Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holidaze Shopping...Like On The Actual Holiday......


Until very recently I worked for one of the major discount chains in the US. You know, the one that starts with 'W', rhymes with 'Wally World'? Anyways, now that the holidaze are rolling around again, I would like to talk about one of the most confusing customer interactions I would have on holidaze like Thanksgiving and Xmas:

I would be assisting a customer to the best of my ability, and they would give me a sad look and say "It's terrible they make you work on holidays like this. They should let you be home with your family."

Then why are you shopping there? Trust me, if the store didn't make a profit by staying open on the holiday, they would close tighter than...oh...insert something that closes very tightly here. They aren't open to accommodate you, they are there to make a profit. It's because of you we are working there.

I realize not shopping on a holiday takes extra planning, or doing without. To be honest...if you're running out for a turkey on Thanksgiving, you're probably a bit screwed. That goes for cranberry sauce, gravy, sweet potatoes, and foil roasters, too. Also, any Xmas gift you buy at 8pm on Xmas eve is going to be a picked over underdog that no one else wanted, so that extra planning would actually make your holiday nicer. And more thoughtful. I bet your relatives would be happy to spend time with you even if you forgot stuffing, or butter, or the entire freaking meal. Just love your family and be thankful. People keep telling me that's what the day is all about.

The people working in those stores aren't making overtime, or holiday pay, they are just working a rough shift on half-staff with cranky customers. They didn't make you forget the cranberry sauce, and it's not their fault the store sold out. Don't ask them if they'd rather be at home, it's a given. Hopefully they will treat you well and be friendly and courteous, and you will do the same for them, but to be honest....they labeled you as a forgetful poor planner with social issues the second you walked in the door.

What if you really really really need something very important, and must must must get it? Run to your local pharmacy. God bless them, they have a reason to be open. They have things people really really really need, like insulin, heart medication, and tampons. They probably have a turkey and some cranberry sauce, too, but even if they don't, thank them for being open and providing a valuable service. Go back home and enjoy some time with your family.

So...if you feel sorry for the poor people who have to work holidaze, do you best not to frequent the places that make them work. There are places that must stay open, but a big discount store certainly isn't one of them. And if you work in one of those places and resent having to work...don't pick something up on your way home. Vote with your dollar, and realize even employee revenue makes them want to stay open...for longer and longer hours each year.


So, now that I have that out of my system, I hope you all enjoy the season, whether you celebrate the holidaze or not, and even if you forget something very, very, very important at the last minute. Tell my former fellow workers I said hi. :)

1 comment:

  1. I worked at the mall at a clothes store 3 christmases as a teenager. I can relate. The tampons bit made me giggle.