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1. You hear the same songs over and over.
Every retail store has a certain playlist that plays on repeat 24/7. But as soon as Halloween is over, that playlist turns into a Christmas playlist and you either hear songs by Mariah Carey or some guys from the 1950s. At some point you find yourself singing the songs even though you don't want to. Other times you're just doing your job with a soulless stare and a nosebleed happens. The worst part about the holiday playlist is that it plays for November AND December. Then you start to hear it in your dreams.... "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" distantly echoing in your sleep... you can't escape it.
2. Time Away from Family
Retail jobs make it a point to have literally every worker there for the holidays because they need the staff to service people during the rush. Good sales are coming out and loads of people are going to be in there from morning to close spending their reward points, coupons, and hard-earned cash. And during this time, you get scheduled for some crazy hours. The worst is during Black Friday. I was scheduled for a 9-hour shift that went way past midnight and had to be back the next day to work another 9-hour shift. Some workers were there doing double shifts. No one could really celebrate the holidays because they had to work. You have family members flying in from different states to see you and celebrate the holidays with you, but you can't see them because you have to work. You can't take off during that time because your job prevents you from doing so. And don't even think about calling out. You would have to be dead or dying for them to give you holidays off. Go ahead. Call out. See what happens when you come back to work.
3. You don't get the chance to shop for yourself.
Because of the crazy work hours and sales, you don't get a chance to buy the things you want. You think I don't want an air fryer that's on sale for $19.99??? Too bad, I have to work all day into the night. And by the time your shift ends, the lines are so long that you might as well buy a sleeping bag because you'll be on it all night. Or the item(s) you've been eyeing all day are all bought up. I guess this is why people stress the importance of buying your stuff online during the holidays. You don't have to worry about something being out of stock in the store or waiting on long lines. It's just easier that way. You also don't have to worry about some 80-year-old lady elbowing you in the face for that last toaster.
4. Hostile Customers
I don't know what it is about shopping in-store that gets customers so riled up, but dealing with them is the worst. I get it, the sales are amazing. But it's no excuse to push and shove and berate everyone (including sales associates) over an item. Most of the time, they're angry because they didn't read the sale sign correctly. Other times they're upset because the lines are so long. Oh, I don't know, maybe because it's Black Friday and you decided to show up at 7 when everybody got out of work? You could mentally prepare to deal with all the crap they'll throw at you on the holidays, but once you're face-to-face with them, all that preparation goes out the window and all you can think about is jumping over the counter.
5. What is sleep?
Piggybacking off the crazy schedules, you will barely get any sleep. I only live 10 minutes from my job and I still only got about 4 hours of sleep. THE HUMAN BODY NEEDS AT LEAST 8 HOURS. People had to work into the night and be back in the morning. At that point, you just think... "Why don't I just sleep behind the register tonight?" I felt bad for the people who had to take a bus and a train to get home, they had to be back the next morning. This affects your whole mood going into work. You try to be a happy associate and put on a smile for the holidays and angry customers, but you end up just being cranky and having an attitude.