Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holidays in Retail

I work retail and the closer it gets to Christmas the more "interesting" work gets - especially this year because I have been on the seasonal toy team since mid-November!  Some days things go smoothly.  You help the people find their toys or tell them it is sold out, answer a few (dozen) phone calls and rush around trying to make sure you get everything done that you can.  Other days things go not so smoothly.  You get your head bitten off because an item is sold out which "ruins" Christmas while others lecture you on how it is your fault the item they are seeking is sold out etc.

The kind people out there - thank you.  You are a joy to help.  The others?  I am thinking of this photo while you are yelling at me:

 (source - unknown.  Found on a friend's Facebook wall...)

Oh yes.  This one can always bring a smile to my face!

For instance, when I was getting yelled at the other day over a doll wardrobe being out of stock I just smiled - like Willy Wonka.  I apologized (several times) and stated (several times) that there was no guarantee it would come in again before Christmas and then I apologized - again.  When I was then lectured on how we should really stock up on these things I smiled and thought to myself, "yes, I should really tell that automated computer system that orders items based on the volume of the store, projected sales and the availability of the item from the manufacturer that my store is the only one that matters so send us 'em all!"

Legos during Christmas crack me up!  Legos fly out of the store - almost literally.  They are so, so popular and they are every year yet people wait to get them until days before Christmas when we only have the less popular sets left.  The "hot" Lego set this year was a mine set and we ran out - last month. apparently also ran out - last month.  Legoland in the mall isn't supposed to get any until after Christmas.  See?  Popular item!  We randomly got two in over the weekend and I was honestly shocked they were still there when I left Sunday afternoon.  They were, of course, gone Monday morning.  When Legos run out people are actually a little more understanding though.  They usually blame themselves for waiting vs blaming me which is nice.  Perhaps it is because it is well known that they are quick sellers?  Even though the Lego aisle is always packed with shoppers it is one of my favorite aisles to help people in!

So many times (a day) I am blamed for things being out of stock.  Somehow it is personally my fault.  Yes, I chose to have a limited number of (insert item here) because I just love having this conversation twelve times a day.  Getting yelled at is great ;)

 The thing that really gets me is that I even "have the power" to "ruin" Christmas for so many people.  With that "power" also comes the "power" to "save" Christmas.  These "powers" are all based on stuff.  When we are sold out of an item Christmas is "ruined."  When I am able to locate the item Christmas is "saved."  I am seriously told those things daily and it upsets me. 

I get so frustrated that the stuff seems to be the only thing that matters to most people anymore.  It is so hard to see parents, some near tears, because the only thing their child asked for is sold out and they are "picky" so nothing else will suffice.  I understand there are things that kids like and dislike but to be to the point of getting upset over a gift not being "the right gift?"  That I don't understand.  A gift is a gift and they are all given from the heart and should be appreciated!

I am all for giving gifts but it just seems like it has gotten so stressful on people as the years go on.  I know I am at a loss on what to get a lot of most people these days because, to me, it seems like most people have everything they need and I'm bad with the wants.  My mom says I am "too practical" for gift giving sometimes - which is probably true!  Jason balances that out though - he is a very creative gift-giver!

I only have one more shift (Friday) on the toy team and then it is back to business as usual!  Hopefully I can "save" Christmases vs "ruining" Christmases and end this holiday season on a "high note"  ;) 

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