Monday, November 26, 2007

Take it easy on retail workers this Christmas season

The Christmas shopping season officially began on Friday and bedlam reigned at malls and shopping centers all over the country.

I guess that is good when it comes to companies making a profit, but I’m not sure it adds to the spirit of the season. From what I saw reported in the media, many folks had a take no prisoner’s attitude to ensure they got what they needed.

As for me, I avoid shopping on Thanksgiving weekend like the plague. It’s just not worth it. The rudeness. The waiting in lines. The hype. It just doesn’t put me in the mood for Christmas. In fact, it detracts from it.

Many moons ago, I had a retail job during the holiday season, and trust me, it wasn’t pretty. I worked at a J.C. Penney, and I sold men’s suits and accessories. I worked hard, but it was definitely a mixed experience.

As consumers, I know it can be pretty frustrating dealing with store personnel at this time of year. However, a lot of folks you encounter are people hired specifically for the holidays and have little training and experience.

Big companies look for warm bodies to fill a space to get them through the next few weeks, and they hope they will learn their job on the run. As we all know, some do and some don’t.

So, give them a break. They are just looking to make a little extra money to help themselves and their families.

As consumers, I know we should expect a certain amount of professionalism from businesses wanting our money, but that doesn’t mean we should forget to love our neighbors (even if it is an employee that can’t answer any of our questions).

After all, it’s Christmas. Let’s enjoy it.

2 comments:

Joltin' Django said...

"So, give them a break. They are just looking to make a little extra money to help themselves and their families.
"As consumers, I know we should expect a certain amount of professionalism from businesses wanting our money, but that doesn’t mean we should forget to love our neighbors (even if it is an employee that can’t answer any of our questions)."

Christmas 2005: I was in the Sears at Hickory Hollow buying some things for my dad. When I went to pay for my goods, I got behind a lady who was loudly berating a check-out girl for charging too much for $8 cedar planks for grilling fish. (And when I say "berate," I mean berate.)

I remember thinking to myself - and I know it wasn't right - "If you were a guy, I'd wait for you outside and 'teach' you a big bunch of manners.'"

I can't imagine working retail in December. I have great respect for those who do.

Chris said...

I've seen that type of thing before. Even though I am impatient a lot, many folks have forgotten that patience is a virtue.