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6 things you’ll only know if you work in retail on Boxing Day


6 things you'll only know if you work in retail on Boxing Day
Did someone mention hell on earth? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Christmas is officially over for another year – how upsetting.

But, fear not – because while everyone else is recovering from a joyous day of food, drink, and presents, as a retail worker, you’ll be up early to endure a nightmare commute, in the freezing cold, to serve ungrateful shoppers hellbent on ruining your day.

Different from having to work Christmas Eve (which by definition is still deeply unpleasant), Boxing Day comes with its own unique set of unsavoury scenarios to test your sanity.

Seeing double?

Retailers vary but, as per a few years ago at least, you knew you were in for a monetary treat in the shape of double or – wait for it – even triple pay on Boxing Day.

Those were crazy times. Sadly, most retailers in 2017 will have likely stripped it all away. So bog standard pay for you then.

I recall one clothes retailer I worked for who, in a daft hope of keeping up attendance, threatened to scrap anyone’s Boxing Day double pay if they’d had a sick day in the lead up to Christmas. Suffice to say it didn’t go down well.

Point is: remember the good old days when it was worth working on one of the worst days of the year?

The returns rush

Typically, Boxing Day seems to be when people, distraught over their unwanted gifts, flock to the shops to return them.

It’s surprising just how many people race out to exchange or return items relatives have given them, as if there’s absolutely no way they can wait until Christmas is over.

With this in mind, there’ll be a stream of people wanting to return stuff, often without a receipt, which is super handy.

christmas shopping
(Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

Dirty floor

Often around the festive period, the weather isn’t too grand in Blighty. It’s obviously cold, often raining, and sometimes, on a rare occasion, snowing. Not to mention people will walk in any old rubbish and not care about bringing it onto the shop floor.

Six or seven years ago when it snowed heavily, the country was thrown into chaos.

And guess what happened on Boxing Day when hundreds of customers traipsed in and out of shops as snow melted?

A horrendous, slippery sludge was walked in, rendering the floor a paddling pool of dirty snow, meaning you became a caretaker for the afternoon with a mop and bucket. Fun times.


No matter what it is, people go mad for a sale. This means that it’s going to be rammed with people desperately searching for a good deal on, well, pretty much anything.

Brits love a bargain, no matter what the hell it is, or if they need it.

More: Fashion

Absolute carnage

Possibly the worst thing about working Boxing Day is the moment the shop shuts.

Not only have you been frantically tidying every few minutes after inconsiderate types chuck items anywhere and everywhere, but once the doors lock, there’s impending dread over the state of the shop in its apocalypse-like aftermath.

Rather than breathing a sigh of relief and going home to weep into a selection box, you’ll have to stay for what seems like an eternity to clean and tidy the whole damn place.

Good mood is gone

Just in case that Christmas comedown hasn’t kicked in already, it well and truly will have within 20 minutes of your 6-hour shift.

After Christmas Day’s drinking and eating until your heart’s content, there’s nothing worse than having to be on your feet for the day, when all you need is a lie down to recover.

And it’s all downhill from here because New Year is even more of a strain on your sanity. All the best.

MORE: Shops SHOULD stay open on Boxing Day – and this is why

MORE: 5 reasons why retail workers deserve to have Boxing Day off

MORE: The John Lewis effect: How they created the Christmas advert phenomenon we know and love

Original Article

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