Christmas. Not only one of the jolliest times of year, but one many people look forward too all year round.
I could be correct in saying those people have never worked in retail over the festive period.

Working in a shop over Christmas can be exhausting, and emotionally draining for those stood behind the counter. It seems many customers tend to forget that shop assistants are people too, resulting in a number of stock-room breakdowns when for the 6th time that day a customer has screamed at you for the fact that Minion Soap on a Rope is still sold out. In the run up to Christmas popular items sell out, and they sell out fast. If you love a certain item, it is very likely someone else will too. Always be prepared and buy as early as you can to beat disappointment, and to avoid taking out your frustration on the young Christmas temp at the till.

The horror truly begins in the middle of November when the most obscure Christmas bangers begin on repeat, bringing a tear of frustration to the eye every time Dominic the Donkey begins to play AGAIN. It may seem fun for the first few shifts, but by December these songs are everywhere, and there is just no escaping the cheer.
If the songs aren’t bad enough, you then get the customers who chose to sing all through their time at the till. This may not sound too horrendous, but our counter seems to become a stage for all of the X Factor audition rejects.

Then comes the busiest day of the season, Black Friday. In other words, the day all retail assistants dread. Unfortunately we are not trained on how to separate fights over the last cheap Eye Pallet, and unfortunately we are not able to fill every gap at once. Despite the myth that us shop workers are actually super heroes. I mean we try, but we’re just people like you.

The closer the 25th gets, the shop becomes more and more like an assault course. Dodging the customers, and sweeping the stock of the floor becomes a daily task. This new routine of exercise makes the Christmas feasting a lot more deserved as you regain all the weight you’ve lost over the past few weeks of mayhem.

But then Christmas Eve comes, and you remember it’s only one more shift of madness left till a day off. Everyone’s moods lightens when the boss brings in biscuits and chocolates as a thank you for your hard work, and although exhausted, you actually begin to feel jolly and festive.

That is until you remember it’s only 366 days left till next Christmas. Oh bother.

  • Subscribe to The Student Pocket Guide for exclusive competitions, deals, discounts, tips and advice!
  • Read The Student Pocket Guide.