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View Full Version : Why Xmas makes me bitter....(Long and ranty)


Crycket
11-25-2008, 01:10 PM
Hello all...

Anyone who has worked or lived around me around the Holidays will tell you I am not a fan....

but I thought I would share why...

The short answer is I have worked in retail...

I can't stand the way things get around the holidays. And now it begins just after Halloween...stores putting up stuff so early....

I have never liked the idea that there are ppl who have to work up until and on Xmas day, simply so those who leave shopping to the last minute can get get what they need.

Stores like Walmart being open 24 hours to accomodate (given most of them have gone to a 24 hours platform now anyway, but still)

Ppl feeling the need to top each other...and get something for everyone regardless of how well they know them (my point here is just where does it stop...you get for Family and friends, co-workers, random ppl that stop by, etc...it can go on forever)

With the point above, just picking up "whatever" because something needs to be gotten...

This list could be a lot longer...but this is just a few things...

I will qualify what I am saying by adding this....

This is MY problem...I don't expect others to share in my misery, nor do I want to bring them down. They are my feelings based on my experiences.

I have permanent neck damage from working several Xmas' on a computer that was not ergonomically set up (yes the companies fault, but I did complain, and it did not get changed until several years later....still...it was the xmas crowds that exasperbated the problem)

I am mildly agoraphobic. This means (for me) that I can't be out in crowded spaces. I am not to the point where I will not leave the house...I can still get things I need to get done, but I am at the point where I will start to get panic attacks when I am out in a really crowded spot...

From my experience, for a season that is supposed to be all about giving and sharing and peace and love...(and as a customer service rep) you don't feel a lot of that love. Yes...some ppl are really nice, but most ppl are really cranky from having to stand in line, perhaps they have not been able to find what they want...they are unhappy from having to be out in crowds and unfortunatly...the poor guy/gal behind the register is the most likely to get blast...mainly cause they are the last straw!

And back to one of my first points...there are ppl who HAVE to be out and working for the ppl that WANT to be shopping....it bugs me...but to qualify that, I know there are ppl that don't celebrate, or don't mind to be working...my thing is that I don't like to celebrate, but that doesn't mean I don't want to be like everyone else and just have a day off to be with my family....or friends, or even alone...and what kind of attitude is "you have to work your scheduled shift, or you are going to get written up"

I admire all of you who can set all this aside and enjoy the holidays. I really do.

If it were up to me, a small token gift for those closest to me would be enough. A good meal with those you choose to spend time with.
Nothing elaborate, with the spare need to "impress" others...just token kindness and a well deserved piece of calm and serenity in an overly busy world....

Thanks....I feel a little better now :wink:

Dreamom
11-25-2008, 01:24 PM
For the most part I agree on some level. I do celebrate Christmas, and I have come to realize that the madness about the season has crept in and stolen some of that peace and love from the season.

This year most of the gifts we are giving are hand-made (some what out of necessity), but I have noticed that there is so much more excitement over giving it to the person, than when it is a piece of retailed junk...

Thanks for reminding us to stay grounded this season!

rachejm
11-25-2008, 02:38 PM
I celebrate christmas but I can totally see where you are coming from. For me christmas is more about spending time with my family than anything else anyway.

The thing that annoys me most about it is that my birthday is less than a week before so I tend to get forgotten. About half of my friends forget about it and the other half can't afford to go out. I just always feel like my birthday loses something, its less special because it ends up being overshadowed. I hate joint presents, I'd rather have someone say 'I have bought you a birthday present but not a christmas present' than 'I bought you a birthday and christmas (birthmas!) present.' I just like to keep the two days separate.

saracidaltendencies
11-25-2008, 03:29 PM
I completely get what you're saying. I worked in retail for years, and, it just about made me hate Christmas. I still loved spending the day with my family, but, the ridiculous rush to the stores, the crowds, the crabby people, the people walking into the store one minute before you close and decide to take an hour to look around and then buy NOTHING! Ugh, I definitely do NOT miss those days. However, I stopped working, over 7 years ago, when I was pregnant with my 1st child. It took a while to get that "Christmas Spirit" back, but, it eventually did come back. Now I really enjoy Christmas, and especially now that both of my kids are old enough to truly enjoy it.

cftwo
11-25-2008, 03:36 PM
I like Christmas a lot more once I decided that I would not do Christmas shopping in December. No crowds (I will walk away from a store if it's too crowded - they just bug me), no stressed out shoppers. If I have to shop for some necessity, I try to do it in off hours (like at 8 am in Walmart) so I can avoid the crazies. I will admit that having Christmas stuff on sale early does make this easier to do (no more trips in crowds just because no one has wrapping paper earlier).

So during December I bake cookies, I do my Christmas cards, I watch Christmas movies, and I stay away from the stores. It is much easier to enjoy Christmas that way.

Crycket
11-25-2008, 03:46 PM
The thing that annoys me most about it is that my birthday is less than a week before so I tend to get forgotten. About half of my friends forget about it and the other half can't afford to go out. I just always feel like my birthday loses something, its less special because it ends up being overshadowed. I hate joint presents, I'd rather have someone say 'I have bought you a birthday present but not a christmas present' than 'I bought you a birthday and christmas (birthmas!) present.' I just like to keep the two days separate.

I sort of understand where you are coming from with that...

My cousin is 14 years younger than me, I was born on Oct 16, and I believe he is the 9th....

This crosses over the Canadian Thanksgiving....and when my family has Thanksgiving, they usually have a cake for us...well...no...for him. After he was born, I got forgotten at Thanksgiving...the cake is a joint cake, and gifts stopped for me...just a card. I understand what you mean about having someone rob you of a birthday...

Although your situation is with everyone....mine is just with the family that surrounds that cousin!....

Sunshine's Mom
11-25-2008, 04:10 PM
I understand your taking up the cause for the oppressed holiday workers. Unfortunately, retail shopping is an industry that employs lots of people. And we need it to some degree. It doesn't give people the right to treat the workers poorly though. But, perhaps some of them find joy in working retail at holiday time. I did. It was fun. Of course, I never worked anywhere that was open on Christmas, but I did work Thanksgivings and black friday a lot and didn't mind it so much. In any event, for everyone, remember the following:

1) Shop on-line. Don't go out for anything the weekend after Thanksgiving.

2) If you have to or want to shop, always treat those who work in stores like you would like to be treated. Give them a thank you and a well-done. If someone has gone out of their way for you, make sure to tell their supervisor that they have a keeper.

3) Keep your cool while shopping. Plan ahead and you don't need to rush and/or yell at the shopkeeper who's doing the best they can for you. It's not their fault that you waited until the last minute to get the hot toy.

3) Only give or make gifts for those closest to you who you want to give to. Tell the others that you don't want a present as you are not planning on buying for everyone that you would like to this year. Finances won't allow it and your present to them is that they don't have to buy for you. Their present to you is the same. Most folks like this idea. A lot. Try it - you'll see. Eliminate the pressure of the gift-giving aspect of the holiday. I know it's easier said than done, but it is doable.

4) Go about your business with love in your heart for everyone you meet. Put some change in the Salvation Army bucket and give whatever you can to your local mission or your charity of choice. You know, the important things.

5) Love your family and friends. Get together for some fondue and cards and some bubbly. Have a tree trimming weekend.

6) Don't get worked up over things you can't prevent happening. Like, Old Navy having a sale on fleece and causing a traffic jam.

7) Keep emergency rations of chocolate in your handbag or glove compartment for those really stressful times.

8) Play with a yo-yo while waiting in lines. Seriously. What have you got to lose. You'll probably keep the line quiet by having all the people staring at you thinking you're a dork, but so what. At least their quiet. It's like dangling keys at a baby.

You get where I'm going with this? Keep your joy and wonder up and it will increase that feeling in those around you. If we Bah, humbug it we'll have a miserable time. I wish I could make you feel better Crycket, but please rant anytime you like. We'll always listen. I hope this season is better for you than in years past. If all else fails, just snuggle up with your better half and bowl of popcorn and have a movie marathon. Only control the things you can, forget the rest.

Abbily
11-25-2008, 04:21 PM
I absolutely understand what you mean about the ridiculous commercialization of Christmas. I do celebrate Christmas, and I work hard to try to make sure my children get what Christmas is supposed to be about. It's getting harder and harder, though. I worked in retail for 10 years, but I worked for a good company that was always closed on Thanksgiving day, Easter Sunday and Christmas day. Of course, the day before those days was always INSANE, but it was worth it to me to be given those days off.

JustAFloridaGirl
11-25-2008, 05:14 PM
I understand completely. Both my husband and I have worked various forms of retail for much longer than we care to admit. We both have college degrees (he actually has two) and we're especially bitter about the fact that we're having so much trouble finding "real" jobs and have to work yet another Christmas season catering to either:

1. People who are grouchy because they have to spend too much money and/or don't know what to get for people, and so take it out on defenseless sales clerks/cashiers/managers.

