My mom spent decades managing a group of Hallmark stores. I worked retail jobs all through high school, partway through college and for years afterward on weekends. It is hard work, not only physically, but also emotionally... especially this time of year.
1989. The Hallmark Maven, aka Boss Lady. She will crack the whip, and not in a good way.
There are more days than I care to remember that after working an 8-hour shift during the holiday season, I'd get in my car & cry on the way home from not only being yelled at by many customers, but also from the searing pain in my feet, back and every muscle. The pain was so all-encompasing and downright awful that my co-workers & I would always refer to this scene from the Stephen King movie Misery after those ass-busting shifts:
Feeling like we'd been hobbled after working retail during the holidays was more common than not.
I say the following from experience:
- The customary response to "Thank you!" is "You're welcome!"
- The appropriate follow-up after YOU bump into someone else is "Pardon me!" or "Excuse me!" or anything besides rudely grunting as you barrel through their skeletal system.
- People working during any kind of Black Friday sale are likely overworked and often times, not treated very well by shoppers. If someone goes out of their way for you or does a great job, ask for their name (if they don't have a nametag on) and let their supervisor know as soon as possible. If not that day, call or send an e-mail the next day.
Be kind, especially near the end of the business day when they've been running around like chickens with their heads cut off in order to try and keep up with the demands of shoppers. You'd be surprised how far looking someone behind the counter in the eyes and smiling at them will go.