Retail on the Holidays

Day five out of six in a row.

Last night, I got off of my work at 11. Today, I reported for duty at 7 am. I had a total of eight hours to drive my coworkers home (I do so for some so they don’t have to ride the bus so late at night), wish my sister a happy birthday (this year, she turns 23), sleep, and repeat this cycle over again. Working retail during the holidays, to put in simple terms, just drains every part of you.

I have no energy when I get home. Those times I planned to work out in the evening end up with me lying in bed, staring at the ground with a lack of willpower do push-ups. Plans to work on future projects are tossed aside as I try and not think about the man who’s screamed at me multiple days in a row.

I just don’t have the energy for the willpower sapped away as customer after customer comes at me like a never ending stream of self imposed misery as they put off their holiday shopping until the very last minute.

But there’s a certain moment that I catch that makes this all worth it. That smile forming slowly over the customers face as they finally found that perfect present.

That shy smile forming on a six year olds face as I present to him (at the behest of his mother) his early Christmas gift. He clutched it, gripping his new toy with such eagerness I find myself content. Happy to see his face turn into a shy grin.

Letting a customer know that yes, we do have that product still in stock, and their sigh of relief as I present that gift they would have scoured the entire Los Angeles area to look for.

It’s those times that make it worth it. That make me happy to be here. It’s having those moments where I know I’m tired but, I have my coworkers there to support me. Retail isn’t a fancy job, nor is it something glamorous.

Retail can make bitter husks out of people, and I’ve seen it happen. I would like to think that I’ve gained patience, understanding of the problems those face in the service and retail world. And I enjoy it- I just have to look for those small things that make the overall experience that makes it worthwhile. Or at least, tolerable.

note: I wrote this when on four hours of sleep or so. If I sound disjointed, my apologies. I will be writing more soon.

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