Survival Guide

The good, the bad and the ugly of working at christmas

Sleigh bells ringing, stockings and wrapping Christmas gifts, Merry Christmas to everyone from retail HQ. There is not a Christmas lyric I don’t know or can’t sing along to by now as I have listened to Christmas FM plenty of times. This is my fourth year entering retail for the Christmas period and to be honest, it’s one of my favourite times of year to work. I work for the majority of the Christmas period, getting Christmas day and St. Stephens’s day off, so I’m not too badly off. Here’s to the good, the bad and the downright ugly
Like everything, there is up’s and downs, good and bad to working in retail. The downs are long and late shifts. During the Christmas period, I might not finish work until 11pm but that is just the normal hours I work to anyway. The customers (well, some) are generally nice and happy out for Christmas, but there are still a few grinches roaming about the streets during the Christmas break. It’s a busy, long, yet somewhat enjoyable day working in retail. I work in a relatively small newsagents but when it’s approaching this time of year, I feel like I need to be an octopus running around at work getting the gifts for demanding customers.
The ups are you name it it sells, from picking out cards for the customers to wrapping up presents to displaying the Christmas window, it’s all fun and games. Working in retail this time of year can be stressful. The orders for the Christmas stock happens well in advance, but sometimes when the order arrives in store, you realise you didn’t can some of the must-have stock. On the flip side, it can be rewarding. To think while you’re wrapping up this gift of a farming set or a baby doll, some kid will open up this on Christmas day and will be over the moon with it. It’s the little things this time of year that really make Christmas special.
Christmas Eve and the other days leading up to Christmas is where all hands on decks are needed for the period to run smoothly. It’s a constant scan items in the till- say the price-ask if they need items wrapped-take money from the customer (while checking the money is not fake- yes it’s a big issue around this time of year) and then repeat the process again. All in a day’s work.
The ugly side to the Christmas period while working in retail is that you need to be vigilant and ‘on- the-ball’ to say the least. A lot of scams can happen this time of year, from fake notes to phone calls to the shop saying there is something wrong with the tills and payment will be needed ASAP to fix the problem. Yes, I have seen and heard it all and most of the time it’s not legit.
All in all, I think the Christmas period is an enjoyable time to work. I feel like Ms. Claus while I am at work. I get to wear the usual Christmas jumper to work and listen to Christmas tunes on the radio- What’s not to love?