Why Working Retail During The Holiday Season Is Absolute Hell

Why Working Retail During The Holiday Season Is Absolute Hell ©iStock/filadendron

If you’ve ever worked retail during the month of December, you know how horrible it can be. Holiday spirit is nonexistent once you step inside of the store. If you’ve never had the pleasure of having a 9-to-5 around this time of year, this is why working retail during the holiday season is absolute hell:

  1. Customers pretend that they care about you. Customers will tell you that they’re sorry you’re stuck working on Christmas, but they’re the reason why you needed to show up in the first place. If they could’ve waited one more day to get their shopping done, you’d be at home with your family like everybody else.
  2. You hear holiday music on a loop. You loved “Santa Baby” before you started your job in retail, but now you’re going to bash your head in if you hear it one more time. The same jolly songs play on the speakers day after day, for an entire month. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
  3. There’s always someone with a problem. Whoever said that the holidays are the happiest time of the year lied. This is the season when customers will argue with you about deals, being out of stock, and putting items on hold. You’ll never get a second of rest, even on your lunch break, because customers will still attempt to talk to you.
  4. You’re accused of being offensive. If you say, “Merry Christmas,” someone will complain about how you’re being offensive to those who celebrate other holidays. Of course, if you say, “Happy holidays,” someone will complain about the war on Christmas. You can’t win.
  5. You can never find a parking spot. During the other eleven months of the year, you’ll park in the same spot. However, in December, you’ll have to park a mile away from the store. By the time you walk from your car to the entrance, you’ll already be ready to go home.
  6. Seasonal employees make your life harder. You’ve been working at your job for years, but the seasonal employees just started a few weeks ago. Your boss was desperate to hire as many people as possible, which is why the new workers don’t have all that much experience. That’s why you’ll end up pulling their weight when they can’t figure out how to scan an item.
  7. The store is always a mess. It doesn’t matter if it takes you an hour to fold a pile of shirts perfectly, because that pile will be ruined in five minutes flat after the store opens. Most customers won’t care about the look of the shelves. They just want to dig through the clothing until they find the right size shirt.
  8. Your job completely ruins your holiday spirit. You’ll miss pretty much every holiday party, because you’ll be stuck working. Even if you find enough time to do something festive, like decorate your tree, the lights and ornaments will remind you of the ones you sell at work, so you’ll lose your desire to touch them.
  9. You’re forced to fake a smile. Your boss wants you to look happy, especially around the holidays, which is why he’ll keep reminding you to smile. Of course, if you ever forget, they’ll be some helpful customers around to remind you to cheer up, because it’s the “happiest time of the year.”
  10. The stress doesn’t end after Christmas. You’d think your workload would get lighter after Christmas and Hanukkah end. Of course, that’s just a pipe dream. After the holidays are over, boatloads of customers will come back wanting refunds. It can be just as busy as before the holidays.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.