2. People who are just too freaking perky for their own good and feel that it's their personal duty to imbue the sales clerks/cashiers/managers with Christmas cheer. Trust me, it never works. In fact, it does quite the opposite.

It also just amazes me the lengths companies will go to in order to attain The Almighty Dollar. Luckily, the store I currently work for is closed on Thanksgiving, but the store my husband works for actually extended their Thanksgiving hours so instead of closing at 6pm, they're closing at 8pm.

Seriously? First off, if you've been in retail any length of time you know the only people who go out after noon on Thanksgiving Day are just the people scoping out where certain products are so they can make a mad dash with the rest of the sheep at 5am the next morning. They don't BUY anything, so extended hours is just a waste of payroll and utilities for the company.

Second off, most people have the big family dinner somewhere between 2pm and 6pm. The people who have to close are probably already going to miss most, if not all of this day with their family...so let's just extend their misery by two hours. It's just ridiculous.

Compounding this bitterness for me is that last Christmas season I had a very traumatic death in the family (my aunt was murdered on January 6th, I saw her the last time on Christmas) and I just want to go to sleep and wake up in February. Unfortunately, that's impossible, so I've spent mad moments the past month making a list of presents to get for those close to me and then going shopping. I'm nearly done, and once I am, I'm pretty much washing my hands of everything else regarding the season. If anybody wants anything else from me, they'll have to ask.

Mike
11-25-2008, 05:18 PM
The short answer is I have worked in retail...
Say no more.
If I would've stayed at a wholesale tradeshop that serviced many malls I probably would've ended up going on a killing spree.

I am mildly agoraphobic. This means (for me) that I can't be out in crowded spaces. I am not to the point where I will not leave the house...I can still get things I need to get done, but I am at the point where I will start to get panic attacks when I am out in a really crowded spot...
Me too.
Couple that with the fact that the general public really annoys me how they're completely oblivious to those around them (trying to get around them) and that annoyance turns into more panic being around Xmas crowds is not a good thing.

Thanks for reminding me. I'll make sure I change over to late night shopping trips for the next month.

knitgal
11-25-2008, 05:57 PM
I agree about some of the Christmas bitterness. Here are my reasons:

1. My birthday is December 13th. Everyone forgets or it is put aside. Now I know it sounds selfish, but when I was a child I would only receive one gift and it would be "Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas". Now I'm lucky if people remember my birthday at all. If my birthday had been in June I would have received two gifts. (I know, I know, but I was only a child!)

2. I work in retail (not because I want to) and I will work Christmas eve and most likely Boxing Day. I don't want to, but I will. I want to be at home with my family like everyone else, but instead I have to help those who left their shopping to the last minute.

3. My high school boyfriend of 3.5 years broke up with me Christmas Day a few years ago and every year it's like the anniversary of our break up. Nice, eh?

4. My parents don't live anywhere near me. Well my mom lives about an hour away, but my dad and stepmom live in another province. Since I work in retail I can't get any time off to actually go and see them, so I don't actually get to spend the holidays with my family.

5. We are poor. We are young and just starting out and are saving to buy a house. We are lucky enough to be saving some money every month, but because of Christmas we have to use the money normally saved on gifts because those people will be buying us gifts.

Ugh, I'm not a negative person, but it felt sort of good to get that out. I really do love Christmas and I think it will only get better when I have kids and when I am closer to my family, (and when I have a better job!) but right now I am just poor and tired and bitter.

Knit4Pie
11-25-2008, 06:51 PM
I know (kinda) where you're coming from. I hate that if your present to someone isn't as expensive/fancy/big as someone else's - or as theirs to you - your present is sort of put aside with a token smile.

I dislike going shopping during the Christmas season, not necessarily because of the crowds, but (and I'm sorry) because of some of the people working in the stores.

Even though it's Christmas shopping time, that doesn't mean I'm at the store to do Christmas shopping. There are things I need to buy. When I can't find something, I hate being yelled at, told to open my eyes and look, etc. I dislike when, at the register and the price isn't right, but I dare mention it, I get the sigh. I'm told that I've made a mistake. They don't want to bother checking. When I insist, why they talk to someone to ask the price and they gesture pretty rudely. Of course, when it turns out I was right, it's still my fault that they made the mistake.

Yes, this has happened to me. It was a week and a half before Christmas last year, and I needed to buy clothes for my daughter -- not for Christmas, just that she needed clothes and shoes.

I was once grocery shopping about 4 days before Christmas. Sorry, but I needed to grocery shop. I got home from work and realized I had nothing in the house. It was 9pm and the store closed at 10pm. As I was approaching the register to pay (at 9:20...not even close to the 10pm closing) the two girls were talking loudly to each other, saying how it was terrible how SOME people left their Christmas food shopping to the last minute and were so inconsiderate as to take up their time. 10pm is the regular closing time year-round, not just Christmas season. They were looking at me and giving me this look like "why are you bothering me?"

Yeah, can you tell I have a big problem with this time of year? LOL. I know the people working retail are over-worked and such at this time of year, but just as shoppers can be rude, so can the people working in the stores. It's not all just one-sided.

If the stores are open, people will shop. If they're closed, well, they're out of luck. That's how I look at it!

auburnchick
11-25-2008, 08:01 PM
Christmas is not about buying things for people. It's about celebrating the birth of Jesus. The secular world has made it what it is today, in many ways removing the religious purpose originally intended.

Unfortunately, this world operates on money and has skewed the mindset of this time of year.

I will say that while I do purchase gifts and will continue to do so, the downturn in the economy (and my search for a permanent job) is making me refocus my eyes on what is really important -- the birth of my Savior and the blessings of family. As we downgrade presents (some of mine will be knitted items this year), I think we'll really be able to enjoy the holiday for what it is supposed to mean.

:hug:

Spend time with family and don't sweat the other stuff, my friend.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
11-25-2008, 08:40 PM
I started worked at Hallmark at the end of September because I was too poor to live (hehe). We started putting out Christmas stuff my *second* week of work. Seriously. We've been playing this damn Cheryl Crow Christmas Crap for TWO MONTHS ALREADY.

Further, we have so much Christmas Crap that we've had to take down some of the regular crap we sell. More and more frequently people are coming in and asking "do you have such-and-such?" and I have to say "Oh, no, I'm sorry, we took those down to make room for Holiday items. We'll get them back in January!" Most of those customers then remind me that it's my *personal* fault that what they're looking for isn't out anymore :roll: and that it's my *personal* fault that Hallmark decides Christmas starts right after freaking Labor day.

Don't even get me started on the "get this extra crappy Christmas crap for only 14.95 with each purchase of 3 cards".... hello, three cards. Not three boxes of cards. Not 2 boxes of cards and a card. Not 1 box and two cards. THREE CARDS people. And if you want 2 extra crappy christmas crap things??? Guess what, you have to buy three more cards... that's why it says each. And, Helloooooooooooo why do people insist on arguing with me and "well I was here last week and they let me buy 2 crappy things with only 3 cards" Well, lady, I'm sorry the dumbass that helped you before did it wrong... she probably didn't want to hear your whining, either.

And then there's the disembodied santa heads, with 3-foot beards. :shock: You just let that sink into your Christmassy little brain, and think about the horror that can instill on your holiday season.

And WEBKINS. Oh my GODDESS the WEBKINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, it's not the webkins. It's the kids who want the webkins. And the idiot parents who let them come in and go "LOOK MOM A CHICKEN" "OOOOOO it's a SNAKE!!!!!!!" "HEY! There's a PINK POODLE! YIPPEEEEEEEEE" while pulling out every freaking webkin and tossing them aside/on the floor/randomly around the area while Mom looks on and says "that's nice dear, maybe you can ask Santa..." :doh:



I do get to wear the cool christmas light necklaces though. I guess that makes up for some things. :thumbsup: Oh, and honestly, aside from those very specific things, I like my job (really). And I'm very plesant to work with. AND I get to spend the holidays with my family for the first time in a very very long time, so I am thankful of that, no matter what godforsaken firey pit of hell distractions I must put up with along the way.
:flirt:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
11-25-2008, 08:42 PM
Dear Hallmark,

I love my job. I ate some oyster stew that disagreed with me, and it sent my emotions out of wack.

Pweeze dont' fire me.

I love you. And hoops and yoyo too.

Love,
Hildie :heart:

auburnchick
11-25-2008, 10:10 PM
Dear Hallmark,

I love my job. I ate some oyster stew that disagreed with me, and it sent my emotions out of wack.

Pweeze dont' fire me.

I love you. And hoops and yoyo too.

