If You Build It, They Will Come.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas....


Typically I don't like Christmas. Not because I have any religious reason not to, or because I'm against happiness, or I'm one of those dark emo people who are so dark and darky that they don't like things that aren't dark and Christmas and puppies are too happy and not dark, and Halloween and lizards are darker and better.

I don't like Christmas because I work in retail, and when the snow falls it seems so does the collective IQ and compassion of the people.

I think it's interesting that we have Thanksgiving, a day in which we are greatful for the joys we live with, the family we have. A day that, by title, we give thanks for the things we have, and we follow it up the very next day with Black Friday where we go out and greedily buy all the shit we don't have.

The Christmas season is supposed to be about giving, and caring, and compassion and all those other things we watch Scrooge learn about every year. Then we go out after watching it, and throw elbows and knock down old ladies to get the next "Tickle Me Elmo" for our kids, who aren't even going to play with it, passing by the Salvation Army Santas and trying not to make eye contact so they think we didn't see them with their bell you can hear from a mile away.

A temp worker this year was literally trampled to death at a Wal-Mart in Long Island. And while the EMT's were trying to give him CPR, people kept pushing into them to get past and into the store so they could save $30 on crap they don't need.

Merry Christmas.

Look, I know this isn't everybody, and I know Christmas is good, and fun when you can see your family, but work retail during this season, and you'll find that a lot of members of society are just scum. And this is the first year in a lot of years that I don't have to work on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, giving me not even a day to see my family.

The stores are just as much to blame for this chaos as well. At my job, last year, there was talk of us being open on Thanksgiving, just so we could sell more. I know stores are in business to make money, and sales are what drive that. But isn't your sales teams morale a factor as well? How well do you think the employees at that Wal-Mart felt selling crap at $40 off to a slobbering mob of greedy consumers knowing their coworker was just killed by them? They closed the store, and people WOULDN'T LEAVE! People were upset because they had waited in line SO LONG to get in, and it was an outrage that they were going to have to leave.

That's right, Christmas is also the time where customers are more and more outraged. Like every policy put in place is a personal attack on them. Or everytime a store runs out of stock on something, it's a crime that they can't magically create more.

"What do you mean you don't have any more Tickle Me Elmo's? This is an OUTRAGE!"

"I want to see your manager, because you are so unwilling to help me get seven free phones because I don't like this one I bought three years ago and dropped in a toilet. This is OUTRAGEOUS!!"

"I can't believe how I waited in line for two hours to get my sales at WalMart and you're kicking us out because we murdered someone on the way in, and this is now an active crime scene! I want my sales! WHAT AN OUTRAGE!!"

I guess I should clarify. Christmas Day is awesome. I love Christmas Day. I hate the Christmas season. When I go to the mall and see them setting up the Santa Photo Booth, somewhere around... what is it now, mid September... I start getting weary, because I know what is coming.

It's going to be a winter of customers screaming at me and each other the most hateful stuff all in the name of charity and goodwill towards men. A season of greed and missed messages of love and compassion all in the name of getting the best presents for your nieces and nephews at the cheapest personal cost, no matter the cost to others or others families. And it will be about three months of people with the same quizzical look on their face asking me over and over how I could possibly not like Christmas.


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