisable for most.


    • marsha4852
      Oct 20, 2011 @ 02:29:43

      There’s probably a multitude of reasons that someone would want a rain-check if something were already in stock. One I can think of off-hand would be that the person might want a lot of the item and not want to pay the price right then, they may even be buying quite a few that day and just want more later.

      I almost missed the test because I had it in my head that it wasn’t due until Monday night. It was a good thing I looked things over Sunday evening, or I would have missed it. The next day I had an online test on another subject, and we had lost power earlier that day. I was gathering my things to head to the library in town, when I decided to call Charter one more time, and thankfully they were able to fix the problem.


  2. Tracy M
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 01:01:19


    I know several people like those you talked about, that always put things off. One of my biggest pet peeves is being late. If I know what time I need to be somewhere, or when something is due, guaranteed I will do what is necessary to make it happen. My sister, on the other hand, has her entire life planned out on a calendar, but can never make it anywhere on time. A set time is something that is impossible for her to keep. People are strange sometimes.



  3. kraziebrowneyes
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 01:28:16

    That is a really great topic! I am in between both. I only plan for somethings.


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