Love,
Hildie :heart:

:roflhard::roflhard::roflhard::roflhard::roflhard: :roflhard:

Crycket
11-25-2008, 11:40 PM
And, Helloooooooooooo why do people insist on arguing with me and "well I was here last week and they let me buy 2 crappy things with only 3 cards" Well, lady, I'm sorry the dumbass that helped you before did it wrong... she probably didn't want to hear your whining, either.



Yeah....my personal fave was when ppl would go into something, and then when you finally give in with the qualifier "I could get in big trouble by doing this" they just look at you as if you aren't doing them any favours...nice...really nice...!

lelvsdgs
11-26-2008, 12:17 AM
Yeah....my personal fave was when ppl would go into something, and then when you finally give in with the qualifier "I could get in big trouble by doing this" they just look at you as if you aren't doing them any favours...nice...really nice...!
I worked years in retail and I feel your pain. What I did was say "would you like to speak to a manager? They may be able to solve your concern" If they say yes, then the manager who gets paid to deal with this stuff makes the final decision. If they say no, they usually shut up and move on.
While I no longer work in retail, I still work daily with the public and it's not any better here in the public sector. People are just as nasty and rude despite the fact that they are getting their services for free.

lelvsdgs
11-26-2008, 12:20 AM
I started worked at Hallmark at the end of September because I was too poor to live (hehe). We started putting out Christmas stuff my *second* week of work. Seriously. We've been playing this damn Cheryl Crow Christmas Crap for TWO MONTHS ALREADY.

Further, we have so much Christmas Crap that we've had to take down some of the regular crap we sell. More and more frequently people are coming in and asking "do you have such-and-such?" and I have to say "Oh, no, I'm sorry, we took those down to make room for Holiday items. We'll get them back in January!" Most of those customers then remind me that it's my *personal* fault that what they're looking for isn't out anymore :roll: and that it's my *personal* fault that Hallmark decides Christmas starts right after freaking Labor day.

Don't even get me started on the "get this extra crappy Christmas crap for only 14.95 with each purchase of 3 cards".... hello, three cards. Not three boxes of cards. Not 2 boxes of cards and a card. Not 1 box and two cards. THREE CARDS people. And if you want 2 extra crappy christmas crap things??? Guess what, you have to buy three more cards... that's why it says each. And, Helloooooooooooo why do people insist on arguing with me and "well I was here last week and they let me buy 2 crappy things with only 3 cards" Well, lady, I'm sorry the dumbass that helped you before did it wrong... she probably didn't want to hear your whining, either.

And then there's the disembodied santa heads, with 3-foot beards. :shock: You just let that sink into your Christmassy little brain, and think about the horror that can instill on your holiday season.

And WEBKINS. Oh my GODDESS the WEBKINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, it's not the webkins. It's the kids who want the webkins. And the idiot parents who let them come in and go "LOOK MOM A CHICKEN" "OOOOOO it's a SNAKE!!!!!!!" "HEY! There's a PINK POODLE! YIPPEEEEEEEEE" while pulling out every freaking webkin and tossing them aside/on the floor/randomly around the area while Mom looks on and says "that's nice dear, maybe you can ask Santa..." :doh:



I do get to wear the cool christmas light necklaces though. I guess that makes up for some things. :thumbsup: Oh, and honestly, aside from those very specific things, I like my job (really). And I'm very plesant to work with. AND I get to spend the holidays with my family for the first time in a very very long time, so I am thankful of that, no matter what godforsaken firey pit of hell distractions I must put up with along the way.
:flirt:
This whole post is brilliant and every person who has worked retail can relate! I must say that people like to make things your *personal fault* even in the public sector... But I love this!

Doodknitwit
11-26-2008, 12:24 AM
"If it were up to me, a small token gift for those closest to me would be enough. A good meal with those you choose to spend time with.
Nothing elaborate, with the spare need to "impress" others...just token kindness and a well deserved piece of calm and serenity in an overly busy world....

Thanks....I feel a little better now "

amen! well said.
__________________

Simply_Renee
11-26-2008, 09:59 AM
If it were up to me, a small token gift for those closest to me would be enough. A good meal with those you choose to spend time with.
Nothing elaborate, with the spare need to "impress" others...just token kindness and a well deserved piece of calm and serenity in an overly busy world....


Guess what? It IS up to you. All you need to do is step off the crazy train.

I know what you mean about overcommercialization etc- but I won't buy into it. Our Christmases are very conservative and family focused anyway- and this year it will be especially so since I lost my job- Friday. Kids get 5 presents each, and we spend about $75 for all 5. Some years we have a "big" presents like a bike, but not every year (and certainly not this one.) For extended family- we like to get them an ornament (dollar limit $5-10 per person) and a small toy or book for the kids.) Stocking stuffers come from the dollar store. I do like to make sure these small presents reflect the person in some way (ornament about their favorite hobby, something their favorite color, etc.)

We go look at lights every year, and decorate cookies. We watch our Christmas movies and hang out together. We have fun on Christmas eve and remember to leave carrots out (because the one year we forgot-the reindeer ransacked the fridge and left chewed up carrots all over the floor! PS- possibly the most fun I have ever had with the kids!) Seriously- the biggest stress we have is getting ready to go to my sister's after presents are opened and untangling lights.

Telling your family you are simplifying the season so you can actually enjoy it is all it takes. Anyone who has a problem with not getting the big presents from you isn't getting the big picture.

I hope you have a less hectic Christmas this year with your new husband! :heart:

Simply_Renee
11-26-2008, 10:06 AM
8) Play with a yo-yo while waiting in lines. Seriously. What have you got to lose. You'll probably keep the line quiet by having all the people staring at you thinking you're a dork, but so what. At least their quiet. It's like dangling keys at a baby.



I love this one especially! :roflhard:

vaknitter
11-26-2008, 10:44 AM
I agree with Simply Renee - Christmas is what you make of it in your family. I do understand that working retail can ruin your holiday spirit, but believe me, everyone that works with the public gets the same crap and it is not just isolated to Christmas. I work in the medical field and get yelled out everyday b/c people think I should see them whether they show-up an hour late, and hour early or without an appt all together. They think I should work Thanksgiving day to accomodate their schedule. While yelling at me they are listening to their Ipod, talking on their cell phone, and drinking coffee. For pete's sake, I had a women show-up 35min late and then spread out a picnic in our front office to eat her lunch before "we got started" b/c she was hungry !! Commercialization has blown every holiday out of proportion - not just Christmas. There are sales for Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, Father's Day, Valentine's Day.
Make Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) what you and your new husband want it to be. If you don't like shopping then don't get each other gifts - take turns making each other dinner. When the hubby and I need to slow down he plans a day and I plan a day. We go for hikes, take a drive and pick a random place to have lunch, see a movie, stop by the SPCA and bring home a puppy, buy a fishtank, go horseback riding, tour a historic site....

Crycket
11-26-2008, 11:56 AM
I worked years in retail and I feel your pain. What I did was say "would you like to speak to a manager? They may be able to solve your concern" If they say yes, then the manager who gets paid to deal with this stuff makes the final decision. If they say no, they usually shut up and move on.
While I no longer work in retail, I still work daily with the public and it's not any better here in the public sector. People are just as nasty and rude despite the fact that they are getting their services for free.

Ha...yeah...my fave was when someone would demand a supervisor...and it was me! That always gets them in a tizzy! Some of them would stammer with eyes bulging "YOU are the supervisor....?" and others still would try to demand someone higher up.....it was then my decision whether I was going to keep them dangling "Oh...no the manager isn't in right now...it is just me"

The truth changed now and again...we went for a stretch of time with no boss...and I was technically "assistant senior clerk" meaning if I was really having a hard time and either my boss wasn't around or we didn't have one...I could always pass it on to the Senior clerk...but really...most of the time ppl who ask for a higher up are just blowing hot air! 9 time out of 10, it was something I was well equiped to handle anyway!

Guess what? It IS up to you. All you need to do is step off the crazy train.

Oh how I wish it were that easy....

Knit4pie mentioned one of the big ones for me....my previous job was in tourism...and my days off were Sunday Monday...Fine...I ran my normal errands on Monday....it was nice most of the time...I didn't have to encounter some of the craziness some ppl face going on a Saturday...but on the same token...most holildays land on Monday...meaning almost once a month...I get raked over the coals for my errand day....

Same thing happens with Xmas...you want to do your normal stuff...and it takes you 3x the effort, because other ppl are doing xmas stuff!

That aside...it is really hard to get ppl on topic with this "Don't get me anything" deal. In my experience, it has always boiled down to "Thats fine, you don't have to get me anything....but I am still getting you something" mentality...which is all well intentioned...but upon that...I always feel guilted into returning the favour. Then the cycle starts again...

My BFF expressed the same thing to me recently....I mentioned earlier...the JW, she is trying to break free of traditions like birthdays and xmas and...well everything really.....and she says it is really difficult, as there is always someone pulling you back in.....

