Spent: £5.70 bus fare, £4.55 ebay postage
Hours worked at Waterstones: 8.5
Applications: 0
Interview invitations: 1

There is something very involving about working retail in the festive season. The build up to Christmas is so exciting on shop floor, and leaving work to wait for the bus in the glow of seasonal lights, golden warmth spilling onto the pavement from decorated shop windows forming a stark contrast to the bitter chill that leaves your breath hanging in the air, fills me with a sort of nostalgia. Probably because, from my first weekend job at 16 until I was 25, I worked every festive season right up to Christmas Eve.

The last couple of Christmases I’ve struggled to get in the holiday spirit. Two years ago this was for obvious reasons, but then last year I felt… lonely – like that old familiar warmth was going on around and without me. I’ve always been a Christmas lover, and had high hopes that this year would allow me to tap back into the joy. But, when we were made redundant two weeks ago I gave up all hope of having a jolly holiday for the third year running – it just felt that maybe it was my turn to miss out on the magic for a while.

Then I started working at Waterstones again. This morning we had staff training to prepare us for the Christmas rush. Throughout the day I helped one man find a book for his comedy-loving son, another find the “union flag” book his Dad wanted, a couple of women find something for a Pullman/Paolini-loving, voracious 14 year-old reader (Garth Nix – his praises are never sung loudly enough) and an older lady find a spoken word CD to send to her nephew in America. A regular asked for a pen and paper then proceeded to peruse the store writing down his Christmas list by ISBN. And endless people bought the Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas-themed gift cards for those they just weren’t sure exactly how to please. So many people are buying gifts already, you cannot help but get caught up in it if your helping them to choose!

So, I guess this is the ‘verse’s way of throwing me a bone, helping me to get some of the old sparkle back. And I’m grateful for it! I don’t know, maybe being made redundant right now is my break, a little holiday, a chance to get into the season in a way I wouldn’t otherwise give myself time for. It’s been a hard slog this year, and I’ve felt like I’ve been on a treadmill a lot of the time. Maybe the ‘verse decided I needed some R&R – and now I get a couple of weeks of free-wheeling to recharge!

(Also, getting in the Christmas spirit I set up my own wish list on the Waterstones website. Because there’s nothing worse than working with books you’re dying to own ALL DAY but can’t afford to buy!)

On another topic, the company I couldn’t interview with today have invited me for interview next Monday. So, y’know, that’s good news! 😀


12 thoughts on “Unseasonal

  1. Well, at least you know that they must really want to see you, if they’re willing to arrange another date! Fingers crossed!

    I always LOVED waterstones at Christmas. Christmas in a jewellery shop just doesn’t have that buzz. I can honestly say, I’m jealous.

  2. Caroline I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and have read from start to finish whilst keeping an eye on my small son who had swine flu……this is the first time I have felt compelled to comment!! I think we all have a couple of years where nothing seems to be right at Christmas but then something just clicks and it feels wonderful again….I am hoping you have found your Christmas Mojo in plentiful supply via Waterstones!

  3. Good news on the interview – that is very positive and speaks much better of the place than their attititude before. I hope it goes well! It’s good to see that you are feeling more positive – looking at this time as a chance to rest and reevaluate is a really good idea and I’m sure that the break will do you good! x

  4. I am so with you on the unseasonal thing! For similar reasons last Christmas was pretty much unbearable for me, I’m not sure that lonely even covers it – I remember just wanted to curl up under the covers until the whole thing passed me by. It seemed to me that the whole world was revelling in the festivities when it was all I could do to keep it together.

    I have my fingers crossed for a wonderful Christmas this year though – I’m sure the usual pangs will raise their ugly head for the briefest of moments, but I know I have plans, and people and a Christmas to look forward to this year, so I think the ‘verse has thrown me the same bone lovely!

    Congrats on the interview too sweets 🙂
    A x

    • Hey lady,

      Aww hon, I know exactly what you mean, and I know how incredibly you’ve done to come out of the other side of it. And I know, too, that it’s our turn this year – yes, the pangs will rise again, but we both have people to care about and things to look forward to. It’s our turn!

      Thanks honey xx

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