Having worked in retail and more specifically stock ordering, for the past four years, I had thought I was used to having to think about occasions like Easter and Christmas in advance. Yet every year I am still astounded at how much earlier the decorations go up and how the managers still can't manage to learn from last year's mistakes.
This year our official Christmas Launch day (today) is later than last year but only by a week. The Christmas carols don't usually start until the official launch day and luckily it's usually only one song in four for the first week or so. Some morons .. oops I mean the radio marketing people .. obviously forgot to tell the other nincompoops .. oops I mean radio programmers .. what the actual launch date was this year. It probably wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that they have only managed to find one even vaguely Christmassy song to play so far. "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?" (aka "Feed the world"). Whilst I appreciate the noble intent behind the song, hearing it played at least once every 30 minutes for the past week is driving us all up the wall. Mind you, it is infinitely preferable to hearing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" when it's 40 degrees outside!
Because I'm such a generous spirited person, here's a few hints on how to get the most out of your shopping experience in the time leading up to Christmas:
- Saying things like "You must get sick of those Christmas carols pretty quickly" does nothing to improve our spirits and will earn you nothing but an eye roll because it reminds us that we are stuck in the purgatory that is Christmas in retail.
- Asking "Why are you putting Christmas stuff out in October/November?" in the tone that implies it is all our own personal decision to do so, is probably going to get you very little customer service of the good kind thereby prolonging the agony of shopping during Christmas in retail.
- Yelling at the poor staff member who just happened to walk through your line of vision when little Johnny or Suzie changed their mind yet again about what piece of useless plastic they absolutely must have for Christmas, is not going to improve your points with the big guy (depending on your beliefs either God or Santa) or get you any service from the rest of the floor staff suffering through Christmas in retail.
- Bringing little Suzie or Johnny shopping with you and allowing them to wreck the toy section while you browse through the book section at the other end of the store will get you paged to the service desk and earn you the undying hatred of the toy section staff member struggling to survive one of the worst sections to be in during Christmas in retail.
- Implying, or stating outright, that we are all stupid, brain dead idiots who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery will not get the item you are looking for found any quicker. If anything, stating this will probably result in your item being' lost' in the abyss that is the back dock area during Christmas in retail.
(Now please excuse me while I go choke on my own sarcasm!!)