This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Working in the service industry is remarkably stressful. From dealing with regular duties to putting up with Shoppers all day, decompression is an absolute must. If you do a search for the hashtag “retailproblems”, you’ll get a good idea of the kind of crap we have to put up with on a daily basis. It’s staggering how terrible people can be without giving a damn about anyone else but themselves.
So, relaxation is of utmost importance. Unwinding is critical. Venting is a necessity. Every now and then, you hear comments complaining about how all we do is bitch on Twitter. There’s a phenomenal reason for this: If we said out loud half the things we tweeted about, we’d be fired in a heartbeat. We can be treated like shit, but we can’t return the favor. Fun double standard, isn’t it.
Anyway, when I clock out and pull into my driveway, the first thing I do is change clothes. You’d be surprised just how much that alone can help. Next step, I get out the booze. Usually, it’s a beer (being summer, my current favorite is Lienenkugel’s Summer Shandy), a scotch and soda (yes, I’m secretly an 80 year-old man), or an Arnold Palmer (yes, of course, with vodka; don’t be stupid). After that, I grab a book, followed immediately by my hammock. I then park myself in said hammock and the rest of the world can fade away.
Now, I don’t do this every night, or as often as I’d like, for that matter, but I at least do one or two of these things every night. Finding activities that you enjoy that boost your well being are as important as eating and breathing, because if you can’t let off that steam, you will explode, and it will not be pretty. You don’t want to be the one who ends up on local news for yelling at and strangling a Shopper.
Regardless of how you do it, just take the advice of Jimmy Buffett: Close the world at five and go away. How do you unwind after a hard day?
-The Retail Explorer