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Working in retail gets busy, but in the run up to Christmas things get more manic than usual.  On top of all the usual stuff we need to do, we have a lot of new stock coming into the shop all of which needs to be processed: priced, logged on the database, new records made and put out for sale.  Of course, finding space is also an issue.  On top of this we get a lot of extra customers out looking for a present at a bargain price.

Piles of books

The work can get overwhelming at times and the stress comes mainly from having huge piles of stock to get through plus customers wanting time, attention and obviously to pay for books.  The customer always comes first, you always have to be nice and you always have to make them believe that no, they are so not being an inconvenience, you are not too busy and so on, all in the face of a pile of new stock that by this point our brain makes looks something like the image above!

Everyone is working flat out, windows need to be dressed, customers helped, shelves restocked and it gets pretty full on.  Now I don’t work in a large multinational chain, I work in an independant bookshop.  When you think of this the image that comes to mind is peaceful, gentle and almost solitary browsing and people tend to imagine that we don’t really get crowds.  We do.  And usually after a quiet week or so at the beginning of December things start to look a lot less like this:

and a whole hell of a lot more like this:

Throw a few screaming children into the mix and you get the picture of just how manic things can get.  Of course it isn’t like this all the time, it comes in waves, so we do get chance to recoup, I can only imagine what it must be like working in somewhere like Primark where this continues apace through the entire pre-Christmas period and, to be honest, most Saturdays throughout the year!

Anyway, the bit about stuff people say at work which is only really relevant in the light of the above rivetting insight about working in retail before xmas.

I was facing “the book pile” and I overheard someone telling a friend:

When you are a creative person it is so important to be open to new experiences and ideas….

….so I quit my job so I could be open to the Universe.  Right now I am just chilling and waiting for the inspiration to come.

Meanwhile…back in the real world…..

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