Thursday, November 17, 2011

Retail hell.

Shop Therapist, 
I work in retail and every year the holiday season takes the merry out of my Christmas the second I get to work on Black Friday. Do you have any tips for me to maintain my sanity and still be jolly by the time 12/25 rolls around?
Santa's Little Helper

Oh, Little Helper. I've been there many MANY times. I've worked more Black Fridays than I care to count. People are sick of their families complaining about raisins in the stuffing, they're hungover, and most likely sleep deprived from camping out at Best Buy/Kohl's/Target/Wal-Mart. They want super deals from your smaller retail outlet and get irate when everything is full price. 

Here are a few tips to ensure your sanity through the end of the holidays after the jump: 

  1. Comfortable shoes. Leave your cute heels behind. This is not the time for super cute. You'll most likely be running around like a crazy person so you'll most likely be cursing your favorite shoes after hour one. And it's totally not worth breaking a heel or getting a major scuff helping Ms. Pain in the Ass get the last red sweater off the mannequin on the top shelf. Oh, and bring a stash of Band-Aids and this nifty blister stick. Even your most comfortable dress code approved shoes can get painful. Brink a back-up pair just in case! 
  2. Advil before and after your shifts. Add wine as needed. A mani pedi is a must come the new year. Depending on the number of hours you've worked, I'd say you deserve a 90-minute massage too. 
  3. Thick skin. Crazed bargain hunters and harried husbands and wives get a major case of the crazies this time of year. As much as it may hurt, fight back with kindness. A smile and a "thank you" can go a long way this time of year. 
  4. Hand sanitizer. People are gross. When you can't leave the floor, a little Purel could save you from having a nasty cold during busy season. 
  5. And most importantly: A sense of humor and as positive of an attitude as you can muster. This happy time of year can unfortunately bring out the worst in people. Being able to go to the stock room and laugh with coworkers even if it's just for a minute or two can relieve enough stress to get back out on the floor to tackle another hour or so. 
If any of my fellow therapists out there have more bits of wisdom, share them in the comments section below. Best of luck to all of you retailers out there! Just remember that Santa is on his way! 

Keep your head in the game and be thankful for everything good in your life (including what I hope is a killer discount!). 
Kiss Kiss!
The Shop Therapist

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