I guess it is just a matter of having iron will....but it is really hard when you have family and friends giving you the old puppy dog eyes, acting as though you have literally "cancelled xmas"....

C'est la vie....

I must say my favorite thing has actually been the secret exchange...

This is especially good for a situation where there are more adults then kids....rather than pulling names and being forced to get a specific person something...we do this

Everyone buys a present in a certain price lvl (ours is usually $20), it is meant to be something non gender specific, and basically something you would likely want for yourself...

The gifts are placed in a pile and everyone draws a # from 1- the # of ppl participating...

#1 picks a present off the pile and opens it..., #2 can choose to either pick a present off the pile and open it, or give it to # 1 in exchange for what they have already opened....

Etc...of course, the higher your #, the better the chance that you can see all the already opened gifts....it can be a lot of fun!

As an added trick...we have incorporated a "mystery gift". This gift is generally marked with a bunch of question marks, and remains unopened until the very end....the person who opens the mystery gift, brings nexts years mystery gift....

I prefer playing games like that...cause you are only bringing one gift...and I am not sure about some of you...but there is so much "junk" I get at X mas time...from ppl, who are well intentioned but just don't know you well enough....

I have actually started a box for the womans shelter...when I get stuff that just isn't me, I put it in the box and let it build til it is big enough and take it to the womans shelter....all the Spongebob nightgowns, large print mystery novels and 30 extra lip chap sticks will get used by someone who really needs it.

Abbily
11-26-2008, 12:28 PM
I have actually started a box for the womans shelter...when I get stuff that just isn't me, I put it in the box and let it build til it is big enough and take it to the womans shelter....all the Spongebob nightgowns, large print mystery novels and 30 extra lip chap sticks will get used by someone who really needs it.

What a wonderful idea! :)

ecb
11-26-2008, 07:22 PM
I buy a fishtank.
I got a fish tank U can HAVE
comes with clean sanitized gravel and a Filter with working Pump and about 3 months worth of filter inserts if u follow the manufacturers recommendations
AND
I am fine with you just hanging out and knitting as LONG as U want before taking it home (traffic to and from Maine can be a B***h)

just a thought

for the holidays I;
make knitted stuffed balls, not very big. but with bright colored yarns, and GIVE them away to kids in the supermarket, or library:knitting:
I am the lady wrapping gifts on Black Friday for the non-profit organization for tips (not for me, but for the organization), :present:
or making LARGE batches of food and begging my needy neighbors to please help me "I made too much, and the kids don't like this recipe" (yes this includes family members sometimes):mmm:
or buying the VERY cheep Lobster from my Neighbor (who is selling them at way less than he can really afford), not just because my kids worked hard enough to deserve it, but to help this neat family that lives down the road from me {@ $5/# it is cheaper than steak):drool:
or throwing a snickers bar in with my groceries and giving it to the check out girl after the sale is final :happydance:(or buying a round of drinks for the wait staff to enjoy at closing time, at a restaurant I really like as long as I trust the owner to honor the gift):clink:

just my take on the random acts side of things
also, no one can accuse me of being overly christian, but my favorite holiday song is "when Jesus was a kid" by peter alsop

ecb

TEMA
12-03-2008, 07:23 PM
Hmmmmm.....
I can see that your past experiences with Christmas have not been really good ones... no wonder you feel this way...
That being said....
Surely there is no reason that you cannot celebrate Christmas in your own way...
So you don't want to have a tree, coloured lights, all the fribbles that go with Christmas... that's okay. It's your Christmas, you do what you want.
I'm not real partial to crowds either. That's why I get my shopping done before the end of November... but really, you don't have to shop if you don't want to.
I think the trick is to separate your work life from your free time.
What you do with your free time is totally up to you, don't you think?
There's no rule that says you have to celebrate Christmas in a certain way... make up your own Christmas traditions.
Celebrate the spirit of Christmas not the commercial aspect that it has now become.
After all, the Baby born in Bethleham didn't come so people would go out to spend tons of money or eat a big meal... did he?
Just a few thoughts... Just a tad concerned the Christmas holds no magic for you....
Best Wishes,
TEMA:hug:

dustinac
12-03-2008, 09:58 PM
:hug: I'm sorry retail has made you feel that way. I know Christmas growing up my dad would have to work...or when I worked you would only get the morning off or I would work the mornings so others could be with their kids...

I do love Christmas though, I always have. I think it goes back to my dad though. He was raised in a very strict southern Baptist house so there was no Christmas tree, presents, or anything special. So when I was growing up he was just like a big kid and loved it. He loved (still loves it) the decorating, going out and looking at lights, reading Christmas stories to us, watching Christmas movies as a family, the big meals when we could (growing up a lot of times he worked 2 jobs), and so on.

He made Christmas about the reason but also the family traditions. We were far from rich so we knew that we wouldn't find much under the tree and didn't care. We just got wrapped up in the traditions we had with them.

I try to do the same with my kids, I'm a big kid when it comes this time of year. I put up 7 trees!! My kids know why we celebrate Christmas and they also love the traditions. They kept asking me on Sunday where is the count down box? I make candy every year and as they open each day's box they get candy and hang an ornament on the tree. They would then ask where is the nativity scene, where is the missle toe, where is the etc...when are we going to go look at lights...I realized this year that they were seeing the traditions as well.

As far as gift giving, my family always made or just gave what you could. You were never expected to show up with a gift. I still do that, my kids don't get everything they want they write Santa and ask for 3 things. Usually we try to get those 3 things and then fill in with little toys that are not much at all. I don't go out shopping the closer it gets to Christmas, never have. I don't go out on Black Friday either. I order a lot online and do lay-a-way early.

I do like to make up little baggies for the n'bors and leave them on their step Christmas evening. It usually contains some cookies and a dishrag.

I really try to just stay happy and just stay in my own little world :teehee:

Debkcs
12-04-2008, 04:12 AM
Not down playing that it's no picnic working retail during the holidays, but the psych wards fill up as fast as Walmart, and this 'ain't' fun either. We couldn't find beds the last year I worked for all the depressed folks.

Since we believe that the celebration should be about Christ's birth, we don't go overboard on the rest of the stuff. It's a lot of fun to decorate a tree and get together with friends, but our gift lists are very short.

Crycket
12-04-2008, 12:09 PM
It is extremely comforting to hear everyones tales, whether they be words of encouragement, or whether they are commisseration....

My family drives me mad...on a normal basis...let alone at xmas....

I don't hold any particular religion dear....and so there is no special meaning for me, other than presents and pretty lights....as I am getting older, the want for presents has died away...So the bums rush thing gets amplified....

I didn't get any of my xmas stuff done early this year cause I was busy planning the wedding...so I have decided it is going to be a one stop trip to the wine store, and endless wine cozy knitting until the big day....*smiles*

OK everyone....the days are counting down...it is time to breath deep!

GinnyG
12-05-2008, 09:42 PM
You have my sympathy and understanding. I intensely dislike the entire period from Thanksgiving to New Years and would be quite happy if it just disappeared from the calender.

My children are grown and the holiday has become less stressful for me because i have been intentional about doing things to "de-stress".

As someone already suggested, I do all my shopping on line and completely avoid the stores. I use gift bags to decrease the work of wrapping. I don't go to any of the Holiday parties that abound this time of year (work church social etc).

The hospital where I work has a "Secret Santa" where everyone draws a name a buys a gift. I politely decline and make a donation to the local animal shelter instead.

On Christmas Day DH and I always offer to cover the ambulance (he drives I'm a Critical Care EMT) and spend the day at the Fire House doing what needs to be done.

The highlight of my Holiday are the Christmas Cards. I participate in an on line forum (dogs) that has a long established tradition of sending cards to each other. We make our cards and most have our dogs on them. This year I am sending out over 100 cards to fellow forum members all over the world. I LOVE going to the mail box an opening the cards throughout the entire month.

But most important, I don't let myself feel guilty for not enjoying the holiday, I simply recognize that for me it has not always (or ever for that matter) been a "wonderful time" and move on.

My gym (I run a Cardiac Rehab Program for the Hospital) is declared CHRISTMAS FREE, there are no decorations, no music, no Seasonal insanity. You would be amazed at the number of patients who tell me they APPRECIATE having one place to go that doesn't serve as a constant reminder of the holiday.

There are many MANY lonely people out there for who the holiday is torture. I am lucky to have a wonderful loving family so while I don't care for the season I recognize how blessed I am and just deal with it.

Crycket
12-07-2008, 02:51 AM
My gym (I run a Cardiac Rehab Program for the Hospital) is declared CHRISTMAS FREE, there are no decorations, no music, no Seasonal insanity. You would be amazed at the number of patients who tell me they APPRECIATE having one place to go that doesn't serve as a constant reminder of the holiday.

Ya see...I like that...

