no sleep ’til christmas.


this tired penguin duo is not unlike the first two people i met out in the world today

stopped by the store at 9am

for a simple return

 on my way to the rest of my day

the only other human i saw

 was a slow-moving young employee

who began our encounter

by telling me he was sorry

for accidentally spraying a lot of cologne on himself

when mistaking the top of a bottle for the bottom

 shared that he was really tired

 worked until 11pm, closed the store at 12am

came in early at 6am, opened the store at 7am

 in between

he drove home, ate, calmed down,

 tried to get a few hours of sleep in

(no time for a shower, maybe explains his ill-fated cologne mishap)

we talked about how busy it would be as the day continued

when another employee arrived

  who began her conversation with him by saying:

“don’t even talk to me, i’m going on break.”

his not unexpected response:

“but, you just got here.”

she quickly shot back a:

“i told you to not even talk to me”

when i left i thanked him for working

knowing they both

still had a very long day ahead.

“i finally got 8 hours, of sleep. it took me 4 days, but whatever.”

-author unknown

66 responses »

  1. Those poor retail workers. This season is so hard on them. Not only because of long hours, but because of terrible customers.

    My son is working at GameStop and found out he works Christmas Eve. He thought I’d be mad because he couldn’t come over. I told him I understood. Retail work is similar to radio. I did many live shows on Christmas Eve and Christmas before the technology allowed for recording prior.

    I always try to be pleasant to those in retail. I can’t imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • it is so hard, and with low pay and testy customers, it must be incredibly challenging. when I was a waitress, I often had to work horrible hours and holidays, and even then, people were not always the kindest.


  2. One of the things I do in retail stores where it’s obviously busy is wait my turn in line, then whisper softly to the person ready to wait on me words like, “I’m going to move my mouth for the next minute but not say anything, only look like I’m speaking. Take that 60 seconds and inhale and exhale slowly so you can fill your body with oxygen.” And then I do exactly that! I do something similar when I’ve been on hold for a while waiting for my turn to speak with a customer representative, telling them to please stop and take a few deep breaths, a sip or two of the beverage nearby if they have one, and then roll their head around on their neck a few times.

    I don’t lose my cool with these workers, realizing they are just a cog in the wheel of the company they work for, and when I take these extra steps, I hope they realize that they are appreciated by at least one of their customers!

    And I love that quote!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, Beth. Sleep deprivation, over work, for little pay, work often unappreciated, up against other sleep deprived, overworked customers…sigh. Jingle Bells. Bosses who are sometimes crabby. But there are are also places where the spirit is high, people are nice and happy, and then everything seems bright and fun again. We just have to be nice to each other and smile a lot. LOL The other day I was walking across the parking lot and saw a couple who looked really miserable, or mean. As I passed the woman, I said, Merry Christmas and she literally stopped, looked at me, and said, Merry Christmas. Her accent was thick. I don’t know where she was but it looked as if she just became aware that there were other people around. She was shocked. I don’t even know why I said it, but she looked so stressed and tense. I walked aways thinking, what just happened? Most people are friendly and nice, but they work hard and long hours, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a friend working in an Amazon warehouse. I’ve pulled those hours long ago and it’s just bizarre how exhausted and hypnotized a person gets and still functions knowing it will end… Thank you matters a lot in those times. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth, I wanted to comment and couldn‘t. It‘s difficult for me as WP signals me all the time that ‚sorry, they can‘t upload ‚anything‘ at all and I have to find ways to get replying to posts I love. Right now I‘m on a short holiday and I can do that on my iPad…. Meant to say THANK YOU for being kind to others. Over breakfast today I said to my grumpy seeming HH: Give me a smile! He did and I said: Thank You, you are so beautiful when you smile…. A thank you and a smile don‘t cost anything but make another person‘s day. HH isn‘t grumpy but always looks as if it had just rained on his parade. It‘s a thing that astonishes people when they find out that he ‚just‘ never learned to curve his lips upwards…. I‘m working on him for 25 years now and shall continue to make him smile until our end! EVERY worker everywhere deserves our thanks. They do work WE don‘t have to do and should be praised and thanked for at every occasion. I just now think also of restaurant employees. Always tell them how good they did their job and that you appreciate them. I told a waiter yesterday that he made our meal even better with his attention and friendliness. His eyes lit up like stars…. Just a few words and a kind thought.
    And i praise your sense to find the right quote, always! Thank you for that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • glad you are working on him smiling, it can make all the difference. ) I worked as a waitress, bartender and caterer for years while going to school, and I so appreciate these people. I never forget what hard work anyone in the service industry does, and often without a thank you. glad you made waiter’s day.

      Liked by 1 person

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