If any of you lovely readers have ever worked retail during the Christmas season, you know how much of a mixed blessing it is. There are moments of joy, moments of frustration, and moments of embarrassment.
You get to see families shopping, you get to see significant others trying to find the perfect present for their person, and you get to see friends shopping together. When you have little people running around your legs, running to Mommy or Daddy, asking if this would be a good present, it is just a downright cute kind of season. You get to help those girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, partners, etc. trying find that perfect gift, the one that they saw online, and called in, because your store has it! It’s sweet that you see the love in their eyes when you hand over that thing they were looking for and you get to see how excited they are that they get to check this off their list. Friends shopping together is always fun to see – they have a different language than the rest of the world. And the jokes that fly at each other…always entertaining. Especially when you see the looks on random passersby.
The moments of frustrations are met with a flushed face and a calm stance. Trying to soothe emotions during the holidays? You might as well be trying to diffuse a bomb in Times Square. You are blamed for things that have nothing to do with you and have everything to do with ordering. You try to stay calm and find a solution, but when you have to say no?
Might as well stand in front of the firing squad right now for all the help you are! I try and think of something that is completely away from the store I work at, and think of something nice, or what this person if going through…because if they are yelling at me, there has got to be something else wrong out in their universe. I try and mend the situations, and if I can’t help, hand it over to a higher up, which again is frustrating.
I am embarrassed at least once a day every day, but at work it is especially embarrassing. Say you almost fall off a ladder? Red face. Say you are lifting that heavy stacks of books and a toot slips out? Quickly look around, and hope like hell your coworker isn’t beside you, in the next aisle, or anywhere within earshot! What if they are? Red face. Finally get those gold embossed mugs in your manager has been trying to get in, and what happens? Drop it on another cup and cue the red face.
I think the hardest part of working in the land of retail during the holidays is that everyone is frazzled, and in the end it is your job to keep a level head and do everything you can. Is the customer always right? No, but they are right to themselves, and that is all they care about. So the job is to do your best, whatever that could be, and try not to crack or rip anything.