People seem to forget that not everyone likes the holidays....or celebrates them...or whatever...

One of the things I can't tolerate is walking into a mall or stores and having Christmas carols playing constantly! Mainly cause it is the same 10 songs between US thanksgiving and Boxing day....

Given there are now a lot more artists who have recorded the same 10 songs now...compared to a few years back where you only seemed to have them sung by the oldies (but goodies)....

The Barenaked Ladies album is one I really like....aside from being a huge fan...I like the album...it is diverse...and doesn't delve too much into one thing....Jingle Bells (with the old Batman smells in there)...Auld Lang Syne... Do They Know its Christmas....Two Jewish tunes (one original) and my favorite...what I like to call anti-xmas songs....Green Christmas (from the Grinch soundtrack) and The Elfs Lament....

My obsession aside...I saw a group on Facebook the other day that was "Its Merry Christmas, Not Happy Holidays"....
That kinda bugged me...this whole debate about which is appropriate to say....Quite frankly say what you feel comfortable saying....If someone says "Merry Christmas" to me, my knee jerk reaction back has been "Stay Warm" in the last few years....but to each there own....*smiles*

blueeyes28
12-07-2008, 09:00 AM
Christmas is usually really mellow for me but this year we are going away for a week so I am SUPER stressed out!To top it off we have had to spend in the last month about $500. more dollars than we normally would have because the extreme cold arrived earlier than normal and my husband needed some cold weather gear to work outside and it couldn't wait plus the kids needed boots and snowpants,This year I find myself just anxious for the month to be over!

GinnyG
12-07-2008, 03:02 PM
People seem to forget that not everyone likes the holidays....or celebrates them...or whatever...
My obsession aside...I saw a group on Facebook the other day that was "Its Merry Christmas, Not Happy Holidays"....
That kinda bugged me...this whole debate about which is appropriate to say....Quite frankly say what you feel comfortable saying....If someone says "Merry Christmas" to me, my knee jerk reaction back has been "Stay Warm" in the last few years....but to each there own....*smiles*

One of my PET PEEVES is that everywhere you go, EVERYONE says "MERRY CHRISTMAS? or less often "Happy Holidays". It has lsot it's meaning. The clerk at the hardware store really doesn't give a rats rear what kinf of holiday I have but it is "expected" to say that to every customer.

I am Christian and do celebrate Christmas but live in a college town where there are people of every ethnicity and religion immaginable. I often wonder what it must be like to be Hindu, or Muslim or even atheist and have to face 30 days of Christmas wishes. Many years ago, I was newly divorced with two young children, BROKE and worried about buying groceries let alone busying Christmas gifts. The entire holiday season was torture and just one reminder after another of what I didn't have.

JustAFloridaGirl
12-07-2008, 11:13 PM
At work we've been forced to preface our phone greeting with "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!" Honestly, I don't care about how people personally greet me...yes, being Catholic means I do celebrate Christmas, so either "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" works for me. I also try to make sure I greet people with "Happy Holidays" (unless they've already initiated a "Merry Christmas.") I would hope that if I were Jewish, Hindu, or whatever, if someone told me "Merry Christmas" that I would be open minded enough to realize that they're just being ethnocentric and don't mean me any slight...quite the contrary, that they're wishing me well in the only way they know how during this particular season.

However, with that said, I DO cringe at having to say the "Merry Christmas" part of the phone greeting at work. To me, a business should be completely neutral in the situation, since they do have to serve a wide range of people.

I am also completely opposed to the fact that state lawmakers (here in Utah) are trying to pass a law that will "encourage" businesses to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." That sort of politics just strikes me as wrong on several levels.

Crycket
12-08-2008, 12:30 PM
That kinda of politics is wrong, IMO.....

I agree with you...unless someone offers a Merry Christmas, then a Happy Holidays should be good enough. That boils down to Political correctness anyway, and businesses should be sensitive about that either way!

But it just goes to show you the power of the all mighty dollar. The last place I worked was owned and operated by a Jewish family. And yet, every year, the theatres were decked out with Christmas decor. And lets face it...the stat holiday falls on Christmas....not Chanukah, not Kwanza....etc...

It has become a social holiday...rather than a religious one, especially in a society that hails so many different ethnic groups. The stat was chosen based on the fact that ppl in the area were of the same backround....and that has changed over the years...dramatically. So what does one do with that? It is easier to let sleeping dogs lie...and keep things the same....and Christmas morphs into a generic holiday headed up with it mascot Santa. Those who still know what it is about hold it dear, and the rest, go with the flow.

It is really interesting to see where life takes its little turns. How life evolves...it really is a small world...and a global village in many ways...*smiles*

Jeremy
12-08-2008, 02:31 PM
In the past few years I've had the opportunity to be in Israel on Christmas Day. Its a regular day there with work etc. The English newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, always seems to have an article about some Christian, living in Israel, trying to scare up some Christmas spirit.

I grew up as a Catholic and later converted to Judaism as a young adult so I've been exposed to both having Christmas and not. But the funniest Christmas memory came on my first trip to Israel. On my second night there we went to a restaurant on the Sea of Gallilee that specialized in serving a lot of roast meat. We were in heated tents right on a dock so the appetizer was cooked on a hibachi right on the table. Each table had to have a person in charge of the hibachi to make sure it didn't burn and I was nominated.

What was the date? The evening of Dec 24th. What was the appetizer? Chestnuts! I had had to change religions, travel thousands of miles to Israel to finally have a chance to roast chestnuts on an open fire on Christmas eve.:rofl:

miccisue
12-08-2008, 03:43 PM
In the past few years I've had the opportunity to be in Israel on Christmas Day. Its a regular day there with work etc. The English newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, always seems to have an article about some Christian, living in Israel, trying to scare up some Christmas spirit.

I grew up as a Catholic and later converted to Judaism as a young adult so I've been exposed to both having Christmas and not. But the funniest Christmas memory came on my first trip to Israel. On my second night there we went to a restaurant on the Sea of Gallilee that specialized in serving a lot of roast meat. We were in heated tents right on a dock so the appetizer was cooked on a hibachi right on the table. Each table had to have a person in charge of the hibachi to make sure it didn't burn and I was nominated.

What was the date? The evening of Dec 24th. What was the appetizer? Chestnuts! I had had to change religions, travel thousands of miles to Israel to finally have a chance to roast chestnuts on an open fire on Christmas eve.:rofl:
In all fairness, though, to "defend" the celebration of Christmas over Chanuka (pardon my spelling); every year most Jewish newspaper writers, radio personalities, etc. make the distinct point that on the Jewish calendar, Chanuka is considered a "minor" holiday. Christianity has several celebratory days, but really only 2 - Easter and Christmas - are widely celebrated, so I'd guess you could say their "minor" holidays aren't recognized either.

And personally, I'd never even heard of Kwanzaa until a few years ago. As what to me is a fairly new holiday, it's not hard to figure out that it's going to take a while for it to get widespread recognition. JMHO.

coffeesnob
12-12-2008, 12:36 AM
awww yes, tis the season.

I've been in retail my entire working life (not THAT long, but long enough.) And so has my fiance been for the last several years.

And what Christmas has boiled down to - hell on wheels for WEEKS and then one day off. And then Clearance Season. (Christmas really lasts until mid to late January.) This is the first year I haven't had to work at the head of mobs of angry customers bickering over prices and why isn't this in stock, and how come the lines are so long. Ug. And then people trying to return things without reciepts, without gift reciepts... Not to mention trying to keep a store in working order when people are stampeding around the racetrack...

So - my short guide to shopping and not irritating the bloody life out of everyone working.

