An Introvert’s Nightmare

So I realized about half way through my day on Saturday that I completely and totally forgot I was supposed to write a blog post on Friday. I was exhausted by the time I got home from work that night and at that point everything just slipped my mind. I think I was actually in bed before 1am that night again, I think…

To be totally honest, I almost forgot about today’s post too, and since all of my time has gone to work and the holiday season, there’s not going to be any writing updates anytime soon. This post isn’t even going to remotely be about writing.

I’ve been doing that a lot this month, even last month I was doing it a lot, and it’s all because of work. I’m just so exhausted and worn out anymore that I can’t remember anything, and that I have no time for anything else.

Working in retail as a manager during this season really is an introvert’s nightmare, and it’s not even half over yet because as soon as Christmas is over, it’ll be changing the store around once more and diving into inventory.

I’m really realizing how unfair everything is right now. I had said last Tuesday that I was quite sure I would be pushing into overtime this week and probably next. (At least, I think I said that, I can’t remember anymore.) Well as it turns out thanks to being screwed over on Sunday’s shift, I definitely am going into overtime this week, and after a quick glance at next week’s schedule, I’ll be doing overtime again because I’m working six days next week.

And yet, I’m the only manager of my rank who’s pulling those kind of hours. Sure, the freight crew manager is pulling their own weight right now and then some, just as I am. Yet there’s still another who should be getting a share of what I’m having to carry with the general and assistant manager but refuses to work that much and those kind of hours. How is that fair to me?

But I forgot, the world isn’t fair, and it never will be. So I just suck it up, do my work, and keep my mouth shut, right?

By the time Christmas gets here, I’m going to wish I could just curl up and stay home in bed the entire day. There’s no joy in this holiday anymore, not once you get into retail and deal with double the stress of the season. You add worrying about the snow, how you’re getting to and from work since you don’t drive and your ride won’t drive in it either, and all you have to do personally to be ready for the holiday on top of the retail job and suddenly you hate Christmas.

I found myself changing the lyrics of Christmas songs on our radio at work today. The assistant manager would be singing “we’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way, walking in a winter wonderland.”

Do you know what I changed it to?

“We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way, bashing in a snowman’s head today.”

I remember once last year I heard a customer yell a change of lyrics to the song Deck The Halls too. It wasn’t “deck the halls with boughs of holly”, it was “deck the halls with poison ivy”. All I remember is thinking he must know retail as I do, too.

Quite honestly, I’ve lost all cheer and happiness for this season. Now I dread Christmas. I’ve always dreaded and hated winter, but since working in retail… Now I just wish Christmas didn’t exist and that I could simply skip three months out of every year. I wish I could skip November through January. More so I wish I could skip right to the middle or end of March so that winter is over.

I don’t care what I miss in those four, five months, I just want them to be done and gone.

I lose everything during these months. There’s no personal time for anything other than working your ass off, shopping your ass off, and running around like a chicken with no head. There’s hardly time to sleep on top of that when you have to worry about getting everything done in time and shoveling a 600 foot driveway to even get to work. There’s no such thing as peace or quiet or downtime for a moment to breathe.

I can kiss everything in my life goodbye for a solid two and a half months during this time of the year. Writing, sleeping, sanity, downtime, peace of mind, energy, fun…

All of it. Just gone during those three months.

It’s nothing but stress, worry, frustration, exhaustion, and aggravation.

To put it bluntly: it fucking sucks.

As much of a Grinch as this makes me sound like, I no longer like Christmas for all those reasons. This season isn’t about giving or being with family anymore. It’s about worrying if you have money to get someone something because you have to work three measly jobs on minimum wage to make a living, it’s about worrying about the weather, it’s about stressing out and panicking and losing sleep, it’s about worrying when you’re going to have time to do anything because all you do is work to make a living that may not even be worth living in anymore.

Where’s the fun in that? Where’s the joy in it anymore?

But you know what’s even worse?

What it means for the people like me, the people that work their asses off in retail for everyone to shop and go crazy, and get absolutely nothing out of it. I may be a manager but I don’t earn any personal time off or benefits or sick days, because I’m technically part time. That’s how this economy works anymore. So I stress myself out, and I work myself to exhaustion, and for what? To watch the bosses above me get all this vacation time and break after inventory is over so that I have to keep working my ass off to run the store even when I’m doing just as much as they are? But I get nothing except maybe a tiny bonus on my paycheck and the company calls that “good enough”.

How is that fair?

You know, it’s funny how the ones who work the hardest and willingly put in the hours because they know it’s their responsibility to step up get nothing in return and always end up with the short end of the stick, because they’re taken for granted and passed over.

So yes, Christmas is this introvert’s living nightmare from which there’s no waking for three months, and it’s sad when the things you want for Christmas now compared to when you were younger are no longer things that can be bought, and are things you know you’re not going to get.

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