Be Nice to Retail Workers or I’ll Cut You

Everyone should work in retail for a year. This is a sentiment shared by nearly every person who has ever had a minimum (or close to minimum) wage job where they had to deal with the public. It’s very eye opening to see what people think they can do/get away with. I don’t know if they think they can bypass policy because they’re so much more important than everyone else or if it’s because they think I’m lying. I’m not lying and it’s not the end of the world. Maybe you think it is but I’m pretty sure the earth will continue it’s rotation, the sun will continue to shine, and your heart will not suddenly stop beating because the store I work for has no Hatchimals in stock. It’s almost like you should have planned ahead and started shopping before December if you wanted one of the limited quantity, extremely popular toys.

I get it. You have endless shopping and only one day off and you’re 5yr old is already throwing a fit in the aisle but that’s not my fault as an employee. It’s the season of harmony, love, and giving so what better time to feel the wrath of displeased customers? What better time to throw a fit because the book you wanted can’t be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas Eve? You’re a grown adult! Stop acting like a child who didn’t get what he wanted from Santa.

That was a bit more rant than I had anticipated but seriously. Retail and fast food workers are just trying to make it through the holiday rush just like you. They don’t make the policies but can be fired for not following them. They don’t make the prices so complaining about them accomplishes nothing. They didn’t write your kid’s Christmas list so don’t complain about not getting something when you didn’t even know what it was. They didn’t ask you to wait until the last minute to do all your shopping. They didn’t orchestrate a long line at the register to make you more late.

It’s not difficult to treat people with respect. If you’re angry and irritated already then just keep your mouth shut. It’s much less rude to keep an interaction short/to the point than it is to blow up at someone who can’t do anything to fix the problem. It doesn’t cost anything to be considerate of the people who are providing you a service. They are people too and they are just as important as you are in the transaction.

I wish that everyone worked in retail at one point or another, especially around the holidays. It can get very crazy very fast and it’s generally not because the employees aren’t doing their jobs. Everyone is overworked and everywhere is understaffed. There’s this ideal in everyone’s head where everything runs smoothly all the time. Reality is much messier than that and it’s not really anyone’s fault in particular.

I’m all about Christmas. It’s a very heartwarming holiday full of wonderful traditions for many people. Buy it’s mostly, mainly, for sure about Jesus and the hope that he brought to the world. It’s important to keep that in mind as you do your holiday shopping. Maybe if that’s at the forefront of your thinking then it won’t be so hard to treat retail workers as Jesus would have.

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