And so, for those of you who start working in December, the following are four of my tips and tricks to smooth sailing.
1. One's Company, Two's A Crowd And Three's A Party
Or in our case, one can be a party.
Best friend and sister mani/pedi date at Modern Nails Salon in Champaign, Illinois
In most seasonal jobs you are serving people 24/7. It can be extremely rewarding to add some holiday cheer to each customer, but doing so throughout the day is also draining. As much as you want to drive straight home without passing go, collecting $200, checking before you back out or acknowledging your neighbor down the street - resist all urges to spend time outside of work in solitude. For some of you that could be a walk in the park, but don't feel alone if it is more difficult. But here is why it is important: if you are working over the holidays, the time you can spend with the ones who matter is already limited so it is imperative that you get the most out of your extra time. Go to the nail salon with your best friend, stay up an extra hour to have a glass of wine while watching Elf and I don't care if you want your afternoon nap - play Apples to Apples with your cousins. These are small tasks, but they make a huge difference when you return back to work. It reminds you that although it is your job to serve others, there are people waiting for you to come home who really care about you!
2. Break During Break.
Alpha Phi sister Claire Wallace does Black Friday the right way
On the other hand, when you are given a break during your work schedule. TAKE IT. I'm not kidding. This does NOT mean head on over to Forever 21 to buy this week's knick knack no matter how appealing the white rabbit dish might be. Nor does this mean spending next week's entire pay check on buy one get one half off sweaters from Gap (I say this lovingly and from experience.) This means go to the food court. And. Sit. On. Your. Butt. Who cares if it is 10 O'Clock and you are getting an orange chicken bowl from Panda Express? You've been helping on your feet since 5 AM and the wonderful world of retail it's lunchtime.
Another key break time pastime? Reading that book you bought way back in September and haven't had time to crack open yet! Whether you prefer Jane Austen, E. L. James, or InStyle Mag this is your time to relax! So use it!
3. Make Like Kindergarten & Make Some Friends.
One of the most unique and my favorite part about retail is the camaraderie between associates. On an average weekend, there are few people in the world I can be with for 9 hours straight, let alone while suffering through foot pains, customer complaints and high-traffic tsunamis. Your associates are those few people. It's most likely because you suffer together and succeed together, so be open! Connect with coworkers and make some new friends, you will probably get to know people you never would otherwise. Besides, it doesn't hurt to have someone who will cover your department for ten minutes so you can use the bathroom!
Need I say more?
Black Friday selfie? Necessary.
For my fellow, fearless retail mavens feel free to add tips in your comments below!