Christmas is a busy time for many of us. For Retail chains, it’s the one time of the year to break big at the bank and get your sales increases that you’ve been dying for all year. As someone who works in a retail environment, I can honestly say that the more time you spend in retail, the more Christmas becomes cyclical and cynical.
Not that that’s how it should be, but it is; and to be fair, it’s not entirely the fault of those who work in retail.
In retail environments, your main focus is customer service and a lot of customers don’t make it easy. Some of them may not want to talk to you while others expect you to stand in one place as they narrate their entire life story from birth to the moment you found them down the kitchen aisle. Still others beg and plead for you to open up that blender out of its box to make a thorough quality inspection, only to then take the unopened box right beside and leave you puzzled on how to put the opened appliance back into its former, pristine packaging.
You are told to stock the shelves and greet every customer that passes you by while answering all the cash calls that come your way every few minutes. You cut yourself on boxes of Christmas chocolates and shatter your hopes and dreams with every glass ornamnet that slips out of your hands and onto the wet, black-streaked floor. Yes, you’ll have to clean that mess too.
Every shift, you’re struggling to survive till the end of the day with a fake smile plastered onto your face.
Retail isn’t easy, folks.
So, to those who work in retail, my message for you is this: take some time throughout the day to give a little gift to your hard-working coworkers. It could be as simple as a pleasant talk to put a smile on them, or a box of chocolates for the pharmacy department. It can be a gift card for that one employee who always comes in early to get some stuff done, or a thank-you card for your manager who spends time developing you as a person.
For the customers who shop: Please take a moment to smile at the employees who populate the stores you walk into. They have families and loved ones too, but they’re showing up so that you can buy things for yourself or your loved ones. Acknowledge them, thank them and even treat them with some chocolates or thank-you cards. Little things like this can go a long way in making retail workers smile.
In the end, it’s about remembering what Christmas is all about and keeping it alive with our everyday actions. We can’t afford to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed with cynicism and rudeness. Christmas is the collective happiness of everyone who tries to put some good into this world. So, this December, let’s make this Christmas a good one for shoppers and employees alike. Be nice, and spread some cheer.