Slow time of year for almost everyone

I just looked back at some late July columns of past years. Three out of the last four years, I started off by complaining about the weather. Every year this must be the week where, when all else fails, you can whine a little about the weather. So, that's off the table. No weather talk today. I don't want to look back next year and realize I couldn't come up with an original thought.

It does make me wonder, though, if everyone has a "slow time" at one time or another during the year. Many people in the sports reporting business were complaining about that very thing recently. Major league baseball was on its all-star break, so there weren't any games for a few days — this at a time where most other sports are kind of laying low, too. Oh, sure, they tried to fill a little time talking about some guys riding their bikes around France and some guys kicking a ball around in soccer, but that doesn't have the mainstream glory of the major ball sports — base, foot and basket.

So, I guess you could say this is a "slow time" of year for those guys.

People who have marinas and bait shops are running about crazy this time of year. But I'm thinking that will drop off here soon. Sure, there are year-round die-hards for any sport or hobby, but if your main line of work is to keep boaters happy and fishermen stocked, I thinking February might be a slow time for you.

I've had teacher friends through the years who have tried to tell me they're busy all year long. There are lesson plans to be created, training to be done and new ideas to be researched. But let's face it, if you're a teacher and July isn't a slow time of year for you, you're not doing something right. And it's different for everyone, I know.

Some take on extra jobs, some volunteer for summer school work, everyone finds a little something to do, but I'm still betting the words "summers off" were part of the appeal to choosing your noble profession.

I work in the some building as people involved in retail. We all know that Christmas is the busy time of year for people in retail, but is there a slow time? If there is, it could very well be about right now.

The big push of back-to-school shopping is still a little ways off, plus the summertime weather has people thinking of the great outdoors more often than a trip inside to shop. Maybe that's why it's this time of year that we find many retailers digging deep in their inventories and throwing it onto tables outside.

If it's slow inside, why not take it to the streets and hope the sun worshippers just happen to stumble across your bargains. Sidewalk sales may well trace their invention back to retailers fighting boredom. When it's your shop, you want to avoid the slow time of year.

I was in the doctor's office the other day — annual physical and I passed; I get to live for another year — and it seemed a little slow in there. No groups of people with the sniffles or whatever is being passed around schools at any given time, so many even doctors have a slow time of the year.

There has to be some professions that are slow-time proof. Cars break down year round, groceries need to be bought, fast food needs to be consumed, but ask anyone who tracks the bottom line and they should be able to tell you when the slow times are.

For those whose work never takes a breather, that's when they have to take matters into their own hands. That's why we take vacations.

On the surface, it's to give us a chance to slow down, to catch our breath. So what do we do? We try to stuff so much travel or chores around the house that require a little extra time or whatever else that we almost long to return to work. Almost.

But when we do, I guess we can just hope it's the "slow time" of the year.  

Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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