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Working in Retail During the Holidays

By Sarah Do Couto

Having a retail job isn’t easy, especially during the holidays. No matter the location, from November to January, it is absolute chaos. Since everyone wants to get their holiday shopping underway, stores are often packed and retail employees are left scrambling. Here are some struggles that retail employees know all too well about the holiday season.

The Clean Up

        A big part of working in retail is tidying, but that only amplifies during the holidays. What once was a few items left abandoned here and there, becomes a tornado of mess. With so many people in the store, retail employees are left returning items to their shelves and throwing out left behind coffee cups. After a few hours of this, it can be maddening.

The Christmas Music

        There is nothing worse than having to listen to “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” for the twentieth time in the span of five hours. To customers coming in and out of the store, the Christmas music may be fun and enticing, but the employees probably feel like their ears are going to bleed. There is only so much Christmas music a person can take.

The Changing Store

        During the holidays, merchandise is constantly being moved and displayed in different places throughout the store. The item that was sitting on the shelf has been replaced and is suddenly nowhere to be found. It can feel like being in the movie Inception. This becomes increasingly difficult when a customer asks you for a very specific item that isn’t where it was before. It can result in spending what feels like forever scanning the store for it.

The Crazies

        Everyone who has ever worked in retail has their crazy customer horror stories. With the influx of people in the store, the likelihood of encountering one of these customers only increases. Retail employees have been screamed at, mocked, and called every insult in the book. If anyone is good at shrugging off dramatic situations, it’s a retail employee.

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