12 THINGS RETAIL WORKERS HATE ABOUT CHRISTMAS
The horrible holiday season is upon us.
How do I know?
I got my first email from work letting me know that “It’s that time of year again!” and inviting me to the mandatory Christmas meeting to kick off the holiday season. They call this “spreading Christmas cheer”. I call it a “colossal waste of time”.
Call me a Grinch all you want because now that I work in retail, the holidays are a painful, groan-inducing nightmare that lasts from Halloween to New Years.
These 12 reasons all of us in retail hate christmas will make you reconsider taking that seasonal position at Walmart.
1. Christmas Decorations
Yes, setting up Christmas decorations at home with your family is fun butsetting up giant Christmas decorations sent to you from head office the day after Halloween and in the precise place and angle that the holiday floor plan shows is not fun at all.
2. Greeting Customers
Greeting customers during the holiday season usually means having to inform them of the different promotions and new holiday gift sets. It also means having to say, “Happy holidays!” and “Merry Christmas!” a million times over with a perma-smile plastered on your face even though you couldn’t hate the holidays more.
3. The Christmas Music Playlist
What better way to get consumers in the shopping mood than forcing them to listen to the same classic Christmas songs over and over again! When the store playlist is filled with variations of the same Christmas songs by different artists, I’m filled with despair. It feels like some cruel punishment to have to listen to Macy Gray sing “Santa Baby” seductively for twelve straight hours a shift.
4. Holiday Hours
Another brilliant tactic to get retail workers to off themselves– I mean, to get more of our customers’ money is to open much earlier and close much later. This means having to work long and busy shifts and having to cab to work because there aren’t any buses that early or that late. Lifehacker has some tips for surviving those long holiday shifts that you can see here or you can just do what I do and go through your shift in a blur and pass out in a Redbull coma once you get home.
I remember having to tiptoe and tilt my chin all the way up last year because the store was so packed. You can barely breathe in the store because of the crowd and yet customers don’t seem to understand that they’ll have to wait a few more minutes to get the help they need.
With the crowds of customers that plague the holidays, parking is very, very limited. That means having to leave for work an extra half an hour earlier than usual to find a spot.
7. The Food Court
On the days where you idiotically forget to pack your lunch, you’re stuck in the long lines at the food court. Sometimes you don’t have enough time on your half-hour lunch to eat the food you just bought or even to make it to the front of the line!
8. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘YOU’RE SOLD OUT?!’”
All the hot items are in an even higher demand and in short supply during Christmas time so if customers don’t get these items early, they might not get them at all. Of course, only you are held personally responsible for being sold out of whatever item by the customer that’s screaming insults five inches from your face.
9. The Christmas Discount
During the holidays, customers constantly think that by bringing an item of their choosing to me and asking,“Is this on sale?”, the price of it will magically drop like I’m some sort of magical price-reducing elf or something. The customers that have that extra bit of courage even ask if they can use my discount to do their Christmas shopping.
10. Gift Wrapping
Almost every customer wants to save their precious effort and get their present gift wrapped at the cash register, even with the twenty customers behind them in line glaring at the backs of their heads. This means more angry customers and tons of paper cuts.
11. “What will you have on Boxing Day?”
Some customers wait impatiently for me to help them only to ask what items will be going on sale on Boxing Day. If it’s not in a flyer, then either it’s privileged information that I can’t give you or I don’t even know becauseit’s a bloody month and a half from when you’re asking the question!
12. The Mess
I like to call this the Holiday Hurricane where – since we give them the extra time to do it – customers absolutely trash the store. Normally, customers aren’t able to put clothes back on hangers or even in the correct spot but the holidays have them straight-up throwing products on the ground in their shopping frenzy.
Take it Easy!
Regardless of how busy and painful the holidays are for us retail workers, nothing is better than coming home to spend time with my family and friends. Remember to take a break, kick back, and enjoy those precious holiday moments whether it’s baking gingerbread cookies with your mom or ice skating with your friends. Then, and only then, does it feel like you can survive it all.
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