Your 13 step guide to what it’s REALLY like to work in retail over Christmas

1. The alarm goes off and you have to go to work while everyone else is in bed.

…And will be in bed for a large portion of the day. Why? Because only fools would get out of bed and tackle the shops in this weather. Which means today you’ll only be encountering only the terminally angry and the terminally idiotic.

2. Arriving at work and surveying your kingdom

It’s so clean and shiny. It’ll remain this way for approximately 12 minutes.

3. But there’s no time to waste, it’s time to sell

Selling to panicky people who have left everything to the last minute and consider this to be your fault.

4. You’ll be forced to wear novelty Christmas headwear

Who knew that dignity could be sold for the minimum wage?

5. The queues of people outside will be like this

By queues we mean the mad, bloody scrum that will see old ladies battling like MMA fighters over a wonky trolley filled with sprouts

6. This is how the shop will look 10 minutes after opening

A single tear drips down your face as your survey the ruin of 200 chocolate Santas that didn’t survive the stampede to the bargain aisle.

7. When the same Christmas song comes on for the 20th time in an hour

It’s the most wonderful time of the… SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

8. When a customer is rude to you

Yes, I understand that I have ruined your Christmas by manning this till and not personally ensuring all of our stock catered to little Jocasta’s every whim. Maybe make yourself feel better by reporting me to my boss and ensuring I get a bollocking in front of this queue of irate people.

9. But don’t worry, you might get a break eventually!

The law says you’re entitled to 15 minutes – just enough time for a cup of tea, a wee, and a toilet cry before plastering on a big smile and going back out to the Somme-like mess that is the shop floor.

10. When there’s a huge queue and someone tries to pay all in change

What did I ever do to you?

11. When you finally get home at the end of a shift

It’s the most wonderful time of the… *collapses*

12. Relaxing after work

The trick is to drink faster than the PTSD flashbacks pop up

13. Realising you have to get up and do the same thing again tomorrow

It’s like Groundhog day – but with elves and murderous, shouty old people.

Merry Christmas from everyone who has served you in a shop, ever

Written by Sophie G

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