Spent: £5.70 bus fare, £4.55 ebay postage
Hours worked at Waterstones: 8.5
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! 😀