Holiday hell begins

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Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 8:35pm

Every year when Christmas rolls around, there is always a group of people who dreads the holiday season and has no holiday cheer.

These people work retail; the stockers, the checkers and even the odd grocery bagger. Working during the holidays is literally Hell on Earth with customers pouring in to get that last minute item, Christmas music blaring through the speakers and of course, the odd trampling every Black Friday.

I’ve worked retail for years being a bagger, the person who bags groceries, cleans the floors and stacks the fruits and vegetables in nice neat pyramids. However, every year I have to be cheerful every single day I work. Too much holiday cheer starts to really draw on a person’s patience and turn them into some Christmas-hating Scrooge. Forced cheer causes a person to become less cheerful off the clock. As a bagger, I’m the last person to see the customer off so I have to act extra cheerful while I take out their groceries.

Black Friday may have already passed but, the horrible rush to get presents isn’t over until Christmas Day. Last minute shoppers come in desperate, angry and always in a huge rush to scratch that one last gift off their list. To them, every other customer is the enemy and given the chance they would pilfer items from your cart. Black Friday changes people. It will change that sweet old lady who always tipped you into a screaming, red-faced banshee.

It isn’t the overly cheerful people, or the grannies out for blood who cause retail workers like me to hate this season. It is the music: the soul-destroying sounds that are pumped through the store lodge themselves in your head deeper than any parasite. The music is something you can only listen to for five minutes before it eventually sinks its hooks into your brain. Anytime I hear the bells of a Christmas song, I usually try and get as far away from the music as possible. Working at a grocery store means there is no escape from these hellish festive songs and they eventually work themselves into your head, causing you to start humming them. Every Christmas song I hear is somehow worse than the one before and no matter what anyone says, there is never a good Christmas song.

Of course I don’t hate Christmas. I’m not some kind of inhuman monster, but the more I work during the season, the more holiday cheer I lose.

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