Why working in retail ruins Christmas

The most wonderful time of the year you say? Not if you work in retail is isn’t


Anyone who works in retail knows that it’s not fun the majority of the time, but at Christmas it is particularly exhausting. Whether it’s because you’re constantly dealing with annoying and demanding customers, working too much overtime, or you’ve heard the most recent Christmas Hits compilation CD playing everyday, there are many reasons why working in retail can ruin Christmas.

The Christmas decorations and stock coming out before December

Well, the first issue we have within retail is that they seem to think it’s funny to start Christmas at the end of August. I’m a firm believer that Christmas shouldn’t exist until 1st December and working in retail has only strengthened this belief. By the end of September, the stock is out and you get all these unbelievably prepared people coming in to buy their presents. How can you buy things 3 months in advance? How are you this organised? I’ve got a whole 12 more weeks of uni stress to cry through before I can even think about enjoying Christmas. I’ve not even finished my summer activities and there I am, up in the stockroom unpacking Christmas stock. It’s 25 degrees outside, and yet I’m surrounded by snow globes and stocking fillers.

Save it for December, please!

Save it for December, please!

Annoying customers

Working in retail, you know you’re bound to get the odd customer who is up for a fight to the death, but Christmas just seems to turn everyone into angry little elves who will argue with you until they’re blue in the face. Sorry, but no, funnily enough this No7 gift box worth £30 isn’t actually selling as a £5 Disney princess hair set and no I can’t put it through at that price for you no matter how much you tell me it was above that price tag. People will do anything to try and get a bargain but please, just accept that you won’t get a discount. Clearly another customer has put it in the wrong place so please don’t tell me how unorganised the shop is, I’ve just spent all morning tidying the Christmas section. You’re ruining my Christmas cheer by being so negative and argumentative. A long day at work is bad enough without going home and complaining all night about the rude customers I had to deal with.

Grin and bare it is the only way through the season.

Grin and bare it is the only way through the season.

You get sick of every Christmas song

Everyone loves Christmas music right? It gets you right in the festive mood. Well, it certainly does not do this if you’re hearing the same 8 songs all day every day. Hearing Hannah Montanna’s version of ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’ or the god awful ‘Christmas Wrapping’ at least 3 times in one shift is enough to put you off Christmas songs for life.

Customers shopping last minute and getting annoyed about the lack of stock

Christmas Eve or ‘the day when the entire population of men go shopping’ is always a fun one. I know I complained about the people buying presents 3 months early but come on man, it’s Christmas Eve! Again, the rudeness and lack of common sense in some customers really baffles you. Why you are so surprised that the most popular perfume is out of stock and why you are questioning it like it’s my fault is beyond me. IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE. And no, oddly enough, I can’t order it in for you to be delivered tomorrow. I know your wife will be disappointed but there’s literally nothing I can do about it.

When customers don’t know what they’re looking for

Another fun one is when the men come in looking for a perfume and just ask you what smells nice or ‘what would smell nice on my wife?’ I really don’t know mate. It’s Christmas Eve, a day where you should be at home getting excited about all the presents Father Christmas is going to bring for you. I’m tired, I don’t know your wife’s perfume preferences, and I just want to go home and drink copious amounts of mulled wine. Please, just pick something and leave.

Look how tidy it is. It's not my fault people can't put things back where they found them

Look how tidy it is. It’s not my fault people can’t put things back where they found them

You’re constantly thinking about heading back into work on Boxing Day

Thinking of getting a bit merry with the family on Christmas Day? Well think again because you’ll be back in the shop at 7:30 on Boxing Day to serve all the questionable people who think it’s a good idea to get up early and go shopping. Boxing Day is made for slobbing around eating leftovers, not shopping and most certainly not for working. You can’t really be that desperate to raid the sales surely? Most of the stuff in the sale is all the tat that no one wanted before Christmas and yet suddenly is flying off the shelves. It might be 50% off, but surely you can’t need that Royal Jelly gift set for Grandma’s present next year that badly!

It just isn't where people should be on Boxing Day.

It just isn’t where people should be on Boxing Day.

You gradually lose faith in humanity

It also ruins Christmas as you see all the families who clearly hate their entire family. I honestly don’t believe that if you love and care about someone, you would buy them a Lynx or Dove giftset. If I opened this on Christmas day I think I’d give it back and send them on their merry way. You can go and get your turkey elsewhere if you think a Dove giftset is an acceptable present (sorry to any relatives who may have already purchased this as my present).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete Scrooge, I just can’t appreciate Christmas being a 3 month long affair. Yeah, it should be a time for good will to all men and all that jazz but it gets pretty tough to stay in a cheery mood when customers take out their shopping stress on you. Just spare a little thought for those less fortunate than you this Christmas, those who work in retail.