WOW Word-Of-the-Week #281: Paucity

December 6, 2009 by  

Paucity – smallness of number; fewness.

Have you ever seen or heard this word before? I sure hadn’t! Is your business suffering from a paucity of customers, guests, members or clients?

The main article, written by Lori Weisberg, on the front page of today’s Sunday Union Tribune business section is titled, “Holiday party paucity.” Conspicuous consumption is clearly not in vogue these days. The recession has left many employers on the fence about whether they have the funds and as a result, holiday parties have been put off until the last minute.

“Local restaurants and hotels are extending discounts and promotions to induce companies to throw a party, no matter how modest it is. Everything from bonus gift cards and free hotel rooms to live DJs are being offered in hopes of luring indecisive businesses, recognizing that the holiday season is their last chance to boost a disappointing year.”

Does a large part of your revenue in December come from holiday parties? One restaurant in San Diego which does started the season by offering 25% off. “Sometimes holiday parties are the first thing to go. That’s unfortunate, because if anyone needs a pat on the back after last year, the company party is the way to do it.”

This week focus on how you can help the economy and not have “Holiday party paucity.” If you are in the hospitality industry what incentives could you offer to book more parties? If you’re on the fence about whether to have an office party, get off it and go book it! It seems to me that if we all spend a little money instead of hoarding it this recession will be over quicker.

Reader Responses

This morning you awakened me with your thoughts, we are still in control of this recession and how long we stay in it is still our choice as a whole, it makes a lot of sense what you said: “ it seems to me if that if we all spend a little more money instead of hoarding it this recession will be over quicker” You know I was really backwards in my thinking, I need to put money in instead of keep money, I don’t mean extravagant but if we all put a little bread down before you know it we will have the loaf than the loaves and before we know it bakery is going and were baking and before you know it we are feeding the multitudes and the process was done a lot quicker, with everyone putting a little bread down. WOW, Thanks Susan, your insight is a Gift! – Brenda

I have known the word and used it on an occasional basis. Most times I have not sprinkled my conversations with paucity because most people don’t know the word. And, yes, there has been a paucity of holiday parties in America the past two years. Many companies will cut office and company parties as a perk that can be done without. And whenever employees complain about this paucity, the response from the hierarchy is, “Just be glad that you have a job.” Parties build camaraderie in firms. They also give employees a chance to meet others in the company they have never met. Parties do a great job of bringing people together, especially at the holidays. What happens when they are canceled is that morale slowly deteriorates. Employees begin to think they are simply numbers helping to inflate a bottom line. What then results is that employees never go above and beyond the call of duty in their positions. Ultimately, the bottom line suffers. That is what happens. And it is happening all over the country today. Great word, Susan. I hope you have a wonderful week. Take care. “Warrior” Joe Moran.