by Randy Kemner, Proprietor
O.K., it's over.
I'm declaring my annual post-holiday depression officially over.
Each year we work constantly, feverishly and at full tempo for two solid months, planning our purchases, co-ordinating our deliveries, merchandising, marketing and yes, selling wines at triple the pace of the rest of the year. Beginning with the release of Nouveau Beaujolais, through Thanksgiving and the lull afterward when people are jamming the malls searching for the best deals on the latest I-Phones, we never stop planning, working, stacking, calling, ordering, building gift baskets, searching out obscure wines for clients, writing e-mail copy, selecting our Wines of the Year and promoting them.
On and on it goes, intense, collegial, fun, but intense all the way through New Year's Eve.
Then it stops. The pressure, the excitement, the motion of it all. And each year about this time I feel physically and emotionally spent. My body feels like it has an extra weight on it and I just want to stop time for awhile, yet there is not time to rest. I can't sleep at night. You see, time doesn't stop, our customers still have needs, the landlord still needs his rent, and our staff needs their leader to chart the course for the next year. I need some self-restoration in there somewhere.
It's not enough just to plan out a year's worth of tasting events and classes, which I've done. It's not enough to readjust our growth plan and develop a budget for the coming year, which I've yet to do.
To top it off, I came down with that nasty chest cold that's going around a couple nights before New Year's Eve, which made me more tired than usual. I suffered from paralysis of effort.
"Why don't you see your doctor?" Dale suggested. After two weeks of coughing and runny noses, I got my prescription for a Z-pack and prednisone. Within hours I began to feel better.
It's now Saturday noon. In a couple hours, Dale and I board Jet Blue for San Francisco and the Fancy Food Show for two days of munching, nibbling, sipping, tasting and slurping all kinds of gourmet food items. You may recall in an earlier post our discoveries of last year, and I anticipate foraging for new food items for our store shelves and gift baskets. Things like chips, dips, salsas, oils, candies and more. It couldn't be more fun and more exhausting at the same time.
Tonight we dine at the Slanted Door, the famous Vietnamese-French restaurant we couldn't get into last year. Tomorrow night, it's Sunday Supper at RN74.
So I'm officially declaring my mourning period for the 2011 holiday over. There is a lot of work to do, and I'm ready to take it on.
A word of warning to you, our beloved readers and anyone who ambles in The Wine Country: get ready. When I'm motivated, I can't stop.
And I'm motivated.