Christmas time is finally here and us college students are looking forward to graduation, celebrating the holidays with the family and a five week break to recover from the semester and prepare for the next. Unless, of course, you work in retail.
Working retail over the break is something people look forward to about as much as a colonoscopy. Working over the break in general is not something we all jump for joy about, but it just doesn’t compare to the chaos that is customer service.
Complaining customers wanting their discounts, last minute shoppers running amuck through the store and inattentive parents letting their children play every singing reindeer toy in sight, are what makes retail workers cringe when they think of the holiday season.
The problem with working over winter break is that most of us don’t have a choice. We need to compensate for all the money spent on gift giving, while still paying rent. We don’t have the childhood luxury of doing absolutely nothing over the break and consuming our days with cartoons and naps.
Sure, working at a restaurant has its stressors and working a desk job isn’t exactly super fun, but once those Black Friday deals have commenced, Christmas shopping is a dangerous game of dodge the crazy people for retail workers.
Door buster deals take on a whole new meaning this time of year. Customers literally stampeding through stores to save $15 on their flat screen, taking no regard for the worker they just trampled to get to the Playstation 4’s.
For those of us who work or have worked retail during this season, we know the survival skills to make it through. And the No. 1 survival skill, is knowing it will all be over soon.
Between high schoolers searching for their first jobs and starving college students looking for any job, most people will end up working retail at some point in their life. It’s not necessarily a life-long career path, or even something that makes you a ton of money, but it will definitely give you a whole new appreciation and respect for the store and it’s employees.
This is a lesson far too many people haven’t learned.
So when you’re frantically running around Target for that last minute present, remember to have some respect for the people working Christmas Eve because you procrastinated your shopping. After all, they have to start listening to Christmas music starting Nov. 1.