Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Christmas curse of the bay window

I want to make an appeal on behalf of the forgotten victims of this festive period; a network of individuals, young people in many cases, made to suffer on the streets, in car parks and laneways, struggling to earn a meagre wage while we prepare to bury ourselves in the indulgences of the season's celebrations - ladies and gentlemen I give you the plight of Christmas tree sellers.

I went for breakfast with my old man this morning, there's a little coffee shop we go to in the same complex as a hardware I worked in as a teenager. As I lashed into me Full Irish, extra scrambled egg, no tomato, two toast with marmalade and large cappuccino I glanced out the window and was brought back 8 to 10 years when I stood in the very same carpark, dripping wet, freezing cold, unable to feel my hands and feet dealing with the most ignorant demanding customers anyone in any form of retail could be forced to deal with - the Xmas Tree shopper.

You might not realise it but there's quite a science to selling tree, details carefully passed down from elder sages who have patrolled car parks from November onwards for years to youngsters who don't know nobilis firs from nordmanns (there's a difference you'll be keen to hear). There's alot you have to deal with - women are far more demanding than men, you will open up about twenty trees before some tit decides to buy the first one you've shown them. Ignorant fuckers will never park their car anywhere near the trees, insist on you carrying it to their car and will watch while you struggle to put it on the roof of their car and tie it on. Then when you look at them like Tiny Tim eyeing a turkey they'll get into their car and drive off without so much as a "back off their son I don't want to run over you". We used to sell tress for £18.50, only one in ten people would give you the odd change as a tip. I even had a woman shut her boot on my hand once resulting in a lack of nail on my left little finger since. As I looked at my bleeding fingers, once of which turned out to be broken she merely told me I should get a plaster.

A public information service is badly needed. People non-shed doesn't mean it won't shed a single needle so don't try and bring a tree back after 4 or 5 days after you've bought it complaining. Yes we're serious when we advise you leave your tree in a bucket of water for a day before putting it up. I don't want to see your skanky ass on the 28th moaning because your tree has rotted, fallen over and nearly killed Granny.

Tree shoppers are a strange breed genuinely made up of what seems to be every single person who has possession of a bay window, it's the curse of modern Ireland. You're never going to get a perfect tree, they only exist in Coca-Cola adds or the old Switzers window. Let when people come to buy one they expect it. 99 times out of a 100 when you try to explain to them that the less impressive side of a tree is to be put facing a wall or a corner and thus hidden you're told - "Ah no, I've got a bay window you see" - you do in your hole.


  1. LOVE this post Tib. Is there any job you haven't had a crack at?

  2. Let me think.....

    Shelf stacker, hardware assistant, turkey and Xmas tree salesman, merchandiser for a softdrink company, sports retail, radio station lacky all while in school/college.

  3. That's a truly terrible Christmas finger story!

  4. I can post a picture Jo....

    I've also just realised the amount of typos in a post typed when you're half asleep

  5. Tb - I agree that's a great post, I never thought of the plights of christmas tree sellers. We go fake at home.

  6. re typos -well, the broken finger can't help...