Christmas in Retail

· Work

Over Christmas break, I returned to the game store where I had worked last summer.  It was nice to be so well thought of that they were itching to have me back.  My plane landed at 7 on Friday evening, and I was “on the floor” at ten the next morning.

I think retail is valuable experience for any human being (and very smart parrots), but the Christmas rush is a straight up nightmare. All the strange requests, the extreme emotions, the obnoxious hours and the increased work load make it a jolly ho-ho-ho challenge.

One of the things that the staff are encouraged to have, while working at Uncle’s, is a knowledge of as many games as possible. Granted one person cannot know all of the store’s products down to the tiniest details, but we do our best.  If we do not know the answer, another coworker steps in or a little research goes a long ways. Sometimes, and especially during the holiday rush apparently, people cannot be satisfied unless you can swear up and down that you have totally played the game and thought it was the greatest thing on earth.

We had someone on Christmas Eve come in with a rushed request to have a certain game opened up so she can place a gift card inside and have it re-shrink wrapped. In addition she had a whole list of things she decided to do on the busiest day of the year. I did everything she asked, and when she was finally satisfied I turned back to the front counter; there was a line of people either ready to check out or wanting to ask us another round of questions.

Lest it seem like I am focusing on the personal interaction in retail, let me not forget the absurd shipments where I would spend hours bending, lifting, replacing and shuffling product at unreasonable speeds. After only a short while, my behind was sore from all the rigorous squatting I had accomplished. It beats a health club because in this type of job you stay in shape and they pay you for it!

After winning the prize of the biggest paycheck for working the greatest number of hours during the holiday season, I spent a good few days recuperating in a blanket wrapped puddle, while everyone else enjoyed their New Year celebrations.

My communication training here at Uncle’s has greatly improved my communication at A-veterinary Hospital. At our Christmas party, my coworkers recounted how I used to be a meek little mouse with nothing to say, but had grown into a full blown customer service challenge overcoming machine!

In much the same way as a liberal education enhances the student as a whole, so to does working in other fields make you a better veterinarian.  Besides giving you a mile in someone else’s shoes, it hones skills you need, placing them in a non-clinic arena, so you gain critical thinking skills from a different perspective.

I’m glad for the paycheck, I’m glad for the learning and I’m glad to be back in classes again.