The Woes of Holiday Retail

Well, I just got my work schedule for December and it’s safe to say that I am overwhelmed just looking at it. A large population of sales people, myself included, are about to face the most stressful and demanding season of the year: the December gift rush. The popular Internet meme, “Retail Robin” highlights some of the more popular scenarios in a fun sarcastic way. However, under all of those holiday decorations lies a very stressful time of year. Fear not all you retail workers out there, I am here to highlight and relate to those problems that you face the most during this month.

Dear bosses and managers, we understand that you’ve already completed school and that the idea of a term paper is years passed. Yet, for some of us papers and finals are very much in the present. So please be gentle with us, we are very frazzled and do not react well to those forty hour work weeks you are trying to sneak into our lives, they just don’t fit. Those “extended holiday hours” are great for people who are looking to squeeze some last minute shopping into their day. However for those of us working closing shifts, they can keep us folding and cleaning until midnight or later. So before you make a schedule that could make any college student crumble under the pressure, please consider that we have two jobs; one of which plays a much more significant role in our futures.

To those shoppers mobbing the malls to find that perfect gift: we are doing our best to help you, along with the thousands of other people that come into our stores. Sometimes clothing does run out, so don’t keep asking if we have that shirt you saw online in the back because, chances are, we sold it. However, fear not, you will still be able to find it on the website, exactly where you saw it in the first place. Oh and the amount of times you ask if there are any more in the back will not suddenly make that shirt materialize out of thin air; yelling at us that you saw it last week will not help either, I promise. For those of you shopping in jewelry stores this season, I’m sorry, but I know that you’re not friends with the boss and I really can’t give you sixty percent off on that diamond ring. Also, that coupon you brought in from October can’t be applied to your purchase two months later, nor can it be combined with six other coupons.

Don’t think that I’m some sarcastic cranky sales girl. Regardless of the stress, and the long hours, the Christmas season still remains as my favorite time of year. For the most part, helping people find that perfect gift for their special someone can be fun and rewarding. However, there are always those customers who don’t understand that we are still people regardless of the nametag. So, to those hectic shoppers out there, please be gentle with us, and yes, we can gift wrap that for you.

By Jennifer Gagliardi


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