In participation with the A to Z Blog Challenge for 2016, I’m posting about how to survive retail life with a smile, in an A to Z theme. We’ll post every day during April, except Sunday’s – when we all get time off for good behavior.
I hope you enjoy these posts about customer service with a smile. Check out some of the awesome blogs that are participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. There’s over 1700 blogs participating in the challenge, so I’m sure you’ll find some treasures in there.
A: AFFIRMATIONS TO SURVIVE RETAIL
“That’s IT. I’m leaving retail. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!”
Those were the words I uttered – almost a year ago. And then, there I was, looking at aisles filled up with Christmas merchandise that we’d been receiving for the last four months. Our extended holiday hours started the next week. I was still working retail, despite the courageous statement I’d made at the end of the last Christmas season.
I couldn’t quit yet.
I was locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours (some 12 to 14 hour days), the frenzied work schedule (too much to do and not enough time), a new manager that pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with harried, stressed and irritable shoppers.
Our co-manager had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us, and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow out as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”
Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of: ‘yeah, yeah’ – or ‘right!’ (Said with prerequisite sarcastic tone). Sometimes he was met with stony silence. Often, many of us wanted to take that ‘every day’s a good day’ and whomp him upside of the head with it.
Until the day I left for home and screamed at the top of my lungs for the first two miles. I felt calmer. I was also hoarse for the next two days.
Something had to change.
I started listening to words I told myself.
I’m too old for this.
I’m too tired for this.
I’ll never make it through Christmas.
I can’t keep going like this.
I don’t have the energy or the resources to deal with this.
I realized how negative the words I spoke silently to myself were. My body was only doing what I kept telling it to do.
The first change I made was in response my manger’s morning greeting, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive, spoken words.
Next, I made a list of affirmations – positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day.
I fly through this Christmas season with ease.
My energy levels are higher than ever.
I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.
I complete my tasks easily and quickly.
I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.
This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.
I didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to retain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.
Did consistently using these affirmations make every day perfect? No. There were still moments of aggravation that would creep into the day. There were still days where survival was the only goal. But … the days were better. Some days were great. And, here we are moving towards the end of January. I survived the holiday season. I am still sane. I didn’t commit homicide. While very glad that the frenzied days are behind us, I ended the season less frazzled than ever before.
Now I need to change up the affirmations to get me through this next week – inventory week!