Hello Coastland Center Mall in Naples! Yes – you heard me correctly – we are back at the Big Sports Cart kiosk for yet another holiday season!
We’re into our second week, and already Bill and I have slid into the “Groundhog Day Zone” – each day basically the same with 11-plus hours at the mall (soon to be more as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach), followed by a glass of wine, food prep for the next day, sleep – and then repeat!
So, have things changed since last year? Let’s see…
- Most of the “mall walkers” are still walking- every day. This is a good thing. Bill and I are taking turns walking – both inside and outside the mall – striving for our 10,000 steps daily before things really get busy.
- Santa’s elves have stopped by to say hello as they gear up for Santa’s “soft opening” on Friday, November 15th and then a full schedule starting Saturday. Still trying to figure out what a “Santa soft opening” entails! Sadly, Santa’s location has changed so we will miss those daily sights.
- Random questions are still being asked by shoppers. The best to date include…
- Could you point us to the nearest restroom? (Sometimes asked with more urgency than others!)
- Do you sell charging cords for a GPS? (Look around – it’s all sports memorabilia!)
- Do you have a small bag I could put my water bottle in to take it home?
- Naples is still attracting visitors from around the world! Thus far we have met people from England, Argentina, Germany, Italy (check out Mr. Gold Shoes), and Iceland – not to mention the multitude of tourists from all over the States!
- No matter how slow the mall may be, at approximately 2:20 p.m., Monday through Friday, the “Backpack Brigade” arrives, as Naples High School, located right next door to the mall, dismisses. As a mom, I wonder why these kids aren’t heading straight home – and have resisted the urge to smack a few – but c’mon, I know better!
- There is still an awful lot of hand-holding at the mall…couples – young and old, parent/child, siblings, caretaker/patient. Hand-holding continues to be a very good thing. More of us should try it!
- And even this early in the season, there are men who just can’t stay awake in the mall!
Although things have started off rather slowly – but, hey, it’s still two weeks until Thanksgiving – we are enjoying our interactions with customers (just chatted with a woman looking at our wares for the 20 minutes she had left for her hair dye to set!), as we continually hear, “Oh, I’ll be back; We may be back; I’m so glad you guys are back,” and of course the ever popular “I’ll be back when I find out what team they like!”
Well, the holiday music has begun and we’re back for one of the craziest workamper jobs ever! Stay tuned…
Stay Calm and Travel On…