1 - Read the signs. Blasted idiots never read. Odds are the price is listed. READ.
2 - Almost every other mom/dad/aunt/grandma/friend/coworker/sister- you name it - is out shopping during the same few weeks as you. Odds are other people wanted the same aquadoodle or medium sized sweater. It is not my fault that they bought it first. Talk to them.
3 - The lines are long because everyone and their mom is shopping on saturday, just like you are. If you don't like long lines please ask the other shoppers to leave. Otherwise deal. The cashiers don't like lines either, and it is not their fault.
4 - If you see someone working very hard to fold a huge table of sweaters, please don't trash it right behind them. If you intend to trash it, wait until they are finished and have left.
5 - Don't get mad at an associate if something you have asked about it out of stock. Odds are you aren't the first to ask about it, so if they know without checking don't glare at them as if they're lying to you.
6 - For God's Sweet Sake - Don't throw a fit at customer service if YOU don't know the return policy or have lost your receipt. That is not my fault. Odds are the policy is posted at the desk, at the front door, oh, and on the back of the receipt.
7 - Someone didn't give you a gift receipt? Not my problem. Talk to the gift giver. Someone once had the gall to say "What should I do? Regift this? Give it to Goodwill?" Well, yeah, maybe you should. And don't let whoever gave it to you know how ungrateful you are, maybe you won't get something next year.
8 - If you are the parent of a young child. PLEASE don't a. ignore them as they throw a tantrum and disrupt everyone else. b. ignore them as they run around and make a huge mess. c. be surprised when they wander off because you weren't paying attention. (it happens very often. Mom's on cell phones? Usual culpret) d. shop with them late at night. Who the HELL shops with their toddler at 11 p.m? A lot of people, surprisingly. And shock of the world, the poor kids are usually tired and cranky. huh, gee. Wonder why. (hint - IT'S 11 AT NIGHT)
9 - Don't get mad when there isn't someone to help you the Moment you decide you need help. Odds are the people working are busy. There are a lot of shoppers that need help, you might have to wait a minute. Especially in a department like - Shoes, toys, electronics, jewelry, apparel. Be patient. And don't cop an attitude when someone does come to help.
10 - DON'T trash fitting rooms! All you women on here - I am talking to you! At least hang up what you tried on and put it on the rack. Most fitting rooms have a limit. At least TRY to adhere to it. Christmas is not the time to look for an entire new wardrobe, and then leave all of the losers on the floor in a crumpled heap. Be nice, someone has to clean up after you.
11 - Don't assume that because someone in a name tag isn't working a register that they should be. Believe it or not there are jobs that aren't cashiering. I've been a cashier supervisor, and it was lucky me who got bag refills, change, dealt with angry people, solved price issues, etc. I had a lot of people be rude when I didn't open a new lane for them. Not because I didn't want to, because the store wouldn't run if I wasn't doing exactly what I was doing. Not running a lane.

Ug. I'm all worked up now.

JustAFloridaGirl
12-12-2008, 02:17 AM
10 - DON'T trash fitting rooms! All you women on here - I am talking to you! At least hang up what you tried on and put it on the rack.

I used to work in a clothing store and I had it happen a couple of times where I'd go to check for go-backs from a dressing room and there's the article of clothing neatly hung up...inside out. Seriously, wtf? If it was an article of clothing that didn't have much of an obvious difference between right side out and inside out, I could have dismissed it as an oversight, that they didn't see the seam. But it was never anything like that, they were clothes that had some sort of embellishments (and thus threads and whatnot on the inside) and all I could figure was that the person who had tried it on and hung it up like such was either a dumb@ss or the type of person who doesn't give a rat's @ss about other people, let alone the clerks in a store.

11 - Don't assume that because someone in a name tag isn't working a register that they should be. Believe it or not there are jobs that aren't cashiering. I've been a cashier supervisor, and it was lucky me who got bag refills, change, dealt with angry people, solved price issues, etc. I had a lot of people be rude when I didn't open a new lane for them. Not because I didn't want to, because the store wouldn't run if I wasn't doing exactly what I was doing. Not running a lane.

I HATE that! People also don't realize that employees have to take breaks. A store can schedule a certain number of cashiers but at SOME point the number of cashiers will drop by at least one because someone will have to take a break. Yes, stores try to stagger schedules and breaks so that this doesn't happen during peak times but there's only so much that can be done.

Oh, and edited to add this:

If something doesn't have a price sticker or a bar code, DON'T inform the cashier that it must be free. It's not. Period. It's also a "joke" cashiers have heard WAY too many times to be funny.

Crycket
12-12-2008, 11:54 AM
I HATE that! People also don't realize that employees have to take breaks. A store can schedule a certain number of cashiers but at SOME point the number of cashiers will drop by at least one because someone will have to take a break. Yes, stores try to stagger schedules and breaks so that this doesn't happen during peak times but there's only so much that can be done.

Oh, and edited to add this:

If something doesn't have a price sticker or a bar code, DON'T inform the cashier that it must be free. It's not. Period. It's also a "joke" cashiers have heard WAY too many times to be funny.


Oh I hear yeah! It was like ppl stepping up to my ticket window and getting annoyed when I had to close down. No one cares that you have to take lunch, or that you are working from 10 am to 10 pm....

and yes...customers always have standard lines that they think are funny...(usually men)....When I was ushering, there was one halloween that because we couldn't dress up, I threw in a pair of very removable fangs. It was a way of being dressed up without being dressed up, and if the boss came round, I had a quick escape. Can I tell you how many ppl offered me their orthadontist cards? Honest to goodness, they all thought they were the first ones!

One thing that always pissed me off was when a show would be sold out...and during walk in (the hour before a show starting) someone would come to my "Tickets Sales" window....(yet another sign reading rant to come at a later date)...and ask about tix for that nights show...and the immediate answer from any and all jack arses was "then why are you open?" Always buttered up with that snarky sarcastic tone too...

ARGH....yeah...I am open, a) cause it is my job, b) cause I am not just selling tonights show! c) cause if you had "shopping" to do before a show you would be the one ranting that nobody was here to sell you tix for another date!!! not to mention a whole world of other reasons...including handling problems!

To add to the other list of retail upsets let me add this....

1- Don't get pissy at the clerk who actually checks your information. Every now and again the powers that be come in and instruct the staff about credit card fraud. This leads to the clerks having to abide by this new course of action actively for a week or two before the heat blows over....(not to mention, it should be a thing that happens all the time, not just once in a while...)

I can't tell you how many times I have been yelled at cause someone hasn't taken the time to sign the back of their credit card! Let me tell you now...unless otherwise stated, YOUR CARD IS NOT VALID WITHOUT A SIGNATURE....I am not talking to those who merely forget (though it really should be the FIRST thing you do when you get your card) I once had a lady argue me that her lawyer advised her not to sign her card, as it would make forging her signature easier! COME ON...it is much easier to make up a signature to forge one...and really...if you have a problem with signing your card....write SEE ID on the back and show another piece of ID EVERY TIME!!!

This is for your protection...and yes I can turn you away if you refuse to sign your card!

2 - in the same vein, if there is something that requires you to bring your credit card to pick up (likely tickets, but could also be lay away or some other such thing) remember what card you used and bring it! A joint card does not have the same digits on it! And these days, with businesses, you can't see most of the card # (in my case only the last four digits) I can't tell that most of the numbers are the same....just as being married doesn't always in title you to pick up your spouses items....check first!

3-Always use your card!...if someone is sending you on an errand, and with their credit card...it is wrong! Use your credit card and have them pay you back. This includes family and spouses! If the name on the card does not match yours...then you can't use it! I am sure most ppl don't check...but I where I worked I had to look at the name (as I was entering into a computer) and I can't tell you how often it comes up....ALOT....Please only ever use YOUR card...and do not send ppl along with your card either...there are so many reasons for this...!

Remember with Credit card stuff too, that it really boils down to your own protection. It may seem strange, but I can't tell you how many times I have seen it happen where a man/woman have bought tix together, then split up. The tix were a gift to one, but of course on the others credit card...well... card holder is the legal owner of the tix, and I have seen both couples show up (both with new partners) trying to use them....

I have seen ppl try to use estranged spouses cards, I have seen teenagers try to use their parents cards (without permission) I have seen totally random ppl try and pick up other ppls tix. And I have seen co-workers not check credit cards and hand out tix to other ppl. (usually a night with two ppl of the same last name) DO LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING....

Ok...some of these things are pretty specialist to what I was doing specifically...but please do not panic if someone is questioning your credit card, (unless of course you think yours has been stolen, or lost) It is just to protect you! And it is the clerks job...although things have been lax in places, if one has the nerve to actually do his job right...don't blame her/him...s/he isn't doing anything wrong..!

JustAFloridaGirl
12-12-2008, 07:22 PM
I'd like to add to the above credit card info...if the cashier asks for ID, hand it over WITH the card. I can't tell you how many times, in this day and age of self-swiping, I've asked for ID and then get handed ONLY the ID. Well, that's fine, you may be who you are, but I still don't know if the credit card actually belongs to you.

And all the above goes for checks, too. I had an old bat call me an idiot a few weeks ago (or maybe she said I was idiotic, I can't remember, I just know the word "idiot" was in there somewhere) because she wrote out a check and, when I asked for ID, she rattled off her driver's license number and expiration date to me, since that's the information we're supposed to print at the top of each check. Well, that's all fine and dandy, I wrote it down and then asked for ID again. She very rudely asked me why and I told her it's because just writing the information at the top isn't enough, I'm actually supposed to verify that the check is hers. That's when she grumbled something with the word "idiot" involved.

Crycket
12-12-2008, 09:10 PM
Wow...I didn't think places still took checks....

The only thing I use them for these days is to pay my parents for stuff....

We couldn't take checks....it was out right not done....group sales would take them...but probably only cause they were mostly dealing with bookings months in advance, and thousands of dollars at once....

