As it’s now my second December in Retail and all the four months leading up to the big day, I thought I would share a few of the realities of having a Christmas in retail. Whether it’s the endless lines of customer’s to serve, the mysteries of the late night shopping hours or the Christmas eve shop floor celebrations; a Christmas in retail is weird, wonderful and nothing ever surprises me…
- ‘Did I just tidy that?’- Especially when it’s the countdown to Christmas, tidying becomes a full time job, and one of the two main things you end up getting paid for, along with serving customers. If you’re a perfectionist like me, then having everything nicely folded and looking good is key, but at Christmas that’s just not possible. You can spend ages folding and tidying, for it only to be all forgotten in a matter of seconds, as the pile of jumpers,you’ve just folded,is all in a heap or the fitting room you’ve just tidied,has 50 tags and coat hangers in AGAIN.
- ‘Not late night shopping’- That only means one thing, having to work a late shift. Having to watch as you slowly move towards Christmas, more and more late minute shoppers need to find the perfect present, in the last 5 minutes of the shop being open. Or, hitting 7.30 and actually loosing the plot, as you know that you still have a lot of your shift left to go, and can’t stop thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner.
- ‘Is this line EVER going to end’- Standing at the till becomes your permanent position, when it comes to the Christmas season, as you’re constantly serving person after person; buying gifts for their loved ones. You think it’s never going to end, and can’t even believe how many times you’ve had to ask ‘Do you need a 5p carrier bag?’.
- ‘It’s Christmas Eve!’- This has to be one of the most amazing days to work, during the Christmas period. Everyone is in the full Christmas spirit and can’t wait until they can clock off and start the celebrations. But, where I work the celebrations start as soon as our shift does. It’s all about wearing our Christmas jumpers, maybe exchanging a few presents or cards, and having a bit of a celebration in our stock rooms.
- ‘The whole of Christmas is just one day’- When you work in retail you dedicate your whole countdown to Christmas, and the time you usually spend with your family getting ready for the big day, to share the festive spirit through the high-street shops. It’s not always easy to be happy and jolly, as you’ve not had a break for 6 hours and have had a constant queue for the whole time. So, always try to be kind to the retail workers, in your local shops and high-street; they’re doing their best and have given up family time, to open the shops, for all your last minute purchases.