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Re Porter - Be kind when you're shopping
bethany porter

December just started so that means Christmas will be here in a blink of an eye, and with it comes the crazed last-minute shoppers. 

I am an early person. I like to get places early. I like to get people’s gifts early, and I even go to bed and wake up early. 

Most people are not like me and will wait until the last minute to shop for their loved ones, and take it out on the people working when what they want to buy is sold out or unavailable. 

This holiday season, I encourage everyone to be kind to the employees of the businesses they visit. It is not their fault you waited two days before Christmas to look for a gift for your spouse. It is not their fault that you want something very specific for your sibling, but could not be bothered to buy it earlier in the month. 

A lot of retail workers dread the holiday months. Their most popular items get sold out quickly, and they face getting yelled at for not having it anymore. When I worked at the shoe store, we were open on Christmas Eve and closed at 6 p.m. A man literally walked in at 5:50 on Christmas Eve saying he HAD to get his girlfriend a pair of boots. 

Since it was a holiday most of us had places we needed to go after work or even missed out on gatherings due to working, but since this man decided to wait to the last minute to buy his girlfriend shoes, he essentially held us hostage until we finally got him to pick a pair. Don’t be like him.

My main point is, maybe this holiday season consider looking inward when you encounter a shopping problem. Instead of “I can’t believe you are sold out of this shoe!” maybe consider “I can’t believe I waited until the last possible minute to buy someone a gift they really wanted.”

It is not the employee’s fault when the hottest item of the year is sold out, so there is no reason to get angry with them. There is also no reason to wait until Christmas Eve to shop for people. If you were planning on waiting until the last minute to shop, this is your sign to not do that. It is better for everyone involved if you get a head start on it. 

Waiters also get a lot of complaints during the holidays from people unhappy with their wait time. It is not the waiter’s fault that everyone had the same idea as you to come eat at the same restaurant while shopping or visiting family. Waiters also do not get paid a lot and rely on tips, so consider spreading some holiday cheer by tipping a dollar or two more than usual. 

Christmas is all about spreading joy and giving back, and that is hard to do when you are complaining to an employee about something out of their control. Hopefully we can all remember to be nicer this Christmas. 

Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.