I worked retail for years in almost every department, I think it’s the reason why I lack in Christmas Spirit. First, I worked as a cashier, then customer service, apparel, general merchandise and lastly price accuracy. I literally understand every aspect of how retail works and I know each area has it’s frustrations. This explains why I dislike decorating, Christmas music and shopping!
Black Friday provided so many funny and good times! They may have been funny because I got to work at midnight and was exhausted by the time the customers got there. One year, our manager thought it would be a great idea to put carts out in front of the doors so that customers could run in and just push a cart. Well one guy, trying to be a Hero, clearly, thought it would be a great idea to try and hurdle the cart. EPIC FAIL! He almost made it, until his toe caught the back of the cart and he face planted! Someone, behind him immediately after tried to push that same cart and rush to their desired area for shopping and partially ran him over. Don’t worry he was just fine. He jumped right up and went on his merry little way, I’m not that heartless. Never the less, that act of heroism brought a glimmer of joy to my life.
This year the big companies are having their employees work on Thanksgiving night. I feel for them and it makes me sad that it’s all about the money. I get it, people love the deals, adventures and camping. You can get two of those three other places. Anyways, good luck to all those workers this Holiday Season, here is my Retail experience, writing this felt a little more like Retail therapy!
Here are my reasons for not liking the holidays due to working retail:
1. Christmas Music: I do not care what anyone says, Christmas music should not be played until December 1st! Matt thinks it shouldn’t be played until December 20th, he also worked retail with me. When working in retail I heard every version, of every Christmas song (yes especially that bad ones), every single day, before my shift was over. Therefore, they are stuck in your head no matter how bad the song was. The day after Halloween is when they start playing the music but we set up Christmas trees and decorations half way through October! It’s crazy! So don’t call me a fuddy duddy for not liking Christmas music, you don’t get it unless you have worked retail!
2. Sales: When working price accuracy, we spent hours trying to line up the signs to the correct sales item. I mean days and hours! The signs were pre-printed at corporate and some of the items we wouldn’t even carry but we still had to look for them. When you are setting ad at three in the morning, you begin wandering like a zombie searching for brains in a ghost town.
3. Checking out: Now, when working in customer service and as a cashier we are equally frustrated when your item does not ring up for the right price. In fact, it gave me stress and anxiety, we had to call someone to see if there was a sign in a wrong place so that we could take it down. We’re stuck in a little area feeling claustrophobic and it is quiet stressful waiting for the person working on the floor to find the item for you. It could take them one minute to find it, but it feels like hours! Behind the current customer more and more customers line up and give you glares because you aren’t going fast enough. Be nice to that poor employee they are just doing what they are told.
4. Unlimited supply: Yes, there are times when we have the stuff in the back but it’s never what you want. I swear, we always had so many gloves and socks and just about anything that no one wants. Sometimes it feels like people want you to pull a Mary Poppins and pull that item out of your magic bag. It’s hard and frustrating on your end and I totally get it but don’t get mad at me because there is nothing I can do about it. If you ask nicely, they will try and call another store to see if they have it.
5. Straightening: I will be the first to admit, my bedroom is rarely spotless. When I worked apparel it made me never want to clean my room. Which is sad, I acquired such grand skills of folding and what not. When you are about to close, there is always “that couple”, they come in with ten minutes before closing. You’ve been folding clothes hours and almost have everything folded and they pick up every shirt, in every color and size and then leave and don’t buy anything. It’s a little disheartening. Yes, I know it’s my job and yes that is what I am there for. However, it takes time and effort, we are only scheduled for a half hour after closing and that was going to be THE ONE TIME we got out on time!
6. No Family Time: I love to have a job and to make money. I was blessed with working with great people and so I will never complain. I only wish people would realize that we are spending the holidays helping you buy that last minute present on Christmas Eve or what ever holiday it may be, we are missing out on our family time. No matter how frustrating and how rushed you are take into account that we are missing family time to help you!
This Holiday Season remember what it’s all really about, giving, compassion, love, kindness and Christ! Be kind to those retail employees this year! I know their pain! I appreciate what they do and I miss all my pals I used to work with!