19 Reasons Retail Workers Hate the Holidays

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photo by By Xnatedawgx
Sights like this greet retail workers every night during the holidays.
I have not worked retail during Christmas is almost six years, but I still get a chill down my spine at the sound of a code being called over a loudspeaker. I wear my wounds proudly.

As the holidays roar on, so does the continued suffering of retail workers. It is a shock that Black Friday sales started not Friday, not Thursday night, but noon on Thanksgiving Day. The idea that a large portion of the American population had to forgo their turkey legs and drive to work where they would be faced with the mother of all shopping frenzies is beyond crazy. Do that many people need early access to a $100 wall-sized flat screen? Just this past week, Kohl's announced they would be open 24 hours a day starting December 20 until Christmas Eve. What?!

Maybe some of us don't remember what it was like to work a retail job or some never have had the privilege, but it is hard work, especially during the holidays. Let me share with you some of the reasons why retail workers hate the holidays.

Customers yelling at the glass or banging on the door to get you to open early

Gift wrapping - so many paper cuts


Closing the store at 1 a.m. and opening it the next morning at 8 a.m.

Customers on cell phones at the register

Price checks

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While going to UH Downtown, I supported myself by working part-time at the now defunct, Foleys.  It was hell.  I remember long hours, rude customers, bitchy bosses and lame Christmas lunches.  I still get eye twitches when I am in a department store and see the SKU gun.   


ok here goes, i worked three Christmases in a toy store. Tickle me Elmo, Selena dolls, Buzz Lightyear, and the nintendo 64 had all came out in the same year. I had a 1000 ppl a day asking for these items, ppl asking me when our truck came in,when we expected more, but beacuse these were Hot items they didnt come in the regular truck shipment, they came UPS and that guy would just show up sometimes with whatever he had. and every day the store looked like a bomb went off, then you had the kids who were off of school coming in to steal sht. oh and one time a lady came in claiming she bought her kid a playstation but when she got home the box was empty so she wanted another one. Really???  So after that we had to literally open every box sold in front of the customer to show them the console was in there...then corporate would get crap on sale and send it to us to get rid of, im looking at this sht like "who ordered this crap, i cant sell this" the most obscure out of date toys and video games , we had to dispaly and push onto our customers...We also had the most ridiculous sales goals set by corporate, in Almeda Mall they wanted us to sell 5-7000$ of crap per day!! 

MadMac topcommenter

In advance of the "customer is always right," comments, I'm sorry. For the 26 months I did retail--yes, it did feel like a jail sentence--I was blessed to manage a record store. But I had friends who worked the other stores in the mall and my heart bled for them.

As soon as I got a decent job--paid time off, etc--I would take one of those days, ideally a Wednesday or Thursday and hit the ground running. The stores were restocked, the thieves were asleep/on a nod, and everyone else was at work. Even in December, I could be done with all of it by lunch. But then I was never a "Always the lowest price" person and refused to be herded like a bovine.

The only time I was treated rudely by a store clerk--not indifferent/short/tired/bored/over it but genuinely, insultingly rude--was the incentive I needed to educate myself of this new amazon/computer thingy.   


I used to work for Circuit City (before it shot itself in the foot by firing all of its trained commission salespeople who knew what the hell they were talking about and replaced them with teenagers they could pay minimum wage but anyway). Strangely enough, one of the nastiest holiday shoppers I had was ANOTHER RETAIL EMPLOYEE. 

This lady came in an hour before closing on Christmas eve, wearing a Foley's name badge and wanting the $20 boombox. It was an hour before closing on Christmas eve, do you think we were out of the $20 boombox? IT WAS AN HOUR BEFORE CLOSING ON CHRISTMAS EVE, of course we were out of all the cheap stuff!

I explained that we were out of the $20 boombox and she threw a fit, screaming into my face because apparently it was my personal responsibility to make sure the manufacturer was sending us an adequate supply of cheap shit and her kid's Christmas would be ruined and I was a stupid bitch and blah blah blah.

It being an hour before closing on Christmas eve, I had pretty much run out of fucks to give. "I noticed your name badge," I said. "Do you work at Foley's?"

"Yeah?" she snapped back.

"Do you have an electronics department?"


"Do you get an employee discount?"


"Then why don't you get one there?"

"BECAUSE WE'RE SOLD OU--" Pause. Realization. "OH FUCK YOU!" And she stomped away.

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