You probably won’t ever need to know how to organize a fireworks sale, but just in case you do, here you go.
4 a.m. Hubby is up. I see a light in the office. I roll over to get some more sleep thinking that it is just one of those “I woke up and couldn’t sleep so I decided to do some paperwork” situations. No such luck. He walks into the hall and “accidently” turns on the bedroom light. Says loudly, “Oops honey, sorry.” Since I’m now awake hubby lets me know that I can get dressed and join him at 5:30 a.m. to help set up a fireworks sales booth. Hmmmm, hubby and I seem to have very different ideas about the meaning of the word FUN.
So there I am. 5:30 a.m. Parking lot. Fireworks booth and a very large semi. Pallets of boxes are unloaded. It is a huge amount of material and it all needs to fit inside the booth, in an organized way, so it can be sold quickly and easily in the four days the city allows us to sell fireworks. Us being a religious organization and a service organization.
Where to start? Luckily, there is a method to this madness. As I watch, Hal with his clipboard and the person delivering the fireworks walk down the line of boxes and I realize that as they were being unloaded our helpers were stacking boxes according to content. How clever! Now, Hal now is checking that the number ordered and the number arriving match, or will match in a day or so.
The truck drives off and the fun begins – moving the boxes inside. Again, there is a method. The stand is around 20 feet long and the directions are given – largest combination boxes in the center along the back table with smaller and smaller combinations spreading out evenly to the edges. On the front table the largest individual items in the center with smaller items stretching toward the ends. From the center to each end both sides are mirror images. But how do you know which is which? Well the biggest items are in the biggest boxes and smaller items are in smaller boxes. There is a Sales Box with 4 inch square tags with names of the products and prices. Hal and his clipboard step back and Mike takes over. After all, everyone has a specialty.
The price tags are lined up starting at each end so the table is a mirror image from the center to the ends. Everyone finds a job, individually or in teams: opening boxes, putting items on shelves, finding the items to match the sales tags, figuring out how to fit everything in so it can be seen easily and doesn’t roll off the table or fall onto another product group, and leaving open spaces near the each of the 8 sales windows for note pads, hand calculators, and product flyers. We toss emptied boxes outside where another group flattens them and stacks them on top of the stand. Outside someone else posts mandatory “No Smoking” signs and staples descriptive price tags aligned with the inside signs.
By 8:30 a.m. we are about ready for the 10 a.m. opening and are turned loose. In the next 90 minutes the organizers will be sure the credit card machine is set up, there is a cash box, boxes turned sideways will have a handwritten label so they can be identified easily, power cords will be run so the booth has nighttime lighting and odds and ends handled.
Whew! We go home and catch our breath. We’re off for two days and then work shifts on the 3rd and fourth. Experienced filed for future reference.
Every Day Is A Good Day – VJ