The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

How retail workers are affected by Christmas

Daniel Solis (Created with Canva)
Lines, complaints, and many more issues are what are affecting retail workers during the festive season.

Lines, long hours, complaints, and many more; these are the many different things that retail workers deal with during Christmas season. What is really going on behind all the joyfulness and presents?

Stressful holidays and high demand creates chaos and pressure during the festive season. Retail workers are put against the pressure of chaotic checkout lines, constantly restocking, and hundreds of online orders.

In the article, “Tis the season to be exploited: retail workers face busy” written by Michael Sainato, he mentioned how retail workers are constantly being exploited.

“Daniel Olayiwola, a picker at Amazon in San Antonio, Texas, for five years and member leader with the nonprofit worker advocacy group United for Respect, said the mandatory extra overtime during peak season compounds issues workers have with productivity quotas, and fears of termination if they don’t have enough unpaid time off accrued to be able to take time off or turn down the mandatory overtime shifts,” Sainato said.

Sarai Elias, a former Target employee who has worked during the holidays, shared a stressful experience.

“I would have to assist in all the departments. Some of my responsibilities were checking guests out, stocking the floor, picking online and drive up orders,” Elias said.

Elias then went on to share how there were many popular items and promotions that caused difficulties throughout the season.

“Popular items that I always saw flying off the shelves were the microwaves, Bissell vacuums, and air fryers. The deals are usually 50-60% off and people tend to buy more than two items, and guests get upset and will complain when the app tells them that we have the item, but when they arrive, we are sold out, and every Sunday the store puts up ads and store flyers. Every Friday night, the closing team is supposed to take down all expiring ads. Sometimes they will miss an ad and the guest will think that we are still running the promotion. Our policy is to honor the price because it is an error on our end. However, the price must be reasonable and not exceed 50% off, which also causes difficulties,” Elias said.

In the article written by Diane Krebs and Melanie L. Paul titled “Retail and the Holiday Season: Top Four Areas of Employment Focus,” they explain how the holiday season burns out the retail workers who are tirelessly working.

“The holiday season brings significant stress to retail employees and, with it, the possibility of burnout and low morale. Common work causes include irregular scheduling, extra-long hours, and the feeling of not being recognized for effort and work,” Krebs and Paul said.

Ingrid Lopez, a former Walmart employee, had a similar statement and shared an experience she recalled.

“Working as a cashier and guest service clerk was very tiring during that period. I was constantly working and never truly had any downtime for myself because of the holiday shoppers,” Lopez said.

During the festive season we like to look out for deals to get, but it’s not everyday you find out there aren’t any actual deals. When you find out, it brings an uproar in complaints.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that when an item would be promoted as being on ‘sale’ it would remain the same price as before. When they discover this, they rightfully get upset. But it’s the fact that they’re so inconsiderate and yell at me as if I’m the one changing the prices that gets me irritated,” Lopez said.

Even though the workers are dealing with the endless complaints and troubles, there is still some positivity that goes around.

“It was exciting seeing what everyone was purchasing for their loved ones and hearing all their plans,” Lopez said.

Christmas is a time of joyfulness, but the challenges that are put against retail workers are endless. It’s important to be aware of the struggles that they face during the festive season, but with all these downsides retail workers still try to make light of their situation.

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About the Contributor
Daniel Solis, Social Media Manager
I like action movies and books. I like listening to different music genres. My favorite seasons are winter and fall because of the rain.