You know, I wonder sometimes in the midst of the traffic congestion, crowded stores with long checkout lines and eateries with people waiting to be seated just before Christmas, if people did not have a clue that Christmas was coming. You would think the holidays caught millions of people off guard by the way some folks behave.
I went into a store today to pick up a couple of items and as expected it was crowded. When you have sales associates and cashiers thanking you for being so patient and “NICE” it made me wonder what kind of people they encountered during the day! We are familiar with the phrase “Bah Humbug” coined by the fictional character Ebenezer Scrooge from the Charles Dickens classic novel, “A Christmas Carol.” I am finding that we have our very own Scrooges all around us filled with frustration, anger and sometimes overall meanness expressed to innocent bystanders, especially during the Christmas shopping season.
Now we also find it flipped where sales associates become so overwhelmed, that they begin taking jabs at innocent customers, which is unacceptable just the same. In either case, it is not good because it could create a domino effect of negativity that could turn tragic if tempers flare above the boiling point.
First, let us understand that every Christmas during the last minute shopping hours in particular, panic-stricken customers are trying to buy something out of desperation at this point. Yes, many smart shoppers already finished their shopping earlier, and I say kudos to you. For probably 95% of holiday shoppers, however, its last minute shopping baby!
My advice for those working in the retail industry (and I know because I did it myself), if you find yourself overwhelmed, step away and take a break to grab some water or a cup of coffee, take some deep breaths to refresh yourself, then go back out to face the madness. Periodically, by taking a short 5-minute break can do the world of good when coping with impatient customers. Consumers, take the same advice and be aware that if you put yourself in the other persons shoes, how would you want to be treated?
As hard as it is sometimes to remain poised and in control, it can be done. What’s more, it will keep your blood pressure down. This also applies when you are in bottlenecked traffic or trying to find a parking space…any parking space so that you can hurry take care of your shopping and get back home.
Amid the noise and haste, you can find peace. It just takes a little concentration and a lot of letting trivial things go. It really ain’t that deep! Happy Holidays everyone!