The Tide Will Change

For as long as I have been working, many of my peers have referred to the months of November and December as the “silly season”.

We don’t call it “silly” out of a fondness for the holidays, but more so because usually at this time of year, we have so many events that we bring a whole new definition to the word “multitasking”. Some might even liken the event professional fraternity during these months as a group of headless fowls. However, we prefer to call a group of event managers the “Panic” club.

Speaking of panic, that is exactly what I heard in the voice of my co-workers and colleagues who do events for the corporate market during the last holiday season.

The word “silly” had been replaced by “scary”. Of course, having mostly clients in the financial industry didn’t help as many of them are struggling to survive and cutting back on staff. I fully understand the cancellations of the company party. After all, sitting at an empty table with a party hat and a noisemaker seems hardly celebratory.

However, even the companies that are financially sound scaled back and cancelled their holiday events. Much of this frugality stems from not wishing to flaunt their financial stability over their less stable competition, or, perhaps – even more scary – they are worried that the wheel of fortunes might turn against them next.

This irks me somewhat as this is exactly what they should not be doing. After all, is that not why governments are pouring trillions of dollars into the economy to stimulate spending? As a direct benefactor of the trickle-down effect, I greatly anticipate the taps flowing once again and do hope those companies that are still in the black will loosen their purse strings come early this year.

Those of us who have survived the Asian economic crisis and SARS know it is just a matter of time. It is a waiting game and sooner or later the tap will flow and the champagne will pop. In the meantime, we curb our spending and cut back on non-necessities.

Those of us, who rarely get a chance to enjoy the holidays with the rest of the population, were able to enjoy the previous one. And why not? You take what you can.  There is no use fretting over that which you cannot control. For the first time in over 15 years, I enjoyed Christmas.


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