Yeah...I hear you...ppl get so defensive about surrendering ID...when it has nothing to do with making their life miserable...it is about protecting them...and doing our job. Gosh...I really don't yearn to see someones mugshot drivers license pic...I HAVE to....*rolls her eyes*

bambi
12-12-2008, 09:58 PM
Crycket, If I worked in retail I'd feel the same way. I hate shopping and am always trying to minimize what I get or buy thru the year when i see something that reminds me of someone.

I worked at a K-mart in college and Christmas Eve was the pits! Tons of really grouchy customers doing last minute shopping. Some customer got angry with me because she had asked a totally different employee to stick something under the counter instead of taking it to lay away and it was gone when she came back. Another employee had sold it to someone else.

The most blessed sound I heard was the assistant manager getting on the loudspeaker and told everyone that the store was closing so the employees could get home to their families. (((Whew)))

Bambi

bambi
12-12-2008, 10:39 PM
On the credit card note, I'm always really HAPPY when someone wants to check my ID! Not everyone does it.

B

bambi
12-12-2008, 10:41 PM
Oh, and checks? They used to walk in the K with just a check in their pocket and no ID, especially the men. It was not really in good walking distance to any residential area and most of them drove. They were all driving around without their licenses!

B

Sajomaro
12-13-2008, 04:55 AM
I can't tell you how many times I have been yelled at cause someone hasn't taken the time to sign the back of their credit card! Let me tell you now...unless otherwise stated, YOUR CARD IS NOT VALID WITHOUT A SIGNATURE....I am not talking to those who merely forget (though it really should be the FIRST thing you do when you get your card) I once had a lady argue me that her lawyer advised her not to sign her card, as it would make forging her signature easier! COME ON...it is much easier to make up a signature to forge one...and really...if you have a problem with signing your card....write SEE ID on the back and show another piece of ID EVERY TIME!!!


Totally understand how you feel. I've never worked in retail because I don't think I'd be able to handle it. It amazes me that people think that they don't have to be polite to retailers. It just makes since to treat them nicely as they are the ones that can get you what you want/need. Not to mention the whole 'they're people too' thing.

On the credit card thing. I heard that by not signing your credit card you actually void your contract with the credit card company. So you may be able to buy things with it but the extra insurance that comes with it doesn't apply. Plus if your card does get stolen you'd be responsible for the entire amount charged to it not just a portion. And a clerk has the right to cut up the card if you don't sign it. I don't have a credit card so I've never read the contract but I wouldn't be to surprise if the above was true.

Kinnexa
12-23-2008, 02:33 AM
You reminded me of the December I spent in Hallmark hell...I worked at a fairly nice bookstore, but being in charge of all the Hallmark CRAP I had to put together their horrible ornament displays. I think a two-year-old designed those things! Even worse was listening to supposedly grown-up women telling me I had ~personally~ ruined a 20-year-old family tradition by running out of that one silly ornament they needed...creating scenes and the adult (?) version of a major temper tantrum...lines a mile long just to snarl at the poor cashier who couldn't afford to buy half of the garbage she had to ring up!

That was my 2nd or 3rd year officially not celebrating Christmas. Ten years later, I've never regretted it. My co-workers at my much saner job this year are stressing over all the stuff they "have" to do, the things they can't afford to buy, being 'bad' because they can't give their kids piles of crap. I'm just glad for a few days off work with pay!

Thank you for helping me realize once again just how truly lucky I am!

Kinnexa
12-23-2008, 02:40 AM
"My obsession aside...I saw a group on Facebook the other day that was "Its Merry Christmas, Not Happy Holidays"....
That kinda bugged me...this whole debate about which is appropriate to say....Quite frankly say what you feel comfortable saying....If someone says "Merry Christmas" to me, my knee jerk reaction back has been "Stay Warm" in the last few years....but to each there own....*smiles*"

:yay: :roflhard: :yay: :roflhard: :yay: :roflhard: :yay: :roflhard:

I LOVE it, Crycket!! I'm all for "to each her own", but as an agnostic who completely ignores the religious aspect of the holiday in question and rejects all the bad, sad childhood associations with the secular part, I'm always looking for creative (but polite) comebacks. I bet I'll have a chance to use yours tomorrow! :happydance:

miccisue
12-26-2008, 09:43 AM
Christmas Eve reminded me why, although I don't "hate" Christmas, it does elevate my stress level and gives me a severe case of the blues.

DH and I have been married 29 years. We dated a few years prior to that. So, for roughly 33 years, my in-laws have been very well aware that I attend church on Christmas Eve. Also, before we got married, my family always had "Christmas" on Christmas Eve as we went to my grandparents on Christmas Day. Well, his family also had their Christmas on Christmas Eve, as some of his siblings went to their in-laws on Christmas Day. So, my family adapted their schedule and went with Christmas on Christmas day....and until my grandparents passed away, it made things kind of hectic - run to my folks for breakfast and presents, then hit the road for the g'parents.

Anyway, as is with most families, there are generally smaller children involved. With me attending church, we got there later than everyone else. After the first couple of years (and some snide remarks about how tired the kids were getting waiting for us to get there), they started getting into the idea of putting the kids down for a nap or rest time earlier in the evening so they wouldn't be so "worn out". Well, the kids who were little then have all grown up, and my youngest nieces are 11 and 12 and have NO problem staying up 'til all hours, LOL! However, we've now added step-nieces and nephews ranging from 2-9. (And, I might add, the only time I see these kids is at Christmas, so I don't hardly even know them). Of course, we all have to buy for the kids, but the adults don't even do a "draw names" Christmas exchange (and yes, this sounds Scrooge-y of me, but DH and I have no children, so we've had years and years of spending for others and we don't get anything....kind of leaving us to feel like "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free". I mean, would it be so tough to buy just a token something, or even have each adult draw one name, set a limit, and get one person something? Just a little sign of appreciation and love to another adult member of the family?). So, I get home from church, hubby loads up the car, and away we go. Oh yeah, did I mention we'd had major ice storms with some snow on top of it? Any my in-laws live in the country in the middle of nowhere, where the roads are horrible???? We get there, just in time to see everyone leaving!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My older nieces were still there, but were leaving in 15 minutes. So, we dragged the stuff in, had them open their presents, and said goodbye to them. Oh yeah, and I got the "well, those little kids were just too tired from running around all evening, and were ready to go to bed" with a tone of nasty from my MIL. Hello???????? Remember the "quiet time" from years ago????? They KNOW we're going to be there a tad late, so instead of running the kids ragged before we get there, why not put them down for a rest, at least????????

So, basically I spent a day shopping, looking for just the right things, basically to be told I'm an inconvenience.

I told hubby next year he could go by himself, leave as early as he wanted, and I'd go to church and just come home and fix myself some hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie. It sure would do a lot to make me feel more "peace on earth, goodwill to men", than this type of snub.

It just ain't worth it.

Now yesterday, at my parent's house was great - full Christmas dinner, presents for everyone, time spent watching "It's A Wonderful Life", no pressure (DH even got in a 2 hour nap, so obviously it wasn't as stressful as his parent's house is for the both of us).....and I thank heaven that's the way my Christmas ended!!!!!!!!!!!

So, yeah.....it doesn't just end with the retail end - family can get you nuts as well.

Crycket
12-26-2008, 10:44 AM
So, yeah.....it doesn't just end with the retail end - family can get you nuts as well.

You said it! Family can beat ya down as far as whiny customer!

And I am sure the "snide/snarky" comments come in every family...

To me it is just like a mini reunion....a time to suss out who is doing better or worse than you....!

Vik61
12-26-2008, 11:39 AM
Hello all...

Anyone who has worked or lived around me around the Holidays will tell you I am not a fan....

Nor am I...

About fifteen years ago I was doing my holiday shopping at a mall and suddenly realized how miserable I felt being around all the chaos and negativity from the shoppers and of course the retail workers. I never had the money to spend, not really. I did spend it, but I honestly shouldn't have. I could have gotten creative but back then I was more a singer in a band and not very craft-worthy.

It was my last Christmas, as far as the way we traditionally celebrate it. Each season therafter I simply did not participate in any way shape or form but to try to attend Handel's Messiah if it were being performed in my area.

Many people I know have done the same. I got a letter one year from a friend. He sent it out to everyone he knew. It was touching, really, as he explained his reasons for "opting out" of the madness.

I understand many companies depend upon the holiday to actually come out in the black for the year, but seriously...

Christmas is for children, in my opinion. And I have no young children. Even for them, I think it is tricky. How much stuff does a child need?

This year, it's been really hard on the unemployed and I am hoping a trend will develop where these holidays will be less about buying stuff and more about charity, and giving. Then again, I hate it that the holidays are the only time we ever hear about the incredible number of needy, even desperate people in our country and world.

I simply realized I was getting depressed around the holidays. Now, and ever since I simply stopped "doing" Christmas, I have been doing much better. Today is the day after Christmas and I feel like it didn't even happen for me. But I do not feel as if I missed anything.

