Tis the season...the tree is up, the advent calendar is a wreck of cardboard and empty shells where chocolate once lurked and you are ready to hit the shops armed with your Xmas shopping list. So how to successfully shop at Christmas....and this starts with the staff in the shops:
1. Pictures Speak Louder than Words. Seen the perfect gift on the Internet/in a magazine? Heading to the shops to buy it? Take a picture of it with you. This will save the awkward descriptions ("It's black with a purple trim." Really? Turns out it's pink.), the annoyance when you are greeted with a blank look by the staff member and the sense that that precious commodity,time, is slipping away. Thousands upon thousands of units of stock pass through large stores everyday and a picture of the item you are looking for will help you one step further on your quest of finding it that bit quicker.
2. Shop staff work a variety of shifts. 7-11, 9.30-5.30, 1-10pm, overnight...the list goes on. The upshot of this is that all staff don't work on the shopfloor at the same time so when you are asking for a specific item and the member of staff says 'I don't know', they actually might not know: they may work on delivery, back-of-house, payroll, and not even see the shopfloor that often. They should, however, find another staff member who can help you.
3. If they can't, look for staff members wearing ear pieces, radios, holding rotas or wearing suits. Say hello to the management team. They will help you immediately by dealing with the query themselves or finding the best possible person to help you, saving you time.
And last but not least - yes shopping during the festive season can be stressful, yes the queues can be long, yes they can sell out of the perfect gift for your Auntie Joy - but don't take it out on the person behind the till. They have feelings too.