Dear Santa- Let Me Survive the Holidays. From- the Service Industry
By Christie Goodfellow
Dear Santa, Please Let Me Survive the Holidays!
Since this is the first time in about 10 years that I have not worked in the hotel, catering or restaurant industry during the holidays it’s about time that I let you in on a little secret.
Every year as a bartender I’d wish for the same thing….for you to not be a dick.
I’m sure every retail worker, server, hotel front desk attendant or customer service rep feels the same. There’s something about this merry and bright season that just makes people act like assholes.
Yes it’s true, as your bartender I’m totally responsible that your Uber driver took you way out of the way and now you’re late or that your favorite holiday dress took too long at the dry cleaner but do you have start your conversation with “It’s about time I got some service?” Nope. You don’t. Do you have to complain loudly that you can’t understand why you can’t get a table for twelve when you did not make a reservation? Are you so entitled that you think that we’re simply holding tables in case you arrive? Yes. You are that important. My mistake. Something about the stress of the holidays makes generally normal people short tempered and on edge.
Here’s what you need to understand…we’re tired.
We work long hours, weekends, holidays and often times during this season we work doubles. Yes it’s our job and we get paid (sometimes a lot if you’re a good holiday tipper) but we miss out on a lot of things.
We rarely get to attend family gatherings, shop for our loved ones or go out to eat. We’re too busy serving you or helping you find the last on sale blender or refolding the damn sweater table that you insist on trashing every twenty minutes. When the shop person asks you if you need help finding a size just say yes! It will save time in the long run and you may also get a chance to smile at someone. Santa loves people who smile.
Honestly we know the holidays are stressful. You have a million things to shop for and pick up. You have crazy in-laws that require an extra trip to Bevmo. You have to find a place where the kids seriously won’t find the gifts. We totally get it, but would it kill you to have some patience? Would it kill you to talk to us like we’re normal people and not just a mindless order taking robot? Have some leniency when it comes to the holiday rush. It’s stressful for those of us who work in the service environment to deal with grouchy people all day. Like I said in the beginning…just don’t be a dick.
Next time when your table isn’t ready have a drink at the bar and chat with someone new. You may even brighten his or her day.
When the store is out of the item you need politely say thank you for looking and take the suggestions of where else you can find it. There’s no need to snap at the people who are working so hard this holiday to try and help you.
If you’re feeling particularly friendly perhaps hold the door open for a person carrying a lot of boxes or consider sharing a large table with another family so you both can be seated.
Trust me….for those who deal with this season year after year…one less asshole would be…..a Christmas miracle.