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Working in a Retail Wonderland!
Working in a Retail Wonderland! ‘Tis the season for Santa and snowflakes, Christmas lights and Christmas cookies, reindeer and wrapping paper, and festive decorations and family traditions. It’s also the time of year when people working retail and customer service jobs (think grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, etc.) work long days to meet the needs of guests and the demands of the business. During the past few weeks, many of us have engaged in conversations with guests, frequently hearing comments like “I hope you get done working soon so you can spend time with your family!”, “Do you ever get a holiday off?”, and “You must have drawn the short stick to get scheduled today!” While we might be thinking “I just need to make it through the next 2 weeks, than I can relax!”, we do enjoy the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and we are here because we truly enjoy what we do. During the holidays, we not only look forward to spending time with our immediate families, but also with our “Festival” family! As many of you know, the holidays can be a stressful time of year, and we believe it is so important to have fun and support each other when we are together. In fact, two of our business mottos are “Have fun!” and “Have each other’s backs!” I recently polled the Front End team and asked a simple question: “What do you love most about working during the holidays?” The responses below proved that we all love what we do and truly couldn’t imagine Christmas without our favorite guests and our front end team! I enjoy seeing random acts of kindness from our guests such as paying for someone else's groceries or bringing in presents for Toys for Tots or other worthy causes.  I also love having different groups come and sing/play instruments.  Finally, I love all of our beautiful decorations especially this year since our store invested in new decorations and our store looks amazing!  I secretly enjoy hearing every Christmas song! – Kristin, Oshkosh - Front End Manager   I did have a guest tell me that they felt bad that I was working on Thanksgiving.  This was actually on Thanksgiving Day and when talking with the guest I explained that I enjoyed being there to make sure that everyone was having a great Thanksgiving.  If we were not open how many tables would be missing that something special that they bought at Festival.  I did also let them know that our dinner was later in the day and that I would not be missing out on the festivities with my family. – Emily, DePere - Front End Manager   I love the big holiday orders and the fast-paced shifts. Our team likes to play a little game to see who gets the largest order each day, both in the number of carts and the total on the bill. Every day feels like beating a tough level of a game! I eagerly look forward to the days when we have live music, whether it’s the Male Chorus, a volunteer with their instrument, or carolers ringing the bells! It’s neat to see the special orders people pick up. We have beautiful cookies, incredible floral arrangements, fancy gift baskets, and clever snack trays pass through that are fun to see. – Amanda, Eau Claire - Asst. Front End Manager   What I LOVE most about the upcoming Holiday season is the “Relationships” that we build with our guests. I enjoy the hustle and bustle, but the guests are what truly make it for me! I love watching them come in with their small children who we have known since birth! I love how the guests will ask you what you are doing for the Holiday’s… they truly care! I love how the parents of the kids we have hired come in and thank us for all WE have done for their families and how Festival has fostered them. Made them feel like this is a second home!  And lastly I LOVE the team I work with! They make each day enjoyable and special to be here! The Festy Family is truly my second family :) Happy holiday’s Everyone!! – Lisa, Holmen - Front End Manager   I am sure to give a special hug to those who have lost loved ones in the past year knowing they will have an especially difficult time during this time of year. – Sis, Eau Claire - Front End Manager   My favorite day to work is Christmas Eve it seems like on that day everyone is in good spirits and I like the hustle and bustle of the craziness. Guests on that day seem to appreciate those of us that are working.  – Peggy, Marshfield - Front End Manager   I look forward to the “crazy busy” feeling every year! This year our team is wearing pedometers to see how many steps we take each day, and during the past couple weeks some of us have been close to 14,000 steps by the end of our shift! I also get excited for all our college employees to come back for a few weeks, and I love hearing from guests what their Christmas plans are. And, of course, seeing the store completely decorated for Christmas is the best! – Katherine, Darboy - Front End Manager   The thing I Love most about this time of year is all the craziness and the store being really busy. It actually pumps my adrenalin up the busier we get. Which results in one Crazy Front End manager sharing my energy with my team and getting them pumped up as well as our guests, making sure no one is snapping and associates are having fun during a really busy time. – Joe, Sheboygan - Front End Manager   I tend to thrive on craziness!  In the midst of all the madness that comes to the front end during this season, I feel it is also the time I see my team band together more.  Everyone knows they have to step up their game just a bit more so that we are taking care of our guests because they have a lot to do too. It makes me proud to see such camaraderie among my associates. Festival is my second family, and if I am not at home there is no other place I would rather be.  I wear my title as "Festy Mom" with pride.  :) – Bardine, Fond du Lac - Front End Manager   Our favorite thing about the business is when every register is open and our role changes a bit. Since we can't open more registers we like facilitating traffic, asking about people's plans, helping people find things and bagging for guests. People are looking for items they don't usually shop for and it feels good to be able to help them find those oddball items. They really appreciate that type of service around the holidays and it is a really fun time to help them with those things :) – Amanda, Manitowoc - Front End Manager   What I like about the holidays…………..Our Festival team is our extended family :)  I love visiting the stores and seeing how the associate express their “holiday” cheer through our holiday hats or special attire days.  I also enjoy helping our guests with the little things that can make a busy and sometime stressful day just a little bit brighter!  I truly love what I do!!! –Tracy, Front End Operations Director   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Front End team! Holiday hours
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