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Today at work all the Christmas stuff in the gift shop finally went to 75% off.  I knew the long awaited day had finally arrived, not just because I got an email from my buddy the gift shop manager, but by the steady stream of women in scrubs suddenly converging on the gift shop with a determined gleam in their eyes.  You see, we’ve got a great gift shop.  It stocks some of the most ridiculously cute stuff, all in sublimely tempting arrangements, whispering alluringly of employee discounts and payroll deduction.  However, all that pretty, pretty stuff is just a little pricey, shall we say.  The kind of thing you really need to stay far, far away from unless you really want to cry when you see what’s left of your paycheck.

So while all the gorgeous Christmas things may have glistened and gleamed and thrown come-hither glances at all of us as we rushed past and averted our eyes, most people managed to resist.  Even when it all went on sale at 50% off, most of us resisted.  The ornaments that shone on the tree were cute, but not that cute.  But 75% off… that’s a whole other thing.  That pretty wreath wasn’t $24 cute, and it wasn’t $12 cute, but $6?  That’s hardly anything.  And that cute mug with the big red & white polka dots isn’t $15 cute, but $3.75 is a steal.  It’s almost your patriotic duty to buy things when the price gets that low.  Really.

It was a busy day at work, so I didn’t get a chance to go over myself until the office closed for lunch at noon.  Some things were already starting to look a little picked over, but I still happily filled a basket with little silver birds ($.75 each), white doves with curly feather wings ($1 each), a big sparkly silver globe ($2.50), and long sparkling ornaments with prisms at the end.  And then I saw the silver glitter trees in three sizes in the window.  I checked out the price, and saw that they now averaged $4 apiece.  So into the basket they went.  I did resist the small deer sculpture with the Nordic sweater, the silver hummingbirds, and the pair of plush penguins with the cornflower blue scarf.  There are, after all, limits.

When I finally made my way to the cash register, I discovered that all the sparkly silver stuff had come with a little bonus: I was now liberally covered in silver glitter.  My arms, the front of my sweater, and particularly my hands shone like a disco ball.  And what’s a girl with a surplus of sparkle to do but to share the wealth?  My buddy the gift shop manager came in for the first dose – all I had to do was flick my fingers and showers of fairy dust flew off.  And then I headed over to the dispatcher’s desk, where I dusted my hands off over Atlas’s shoulder (it looked very dashing on his police uniform – he was a big fan).  Our building manager got a particularly hearty handshake.  And then I had fifteen minutes left to eat, and decided I’d better quit causing trouble and go get my lunch.

Of course, the fun didn’t stop there.  It doesn’t help that the shortest route from the hospital main desk to my office goes straight through the gift shop.  (No, really, it does.  Stop laughing.)  Later on in the day, a group of us had gathered in the big room behind the main desk to present Sarge with Employee of the Month, and just happened to head back through the gift shop on our way back.  While I was there, a couple of us discovered the box of Snowballs – basically white fleece balls with a sound chip inside that goes off on impact.  You throw them at someone or something, and they go BOING, and then start laughing maniacally.  You start laughing too.  It’s pretty awesome.  My friend who is the admin for the hospital VPs was there, and we couldn’t resist trying them out.  So we were throwing things at each other in the hospital gift shop, and after that, how could we resist buying one?  Or two?  Especially since they were now only $1.25.

Discount sales are dangerous.

Is it bad that I’m kinda hoping they still have some left when I go back on Friday?

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