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Saturday, 9 December 2017

How To Survive Christmas In Retail



Normally, I would start off the month by writing a "favourites" post, but this month my November Favourites never transpired. I had every intention of writing it, I even knew what I was going to include, but I never got round to it. At this time of year, there is one thing that can stop you in your tracks, force you to change plans and throw a spanner in your works.

That thing, my friends, is working in retail.

Even as I write this now, at 1pm in the afternoon having had the morning away from the shop, I feel knackered. I've felt knackered for the past week or so. Even if you only work part time the sheer volume of customers and work that needs to be done during your shift is enough to tire out the most energetic of staff.

This Christmas period is my 11th working in retail. Along the way, I've picked up some tips on how to not collapse and/or go stir crazy in the run up to the big day.

KEEP YOUR ENERGY LEVELS UP

You'll need all the energy to keep you going. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, drink enough water, and make sure you have breakfast and lunch. There's nothing worse than hitting the wall two hours into a shift when you've still got six hours left til hometime.

TAKE YOUR BREAKS

I've heard a handful of people mention that they don't take their breaks during the Christmas period or they "just nip in the back for a biscuit and then I'm fine". NO. DO NOT LIE TO YOURSELF. There's a lot of pressure at Christmas to both serve all the customers in the world AND complete a list of tasks as long as your arm, but taking a break is so important in both keeping your energy levels up and keeping you sane.

GET ORGANISED

Because you'll be spending a lot more time than usual in work, it's best to stay organised outside of work. Plan in advance when you're going to do your Christmas shopping, allocate a day dedicated to wrapping, figure out when you're going to see family. When you're on shift, prioritise your workload. Is there a particular area of the shop floor that needs replenishing? Are all your best sellers out? Is there a huge queue at the till that needs bringing down? If you're a manager you'll be used to doing this anyway, but even if you're not management prioritising is a handy habit to get into.

REMEMBER YOU CAN'T DO EVERYTHING

Customers and higher-ups alike will expect you to work miracles at Christmas, don't be afraid to say no. Don't try to serve a billion customers all at once, politely tell them you're currently serving another customer and that you'll be with them as soon as you're done, or if there's a colleague free ask them for assistance. Sometimes tasks will take ages to get done because you're so busy serving and tidying and all the rest of it, and it's better to take a deep breath and accept it rather than panicking and raising your blood pressure.

Does anyone else have any tips?

Stacey Rose xx

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