Things I Never Thought I’d See in 2023 (but maybe in reality, I’m not surprised)

In the chronicles of commerce, certain years stand out as pivotal, marking turning points that redefine industries and reshape the way we do business. 2023 is undeniably one of those years. From the unexpected twists in the retail sector to the unprecedented challenges faced by businesses across the board, this year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for both entrepreneurs and consumers alike.

As the dust begins to settle (we hope at least) on this intriguing chapter, it’s imperative that we reflect on the events that have transpired. From the looming specter of businesses shuttering their doors to the curious phenomenon of a shifting workforce landscape, 2023 has brought forth a host of circumstances that beg closer examination and perhaps a cheeky rundown.

In this list, I hope to bring you on a journey of the various observations that I have seen this year. From the impact of inflation on consumer behavior to the profound shifts in the labor market, my aim is to try to unpack the complexities in my mind as I search for insights into how businesses and individuals are adapting to this “new normal” (a term I despise btw). I live on the south shore of Massachusetts outside of Boston. Maybe these things are regional? Let me know in the comments what you’re seeing in your regions.

In no particular order...

Calling customer service and immediately getting the sense that they know less about your product than you do.
Is it normal that someone from iPhone tech support told me that they use a Samsung?

Restaurants that are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
What am I supposed to eat on those nights?

Taking my 5 year old to an indoor play park (trampolines, slides, ball pit, etc) after school and being the only ones there.
This is a massive play space to have all to yourself! (Bonus points if you know the caption references)

Similarly, going to one of the remaining malls and being one of about 5 shoppers in the whole place. Aside from the seniors doing their steps.
But… why are there no good sales going on?

Seeing countless “Now Hiring” signs at places but it seeming like no one is actually looking for or wanting to work.
How are businesses needing more employees when they already seem to have so many doing nothing?

Seeing downtown retail areas shut down at 5pm in the summer. In busy tourist areas where people want to shop (ex. Plymouth, Newport and Nantucket)
Don’t they want to stay open for all the people that are still looking to shop after 5?

Waiting in the drive thru for 15+ minutes, finally getting to the window, seeing at least 10 employees inside staring at their phones and then being treating like an inconvenience.
What’s the holdup? Totally normal.

Going to the market to get groceries (see #1) on a weekday at 11am and almost not finding a parking space because it’s so packed.
Is this what “working from home” means?

So many local pizza places being closed on Sundays.
During football season!?

Not being able to order food at a restaurant or bar after 8:30pm because they all seem to close at 9pm.
Remember when you could go out to a movie and then grab dinner after at 10 or 11pm?

Ordering a coffee or tea and they repeat your order back to you and it’s not even close to what you literally just said to them 2 seconds ago.
But let’s be honest, hasn’t this always been the case?

So many stores that still out of things while blowing us off by telling us that “we get a new shipment every Thursday”. Seems every store gets shipments the same day.
Surely everything can’t still be stuck on a ship out in the ocean?

Subscription costs on everything from Amazon Prime to Disney+ creeping up and then creeping up again. But we’re still getting the same thing we paid less for a few months ago.
Do you get as annoyed as me when the huge corporations tell us that they need to raise prices to “continue providing us with the best possible experience”?

Buying a Panera “You choose 2” (Half sandwich and a small cup of soup) with an ice tea and paying $19.82. Also almost $4.00 for a bottle of water and almost $3.00 for a can of soda.
Remember when $10 for a quick takeout lunch seemed like a lot?

AI generated hands. Everyone thinks AI is going to take over design jobs.
Yeah, I think we’ll be ok.


This satirical article was meant to make you laugh and at the same time think about things. I know that there are plenty of business owners out there (myself included) that are trying to figure it all out, and I feel your pain. And I support you.

But still… hold onto your change jar. I have a feeling it’s going to be a rough winter.

Since 2001, Boston Design studio, Spin350 has built a strong history of working on a wide assortment of projects across multiple industries and in multiple mediums. 

One of the reasons that Spin350 clients give 5-star reviews and value their relationship with Spin350’s creative director, Joe Lyons so much, is that he takes on a role as their creative partner and not just a vendor. And above all, he advises them on decisions that will play a role in their creative and marketing strategies and leads in solving their creative challenges. View the Spin350 project process.

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Joe Lyons

Joe Lyons

Joe is the 🏆 award-winning creative director of Boston’s Spin350™ Studio // Global brand designer // Published as a 📸, 🎥, ✍️ & 🎧 // Speaker // Curator // Dad

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