Working on the Holidays

Ahh, yes. It’s that time of year where the leaves are crisp, Christmas trees are going up, and people are grumpy about having to visit their racist relatives. For me, the holidays are an especially difficult time of year. Not only do I get stressed about shopping ahead of time for Christmas so the presents for everyone arrive on time, but I’m always working on the holidays. I can’t really complain because I’m earning money, but customers aren’t exactly friendly when things don’t go the way they planned. 

I work in a restaurant that is open every day out of the year except for Christmas, and I have worked Thanksgiving every year for nearly five years. Families will come in with a large group of people, which normally isn’t a big deal because we can push tables together for them all to sit. However, with the pandemic, we’re unable to do that, so any family that comes in most likely will not be able to eat together at a giant table like they imagined. If they insist on it, then they might have to wait a long time for a table big enough to open up. Hearing this news is never well-received, especially on a holiday that many use as a way to spend time with family. I understand someone being upset with the way things turn out, but they don’t understand it isn’t the employees fault for this happening; it just happens. 

My coworkers and I are usually met with sarcastic attitudes, complaints, and sometimes even yelling, even though we can’t help the circumstances. Of course not everyone is this way, and there are people who grasp the situation we’re in. However, more often than not I have to either hold my tongue or hold in my tears on the holidays when I’m at work. It’s a relief to go home just to get a break from a social setting. 

I would much rather be at home with my family, just like the rest of the people coming; this feeling is even stronger while the pandemic rages on, and I know other employees feel the exact same way. Management breathes down our necks, making sure we remain happy and pleasant despite all of the stress we’re under. I hope I’m wrong though. I hope this year is completely different since this year is unlike any other we’ve experienced.  

All I ask of people is to be respectful and understanding during the stressful holiday season; we’re all human. Please be kind.