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'Tis The Season To Be Jolly: The Importance Of Being Kind To Others

Christmas is in no doubt, one of the most jolliest times of the year, and I've always got myself excited whenever it is just around the corner. I love everything about Christmas - spending quality time with loved ones, eating from a cornucopia of delicious food and treats (charcuterie, Christmas pudding, roasted vegetables, etc.), unwrapping gifts from loved ones, and much more. Everyone has their own unique way of celebrating Christmas, and I respect everyone's opinions. Christmas is not only about taking, but also about giving. And it is definitely not all about material goods which makes the festive celebration an enjoyable one, but also about compassion and being nice to others.

Christmas period is known for being the busiest period for frontline workers, especially from retail, hospitality and logistics industries. Treating workers with respect, makes you a good person in reality. Photograph: cherryandbees/Adobe Stock

Remember when I mentioned at some point, that I used to work in retail for 5 years? Christmas period in this sense, was the busiest time of the year for the industry, because it is the time where a lot of people would come in and buy decorations to put around in their home, and presents for family and friends. Most customers were nice, but there were some who did not comprehend the importance of being kind to others. That being said, is towards retail workers. Not only did we have to deal with repetitive songs such as All I Want for Christmas, Santa Baby, and awful cover versions of traditional Christmas music playing on loop on the radio throughout our shifts from early November up until Christmas Day, but we also had to deal with unnecessary harassment from customers over trivial reasons.

Abusive customers, otherwise colloquially known as Karens, choose to take out their anger and frustration on someone, usually someone younger, who is being paid minimum wage to stand out as a frontline worker to provide service to the public. These customers carry out unacceptable behaviour because they themselves are either experiencing their own insecurities in their personal lives, which they'd rather not open up about, and decide to use vent out their frustration by hurting other people's feelings, just so they can feel a little bit better about themselves, or think that it is cool for them to belittle someone who happens to work for a 'inferior' occupation, as a way to boost their enormous ego. This is a form of bullying, which needs to be stopped.

Under no circumstance, is it acceptable to abuse anyone. In this aspect, retail workers are sacrificing their time to work over the public holidays, rather than spending the day celebrating with their loved ones. When the COVID-19 pandemic first started a few years ago, frontline workers experienced a major spike in receiving abusive behaviour from customers and clients, and this prompted society to educate the public about how negative the impact of such behaviour is on the mental health of workers. Most customers came to increasingly understand the concept of Zero Tolerance policies being enforced in most retail companies, however it is still not entirely understood by every single person in society. I understand that everyone has issues going on in their personal lives over time, but regardless of the situation, it is unacceptable to vent one's frustration in ways that hurt the emotions of other people who have absolutely nothing to do with them.

Some ways to prevent frustration and stress during Christmas shopping

  1. Plan ahead even if it's a few months ahead of the special time of the year, especially when it comes to buying gifts for loved ones. Pressure always builds up closer towards Christmas Day, because that is when up to thousands of other people also want to get their hands on the same items for similar reasons, hence inventory is bound to run short during this time, due to increased demand. When it comes to mailing something out to someone who lives distantly, it is important to check with the post office, when the safe deadlines are to send letters and parcels, in order to ensure that they will be delivered on time just before Christmas, because delivery services will also be running under pressure during this time of the year.

  2. If something's bothering you, vent in ways that doesn't negatively impact other people's emotions. It is understandable that life is full of ups and downs. When it comes to dealing with stress, it is normal to feel frustrated and want to express negative emotions out. But make sure that you vent your thoughts in ways that don't hurt the feelings of people who have nothing to do with your issues, and to those who are trying to help solve your enquiries. If you happen to hurt someone's feelings, saying sorry to them is a sensible and mature thing to do.

  3. Understand the fact that you will not get any service, if you do not treat workers with respect. Companies have the authority to refuse providing service, and potentially deny future entry, for customers who demonstrate abusive behaviour towards workers. This is to ensure that health and safety measures are being met, to ensure a healthy environment for workers and the general public to be in.

To sum it all up, it is paramount to treat others with respect, all year round, even if it's during a festive season or not. What goes around, comes around.


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