retail jobs

The No BS Survival Guide To Working In Retail This Christmas

Once you’ve worked in retail, nothing will scare you.

For some, Christmas is a time to relax, unwind, and get into the festival spirit. But for those who work in retail, it’s the most batshit, stressful time of year, and probably the number one leading cause of heart disease.

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Surviving a retail job during Christmas is the equivalent of Bear Grylls surviving one month in the forest by only eating rats. Same premise, but instead of rats its customers asking if they can “speak to the manager”.

To ensure your sanity, we’ve put together an ultimate survival guide to making sure you enter the new year calmly and without the PTSD of Christmas retail.

Here is your no BS survival guide to working in retail this Christmas:

If a customer starts popping off, put on your best concerned face and say “I completely understand”, even tho bitches be crazy 

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We’ve all experienced that moment where a customer starts going off about something completely random. I can’t even give you an example because it could literally be something as small as the music being too loud. Rather than say what you really wanna say which is “YOU WANNA FIGHT ME M8?!”, put on your best look of faux concern, and utter phrases like “I completely understand,” or “I hear you.”

Wear comfy shoes 

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I know that now might seem like the time to break out your freshest Marco Gianni heels that you just bought on Black Friday. The feeling of looking cute asf is tempting, but you can still do that while wearing something that isn’t going to feel like death at the end of the day. Do your toes and back a favour and go for your comfiest pair of shoes.

Even though they are CLEARLY WRONG, the customer is always right

Working Season 6 GIF by Curb Your Enthusiasm - Find & Share on GIPHY

Right off the bat let me tell you, the customer is NEVER right, in fact, 99.99% of the time they are so wrong that it’s an insult to human intelligence. However, the origins behind this phrase is about ensuring staff give high priority to customer satisfaction, meaning that in order to not lose business you have to give the customer what they want. I KNOW, IT SUCKS.

Honestly tho just to make your own life easier this Christmas, suck in your pride and give them whatever the fk they want so that they can leave you alone and you can move on with your day.

So if Karen is telling you that she cold water washed her item of clothing when she clearly didn’t, just give her a new one. And if Brad tells you that he found a hair in his chicken nuggets when clearly it’s his own, just swap him out a new batch so he can get out of sight and out of mind.

Get some sleep beetch

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I know that working these late nights of trade are draining asf, but plz refrain from going Christmas light looking with your mates until 2am. Trust me, I know that your social life is poppin’ rn, but TRY and keep it to a reasonable hour because a sleepy b*tch is an angry b*tch, and we don’t want that.

It’s one thing to be tired at work during the dead days, but when you’re non-stop from the second your shift starts, you’ll be hating life.

Milk every glorious second of your break

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Let me break it down for you because I know that some companies will try and trick you. According to the General Retail Industry Award 2010, if you’re working in a retail store for OVER five hours you get one 10-minute break and one 30-60 minute break. If you’re working UNDER five hours, you get one 10-minute break, and for 7 hours or more it’s two 10 minute breaks and one 30-60 minute.

Keep hydrated

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I personally am not going to condone having multiple coffees and energy drinks throughout the day, because that’s just not my vibe, but if you get off to that then go for it. My lesson is to ensure that you’re drinking LOADS of water. Have a bottle near your counter and set a goal to finish it. I know that sometimes you’ve got so much going on that you just don’t find the time, but you will need it if you want to keep yourself energised and moist (yes, moistness is important)

Take care of your skin

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Stores are always so fkn dusty. You’re dealing with boxes, stock, and backrooms that haven’t been cleaned since 2002, then throw in all the stress of dealing with crazy people and honestly that’s just a pimple waiting to happen. Make sure when you get home you wash your face, moisturise, and maybe do a sheet mask to soak out all your toxins from dealing with Karens all day.

Do your Christmas shopping ASAP

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If you work in a shopping mall, it’s not tempting to spend any extra time in stores than you need to. For that, try and do your Christmas shopping online to avoid having to brave through the crowds in a hurry during your break. Retail employees are always the ones doing their Christmas shopping last minute, because they’re so busy helping others with their gifts that they forget about their own.

And don’t GRINCH on Christmas music

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I honestly cannot relate to this one, because I love Christmas music. Like, I could listen to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ all year round, but APPARENTLY not everyone is like that (weird). So for those of you that hate Christmas music and are sick of hearing it on repeat during this holiday period, ask your boss to mix in some regular songs in the playlist, just to spice it up.

But whatever you do, don’t rain on the parade and complain all day long about how much you “hate” the songs, because you’re just going to be Grinchin’ on everyone’s festive spirit.