It is coming up to the busiest shopping time of the year. Christmas. A word and shopping season that sends a shudder down the spine of a seasoned retail worker. I’m not a seasoned retail worker (yet) but the build up to Christmas is definitely noticeable even now.
Last year I had many moments that could only happen in retail and I want to make sure you lovely people do not fall into the categories where you are trying to ruin a retail workers day. You are lovely people after all so make our day please, don’t break it.
The back is not endless
If you see something one day and it isn’t out a few days later then chances are we have sold out. Funny that, a shop that sells stuff. The amount of people that go “you had this the other day/last week/whenever why don’t you have it now” is unbelievable. I can try to help, I can try to suggest other places where these products may be stocked, I can check other stores within the company in the area or even suggest that we order it in for you. There is no need for rudeness when I am trying to help you. If they are out too then I can only apologise but please understand that there is a lot that we can’t control. Also and I cannot stress this enough, I can only check my system for my company. Other companies may also have sold out of the same product but that does not mean that I’m checking their stock. Before you ask, yes I did get someone adamant that I was checking the stock for another company as they were out of stock of certain sought after item in the run up to Christmas last year.
The website is not the be all and end all of accuracy
If you are ever about to use the words “it says on the website…” or anything similar then please stop. I work in a place where you can click and collect, so things are available in a short space of time *with some restrictions*. Customers often forget that or don’t understand it. If we have the products in stock in store then yes it can be available there and then. However, as often happens around the Christmas period, we can be out of stock. Or have sold out that day. In these cases we have to order them in and that can take a few days for them to arrive. They still come in but just not as fast. So please don’t come in and say the website says or but I ordered this to collect 30 minutes ago, why isn’t it here yet. It has to be in for us to do that for you.
If you leave your shopping until a couple of days before Christmas I am not responsible if we don’t have what you are looking for
Yes I understand this is unfortunate and difficult for you. However, my sympathy does dissipate somewhat when I realise it is a day or two before Christmas and you fail to understand that things sell out in the run up to Christmas. When you then start to take your frustration out on me then you have to realise that isn’t being a decent human being or fair. Do not do this.
I am a human being with feelings
Yes I know it is Christmas. Yes I know you have been shopping for days and are trying to remember everything. Yes I know every shop is jam packed of everyone in the area. However at no point does that excuse treating me as less than a person because I “just” work in the shop. At no point do I deserve the brunt of your frustration. And this year I would like to get through the period without being called stupid (yes one customer last year did this, multiple times). I can think I am stupid but you have no right to call me it! Also please remember that I, the lowly shop worker, also has to cope with the shopping side of Christmas in between serving all of you, trying to see friends and family and having some time to actually enjoy the Christmas period.
Remember that we need a break too
Like I say I am a human being with feelings and as a human I need things like space, sleep and food. In the run up to Christmas I am working my socks off and doing as much overtime as possible and still trying to come to work happy and be as helpful as I can be. That said we are also due days off and we do not open 24 hours a day (some shops I appreciate will but not all) because we aren’t magical, miracle workers but humans. Also if you stand between me and my break especially if I am hungry my face will not be a happy one.
Please understand that I also need to do shopping at this time of year
Therefore I have to contend with being a customer and serving customers. At no point during my day or my day off do I get downtime from dealing with people doing Christmas shopping until I finish my own shopping. I want this to be as easy as possible for both of us. I want you to have a happy experience and I want that too. In addition, I want to still have a desire to go shopping after I have finished work or when I have a day off.
To all retail workers out there, you can do this! We can get through this Christmas period. To our customers, please understand that we are trying. Also if there are any feedback websites or things like that that you are directed to, please consider filling these in and being fair about your experience. We have one and use the feedback to help improve our services and without it we can’t improve as much. They usually only take about 5 minutes at most and are so valuable to us so please if you are asked take the time to fill it out.
Also, given I am on night shift at the moment a little shout out to the night shift who deal with trying to get as much delivery worked and stock out as possible. You all deserve a good festive period too.
Be kind everyone!