The Devils In The Retail?

Busy shopping centres, long queues, cold weather but sweltering heating on in stores. Whats not to love about Christmas shopping? I've spent many years working pre and post Christmas in retail. I can tell that there definitely comes a shift in both shoppers and workers attitudes as soon as the sound of Michael Buble flows through the speakers. Working in retail has taken the shine off Christmas, I shudder at the thought of Boxing Day. 


Shoppers, we all hate long queues and busy shops, and sales associates we all know that you would rather like to be home watching Elf. A large proportion of people working in retail consists of students or graduates who are starting to question the existence of a graduate job, much like a child questions Santa's existence. *Raises hand* the latter is me.

When you're shopping a hot busy store has to be the worst, but at least you're out of there as soon as the transaction has been made. Imagine how frustrating it could be staying there for 9 hours!
I've had many lovely, friendly customers during the lead up to Christmas, however there's always ones who you have to bite your tongue when talking to them. You can tell alot about a person by how they treat retail staff and wait staff in restaurants.  Those employees are just doing a job which could go alot smoother if both parties are civil to one another. I've witnessed many times grown men shoppers being extremely rude to young women staff. I do believe sexism exists as I've seen way too often when a male manager comes over all of a sudden their attitude changes. To those shoppers I just want to say "do you realise how ridiculous you look!!!" There's more I'd like to say (obviously) but lets not get into that right now. Be nice to sales associates this upcoming holiday season because chances are they don't want trapped in a hot, stuffy store either. Treat them with respect and you will get it back. Most of the staff will probably be people with Degrees, so just take a second to think of how frustrating that could be when they imagined and were promised a completely different life. 2001- "work hard so you'll get a good job". 2008- "you better go to uni if you want a real job". 2014- "wait, where did it go wrong?"

You will get the odd member of staff who is rude. You may encounter them once a month. However when you work in retail you can experience a rude customer every single day. "You have to balance making targets with being a good person."- Sali Hughes

To the staff who are rude to customers, we all understand you might be having a bad day but there's no excuse to treat people badly. Most of the times I have encountered a rude member of staff I have noticed that they have been rude to me because they think I won't say anything back, I could be seen as an easy target because I'm young and probably look naive. I've seen many workers do that to people who are young and old. I honestly think they act like that to the customers where they think they can get away with it. Shoppers you don't need to take it, don't be afraid to explain you're not happy with the service.

I do think managers should take extra care of their staff around Christmas. If we work together calmly, this holiday season will go a lot smoother. Whether you're embarking on your Christmas shopping or getting ready for a long shift, try and do so with a positive attitude and it will be over before you know it.

I'd love to know some of your retail experiences.


  1. Loved this post. I'm also currently a graduate working in retail and after my first working christmas I swore I couldn't do another one. Yet here I am approaching my 3rd year in store. I don't mind the lead up to Christmas too much, although it is super tiring. It's the depressing stage afterwards when people are bringing back their unwanted items that you helped their family members lovingly chose. You almost want to tell them that they are ungrateful and that it's the thought that counts!
    I do agree that we should all stick together though. I think staff friendships are strongest at this time of year and the people I work with are often the ones keeping me laughing instead of crying during my busy shifts. Hope you have a good one :) x

    1. Hi Charlotte thanks for stopping by. Oh how the lead up to Christmas is tiring, after a long shift I have almost no energy to do anything afterwards. Its so important to have good relationships with staff it can make the day go quicker and make it more enjoyable. Hopefully this is the last Christmas in retail for both of us. Those graduate jobs have to come sooner rather than later.



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