4236 B.C. Following the 365-day cycle of the star Sirius, ancient Egyptians record the very first year. An auspicious day for humanity to be sure, but even more so for those in the calendar business. After all, without the star-gazing and detail-obsessed people hanging out by the Nile all those years ago, they'd be without a job.Admittedly, any vocation owes a debt to its originators, but for those who make a living off the passage of time, shouldn't particular attention be paid to history? And not just to the invention date of the calendar, but to all events critical to the industry?
There's no need to open a text book or browse Wikipedia for hours, absorbing half-facts and making your former history professors instinctively cringe. Sit back and relax for a reflective look at a few important dates in the history of calendars.
Not long after the concept of the "year" was invented, an enterprising young Egyptian decides to print calendars on papyrus and sell them for profit. His business initially struggles, only selling a handful of calendars until the Egyptian equivalent of November 1 rolls around. The sudden rush of orders becomes too overwhelming and he promptly closes his doors in frustration.
Thankfully, modern-day calendar salespeople know how to avoid the young Egyptian's plight. "All the calendar companies offer early order discounts," said Phil Martin, national sales manager for Warwick Publishing, St. Charles, Ill. "Some of them at different deadlines, but we all offer early order discounts, which are a huge advantage to both the distributor and the end-user."
John Kilday, president of Greeneville, Tennessee-based American Calendars explained the reasoning behind the discounts. "We just have tons of orders that come flooding in to us the later part of August, first part of September," he said. "Our pricing strategy is all based upon getting the orders in earlier because we're working regular hours until this time of year [about mid-May]. Then we start picking up some overtime, then we're working 60 to 80 hours overtime. Our costs just explode."