You’re standing behind the till, queues upon queues of people facing you, some of whom don’t even bother to mutter the word hello. You greet every customer with a smile and engage in the same conversation at least fifty times a day, “It’s very busy today, isn’t it?”
Eventually after a grueling four hours with non-stop sales, you finally get to escape the dreaded tills. You quickly grab your bag and begin walking through the shop floor to get your lunch, the only thing that is making this hectic day a bit bearable. You can nearly taste it you’re so hungry, when you’re stopped halfway through the shop, because some customer notices your name badge and assumes you’re still working. You reluctantly help them and continue to the bagel factory.
An hour later, lunchtime is over and you go back to work. This time you’re not on the tills, at least there was a counter protecting you from the violent abuse hurled in your direction by customers. “Can you not count properly?” “No, I don’t want that if it’s not on sale,” looking at you as if you personally set the clothes’ prices.
Instead of being on tills, you attempt to recover the shop floor to its original state. Mountains of t-shirts lie ahead of you with nearly every item of clothing being without a hanger. Some customers are incapable of rehanging clothes after trying them on. It’s simply too much effort.
The buzz of the crowd, shopping lists at the ready, credit card in hand and with one objective in mind blinds some shoppers at Christmas. This year, consider those illusive objects serving you on tills, or running rings around the shop floor trying to cater to your every need. After all it’s their Christmas too and for the sanity of all retail workers don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘the customer is always right’ because in theory you are but in practice we let you think you are when you’re really not. Don’t use it as a scapegoat to justify your rude remarks made at our expense.
Merry Christmas, Amy Lawlor