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    Working Hard: $100; Holiday Spirit: Priceless

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Holidays, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am working in the jewelry department of a big retailer. It is December 23, and my coworker has called in sick, so I am working an 8-hour shift by myself. About 5 hours in, I am ridiculously busy and have yet to take a break. Customers are lined up and getting irate.)

    Customer #1: “Oh, this is lovely. Do you think my son will like it? He’s about your age.”

    Me: “I definitely like it. And since it’s the holiday season, I can print out a gift receipt. He has until January 15 to exchange it if he doesn’t like it.”

    Customer #1: “Lovely. I’ll take this, please.”

    (I ring her up as quickly as I can, by this point I’m starving, thirsty and really have to use the bathroom. Unfortunately the line is not letting up and customers are starting to yell at me. I call upstairs and request some help from anyone. 10 or 15 minutes go by and no one shows up. By this point I’m desperate.)

    Customer #1: “About time! Hurry up and get me that pair of earrings for my wife!”

    Me: “No problem, sir. I’m so sorry for the wait, my coworker called in sick and it’s just me today. Now just so you know the earrings are non refundable for hygienic reasons.”

    Customer #1: “Fine, fine, just hurry up.”

    Customer #2: “Hey! Hurry up!”

    Me: “I’ll be right there, sir. Just a moment!”

    (I call up again for some help and again no one comes. I’m in serious pain by this point and feel very light headed. I help a few more customers when this little old lady asks for help.)

    Little old lady: “Hello, dear. It’s quite busy in here today, isn’t it?”

    Me: “Yes, it is! But, then again, that’s the holidays for you!”

    (I help this customer, who is quite pleasant and doesn’t seem to mind when customers yell across the counter at me. She even lets me go cash out the simple ones while continuing to help her. This alleviates the line quite a bit. I finish helping this customer and just as she’s about to leave a man comes to my counter visibly upset and slams his fist down on the glass counter angrily.)

    Customer #1: “YOU! HELP ME NOW!”

    (I am shaken by him slamming his hand on the desk.)

    Little old lady: “Hey! Leave her alone. She’s all by herself and trying her best! Have some holiday spirit!”

    Customer #1: “Well, I’ve been waiting a while and she’s not trying hard enough! She’s wasting time talking to people instead of helping them!”

    Me: *tearing up* “I’m really sorry, sir. I’m trying my best but I’m all alone today and I’ve yet to have a break. I keep calling for help but no one comes,.I’ll be happy to help you now though.”

    Little old lady: “I’ll be right back, dear.”

    Me: *confused* “Okay, ma’am.”

    (I help the angry customer, and he leaves a little less angry than when he got in. I’ve moved on to other customers and have forgotten about the sweet old lady. Suddenly, she comes back with the store manager!)

    Little old lady: *to the store manager* “There! Look at her! Look how hard she’s working all by herself! She’s called for help but no one shows up! Now, I think you should take over while this young lady gets a break for all her hard work!”

    Manager: “Yes ma’am, of course. I had no idea this was happening.” *to me* “Go take an hour to have your lunch. By the time you come back, I’ll have two other people with you.”

    Me: *starts to cry out of relief* “I can’t. I’m the only one who knows where everything is. And you have other things to do.”

    Little old lady: “Sweetheart, don’t worry. Go take your break!”

    Manager: “Go, I’ll be fine. We can manage an hour without you.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    Little old lady: *gives me a big hug as I’m leaving* “You have a good rest of your shift!”

    Me: “Thank you!”

    (I have my hour and come back feeling much better. The store manager is still there with two other workers, one from electronics and another from the general cash.)

    Manager: “Ah, you’re back! How was your break?”

    Me: “Great!”

    Manager: “Come to my office at the end of your shift.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (At the end of my shift, I go up to his office and he tells me what I great job I did today. He says he was sorry that I had to go through what I did but he rewards me with a 100$ store gift card. The little old lady came back a few weeks later to give me a thank you card for the great job I did that day. Goes to show that not all holiday shoppers are mean during the holiday season!)