76: Christmas Behind The Cash Register

"It's my twelfth consecutive day of work. In the preceding week, I've personally transacted roughly $50,000 worth of videogames, put in 65 hours of work and come to think of time in terms of the piped-in music that jams holiday cheer down the ear-hole of anyone within range. I know that Barbara Streisand's staccato Jingle Bells means it's time to open, Garth Brooks's God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen means it's time to close and the cacophonous electro-pop-synth nonsense by Manheim Steamroller means it's time to jam a DS stylus through my eardrums."

Sean Sands spends "Christmas Behind the Cash Register."

Christmas Behind The Cash Register

Great article. I kept the page opened all day so I could finish it, in a one-column-at-a-time window that all busy office workers have to do.

This article describes the Holiday retail experience accurately. As the store was described I was constantly bringing up images in my head from the past two years to match each detail. Everything from the parents that believe retail stores are daycare centers to the frustrating, incompetent teenage help was present in my own personal outing in the retail business.

I will never understand the passionate anger that people feel while waiting on line. Most people browse the store for a half hour or more; but when it comes to waiting on line time becomes precious.

I just hope that people that read this article will, if they don't already, treat retail employees with more respect and patience during the holiday season. I still love the holidays, but work is significantly more taxing. There can't always be enough cashiers to fill every register, and there aren't always enough salesmen to assist each sale with the detail that they would normally offer at any other time of year.

If I had my way, shopping within a week of Christmas for that last minute gift would be a strict browse-and-buy experience. No questions, no retail help. You just don't deserve it, plan ahead. And, you know what, I still have one gift left to buy for this holiday season, but I'm far too jaded at this point to turn this philosophy back at myself. I do most of my preliminary shopping online anyway. I go to online retailers, read reviews of products, and find what I'm going to buy before I step foot into a store.

Also important: if you go into a store and ask what the difference is between an iPod and an MP3 player go home and ask someone that knows SOMETHING about the product to come shopping with you. The salesman sells. That's his job. You must know what you are getting yourself into when you are making a major electronics purchase, otherwise you may very well buy some piece of junk that you don't need and never really wanted.

I can't relay in words the flashbacks and feelings of de ja vu I got reading that article.

My particular worst christmas ever came the day toys r us built us a new R-zone that was conveniently located next to the stores main exit. Now, not only did we have to serve the hoards of people buying videogames and electronics, but we were also expected to run a register for customers with toys from all the other departments of the store. That way the store could save money by cutting back on one register girl.

Until that day, I didn't realise it was possible for your brain to go into complete shutdown and still remain standing.

Fantastic writing as always, im a fan but havent commented before... lovely stuff. Happy Xmas

Good article, it's amazing more people haven't read this.

I can't relay in words the flashbacks and feelings of de ja vu I got reading that article.


I think the article was published during my last xmas in retail. Never again.


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