Today has been…

Well hard probably is not the word I’m looking for, it has been a slightly difficult day. I have had much harder ones. I’m feeling very melancholy this evening. It has been a pretty good day overall, work went well, and much was accomplished, dinner with one of my best friends, meaning lots of laughing.  However tonight I’m just bleh. The problem is I’m missing my mom.

A friend of mine once told me it is the second year that is so much harder than the first. The first year is hard, but you still have the “shock” of them being gone, but by the second year it has sunk in that they are not here and that they will not be again. This will be the second Christmas without my mom. It seems so much harder this year. I find things that she would have loved and it tears at me, tonight I was preparing my Christmas baking list and it just struck me how much I miss her.

Some of my earliest memories are of Christmas, with my family, but especially my mom. We would be in the kitchen baking, rolling out and cutting cookies. She always gave me my choice of cookie cutters, even the HUGE angel. I realize now, as an adult, how difficult that particular cookie is to cut and move to a baking sheet without it breaking apart in some way; yet she did not complain about it, although I do every time I make it now (yes I still have all the cookie cutters that my mom and my grandmother used over the years). I loved being in the kitchen with her, baking cookies, pies, and fudge, they are some of my favorite Christmas memories. I used to love when she would make gingerbread men and we would decorate them and hang them on the Christmas tree (they never did make it till Christmas; they were just too deliciously good).

I love my job this time of year, but this year I have been struggling. I see moms with their daughters, or shopping for their daughters or vice versa and it brings me to the brink of tears. I want to tell them to hold on a little longer, smile a little more, let the arguments go, because in the end they all seem pretty petty, to enjoy that time with their mom as much as they can.

Black Friday… and its aftermath…

Ah the Tuesday after Black Friday… I’m exhausted! Between work, school and family I am ready for a day off… However I have finals I should be studying for. Instead I thought I would write about Black Friday. (I could write a whole book on procrastinating… and one day I just might!)

I work retail so Black Friday and the “first” shopping weekend of the season tend to be, as one would expect, the most busy, insane days of the year; they also happen to be my favorite days to work. Now most people think that I am being sarcastic when I say that, but I’m not, I honestly enjoy working Black Friday. Now I have been in retail for a while, this is actually my 14th holiday season, and out of that I have worked 12 Black Fridays, I actually volunteer to work opening shifts. What can I say? No one ever said I was the sanest person around (one look at my class load would tell you I’m a little nuts). For me working is fun, I actually enjoy my customers, and most of their challenging requests. My store does not open Thanksgiving night, we do not open at 3am, so we have it pretty easy.

One thing I find interesting is how little anger there is. Turn on a TV on BF or the days surrounding it and the news is filled with fights, brawls, arrests, shootings, muggings, theft, and the list continues, yet, where I have worked, most of my customers say hello, wait in line (reasonably patiently), they do not push or shove. Do not get me wrong, I did have a couple cranky customers on BF, one was just going to be angry no matter what we did, and the other was angry cause she did not plan properly and we were out of what she was looking for, she however, decided to take me up on the offer to order the item she was looking for and eventually left a little happier than when she came in; however the majority of my customers are not blood thirsty, push you out of the way, stampede you to death people. I do not understand the people I see on TV. Is hurting someone, getting arrested or something else really worth saving 50$-100$ on a TV or gaming system? Is this mentality that I see on TV really how the majority of people that shop on BF think? Or is it just the constant replaying of these actions on the 24hr news stations that make it seem that way?

So today is Tuesday after BF and our shelves are not bare but we sold quite a bit. So today and the rest of this week will be the restocking of merchandise to make sure we are fully stocked for the next 20something shopping days that remain. I’m exhausted but happy, we were able to get quite a few things donated to the Toys for Tots program, and judging by the way our sale items have flown off the shelves, and our sales numbers, I’m guessing we kept our customers happy. That is always my biggest goal, having my customers get the item(s) they are looking for, get the best deal possible, and that they have as smooth and quick transaction as possible. I know that I sound like some kind of ad, but it’s true, I want my customers to be happy, I want to treat them the way I wish I was treated in other stores.