Crycket
12-27-2008, 12:42 AM
Christmas is for children, in my opinion. And I have no young children. Even for them, I think it is tricky. How much stuff does a child need?

This is an interesting point...I was watching Fred Claus the other week...and they made an interesting point about how childrens requests have become unmanageable (in context it creates plot, but out of context, it was a very interesting point to me...) Back even 60-70 years ago, kids were asking for peace from war, and such things as this. My mom (who was born in 1957) reminded me that purse stings were tight when she was young (having been brought up by a single mom) and that her best hope was to scrap up a Barbie doll....These days it seems like anything less then an iPod and an Xbox is an insult. I was talking with co-workers who mentioned each kid being about $200....WOW...

Given that is not all kids who ask for or want all that...but still it gives me pause....what happened to the simple things in life....

I hate it that the holidays are the only time we ever hear about the incredible number of needy, even desperate people in our country and world.

This gets me too...yeah...this can go so many ways too...

You get those who only open their eyes to causes only at xmas, then there is looking so globally you forget about your own backyard. But here is the sadest part and a very true one for me...who do you trust...

As a Guider (Girl Guide Leader) I get exposed to many situations involving the community. I was talking with a fellow Leader (who was involved in Scouts) who told me how every year she would take her unit to deliver to the "needy", packages that had been put together - Mainly for kids, and would be donated by companies mainly. To get such a package, one needed to be nominated. Now, she told me it was a really hard thing to do....going to a house, you could be delivering to a family where it was clear the kids hadn't eaten properly, and all they had for furniture was an old mattress on the floor...but then there were houses, she said, you would pull up to and there was a Mercedes in the driveway, and clearly no need for such charity.

For that...it pains me that anyone has to live in the first conditions, but pains me just as much that there are ppl who are cheating the system. It is the latter that makes me hesitant to help out...

It is like this...have you ever heard of the shaky lady from Down Town TO? http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1024896474326_20305674

Even as a follow up article, it is hard to tell what is sincere and what is lawyer speak...either way...it is the few bad apples that spoil the whole basket....and for me...I want to be able to trust that any good cheer I am spreading around gets to the ppl who REALLY need it....

miccisue
12-27-2008, 09:20 AM
This is strictly my opinion, but in regard to "Christmas being for children", I tend to disagree. I don't think there's anyone who doesn't appreciate a little "I think you're special, and I'm happy that you're a part of my life" acknowledgement.

If you read my rant earlier, I was (am) upset that it is decreed that I buy for all the children in the family - some of whom I see once a year, if that. (And, BTW, nobody has "decided" when they stop being children....13, 15, 16, 18????? Nobody knows. Add to that, prior to this decision, I spent years buying stuff for nieces, nephews, step-nieces, etc. well into their 20's).

I don't have kids, and am old enough that I never will. So, I've turned into the toy ATM machine.....except nobody ever deposits anything into the ATM. I'm not asking for tons of lavish gifts. I simply think it would be nice if each adult drew from a hat and got 1 person a gift, and at a preset dollar limit. Something crafty? I'd love it!!!!! Get a box of inexpensive Christmas tree ornaments, and add some unique decorations that reflect the person you're giving them to. Can you bake? While you're doing your Christmas baking, make an extra dozen and give them to someone. It doesn't have to cost a ton.....I just personally think it would be nice if the adults in the family were at least acknowledged.

I guess part of it is because I like making things and giving them to my in-laws. It would just be nice to know that they appreciate me for who I am and not just as a gift giving machine for their grandkids, kids, etc. (Which, needless to say, is exactly the way I feel now.....and after the treatment I got this year, I don't care if I spend another Christmas Eve with them or not. Hubby can go, and I'll stay home. I'm the *itch either way, so might as well at least be a *itch who's having a relaxing evening instead of being picked to pieces)

Crycket
12-27-2008, 11:55 AM
This is strictly my opinion, but in regard to "Christmas being for children", I tend to disagree. I don't think there's anyone who doesn't appreciate a little "I think you're special, and I'm happy that you're a part of my life" acknowledgement.



Christmas has become some warped version of itself. I think that the massive gift giving frenzy has been mainly directed at kids....and that is what that is about. I know as I have gotten older, as well as my dad, and more to an extreme my grandma, I don't want the piles of stuff that come anymore. I would be happy with a token item or so, and even better if it is consumeable, or useable. Things like a bottle of wine, or a pair of socks...etc...Something that won't accumulate...better yet something that you can use and feel good about...unlike some presents I have received that I have to keep for many years because if I don't, the person that got it for me in the first place would feel offended.

My grandma is even more extreme as she utters every year "anything you get me, you are just going to inherit in a few years anyway"....so I have taken to getting her like angel worry stones and socks...

My mom loves xmas though...and can be just as big a kid as the rest of them...she loves to tell me not to get her anything every year, and then proceeds to give me a list to rival any 4 year olds....

It can be so complicated...there are ppl that love xmas for the tradition it has become, there are ppl that still hold it dear for its religious meaning, I guess there is something for anyone who wants...Santa for the kids, Nativity for the adults...and then there are ppl like me who just love turkey and booze....which is really all xmas means to me....drink til the relatives are funny!

I like Halloween...which seems to have been twisted as much as Xmas....it is all about the kids these days, but deep down still has a meaning... I just love to dress up, and have fun....but I haven't gone door to door since I was....16 or so...(Once we got "too old" for trick or treating, my BFF and I would go at about 8 pm, when all the little kids were likely to be done, but before ppl started turning off the lights...and we would go in a good costume - not like some of the teens today who throw on there crummiest sweatshirt and army boots and go as an emo kid.... If I wanted to go today, I would have to be accompanied by a child...and I am not really interested in being a parent...so...I guess no more trick or treats for me!) The best thing I can do now is throw a halloween party for me and my friends...and that is good...

Anyway...I guess all that was to say, the holiday is what it is in your heart! I may be the biggest Humbug at X-mas but I am the biggest 29 year old kid you will find the rest of the year round! Just cause I am not a kid anymore doesn't mean the world isn't my oyster!

gotta knit
12-27-2008, 05:56 PM
Anyway...I guess all that was to say, the holiday is what it is in your heart! I may be the biggest Humbug at X-mas but I am the biggest 29 year old kid you will find the rest of the year round! Just cause I am not a kid anymore doesn't mean the world isn't my oyster!

I'm glad you find fun at other times of the year. You don't have to love Christmas if you don't want. But it sounds like you'd like to, if you could get family to co-operate. Here's what we do, in case you want to start negotiations for next year:
Years ago, we realized that the celebrating with family was most important. Gifts are fun but secondary. We celebrate 3 'family' Christmases and I truly love them all. We take turns hosting, everybody contributes to the meal.
In 2 cases, we hang out regularly all year long, Christmas is just a little more special. The adults pick names and each family buys something for the few kids. At one of these we also do stockings for everyone. (Each family buys/makes a handful of little things for everyone else's stocking. Adds to the fun with more gifts, while keeping things inexpensive.)
The 3rd Christmas is with people who didn't speak to each other for several years. Everyone got past the estrangement once we started having our own families though and learned to respect each other's right to live our own lives. We only interact a few times per year, but honestly care for each other and are happy to catch up. It's a large group (12 adults & slightly more kids). So each kid buys a gift for 1 cousin, and each family buys one stocking stuffer for every kid. The only adults who get gifts are mom & dad.

Christmas really is what you make of it. If you don't have family who will co-operate, find your own way to enjoy it or opt out if you so choose. Good luck next year, if you try to find Christmas spirit.

Knitting_Guy
12-28-2008, 11:30 PM
Yup. Stressful, fabricated BS IMHO.

Jeremy
12-30-2008, 07:54 PM
My wife teaches in a very Hispanic town here in CT. The custom in Puerto Rico and other places is to go the church and have a nice dinner on Dec. 25th and then have the presents and hoopla on Jan 6th, Three Kings Day. (Its also a school holiday most years). They seem to do a better job at segregating the commercial aspects from the religion.

GinnyG
12-31-2008, 02:14 PM
Well, at least for those of us who don't do this season well tonight will be the last of it!! We can wake up tomorrow and put this holiday season behind us!!!

Me, I plan to start looking forward to GROUNDHOG'S day, now THERE is a holiday you can celebrate!!

miccisue
12-31-2008, 04:56 PM
Well, at least for those of us who don't do this season well tonight will be the last of it!! We can wake up tomorrow and put this holiday season behind us!!!

Me, I plan to start looking forward to GROUNDHOG'S day, now THERE is a holiday you can celebrate!!
Yeah, unless you keep waking up to the same day over and over and over and over.............

GinnyG
12-31-2008, 07:26 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:
Long as that day isn't Christmas we'll be happy!