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Customers shout at salespeople while shopping for Gschänkli

Customers shout at salespeople while shopping for Gschänkli

Christmas is approaching – everyone is running to do the last shopping and get the last gifts. This can be stressful for sales staff: the stress of Christmas is often taken away from employees.

Alejandro A.*, reader, works as a package maker in a bookstore in Bern. He has noticed that people are less friendly at Christmas time than usual.

“Everyone is shopping like crazy right now,” he tells As a salesperson, Alejandro believes you are a surface for accumulating pressure.

“Either they’re complaining about how long it’s taking, or they have 50,000 extra orders. Or they’re trying to explain to you how you should do the work,” he says annoyed.

This is not only the case at the Päckli table, but also in other retail outlets. Soon, nervous customers are exclaiming: “If a book arrives late, they get upset and scream.” The staff at the store can’t do anything about it.

The Unia union confirms this – its spokeswoman Elisabeth Fannin tells “Now, in this stressful Advent season, everyone is under pressure. And of course it is easier to take out your frustration on someone who cannot stand up for himself. Sales staff benefit a lot from this.” “

Christmas is an “important and intense” time for libraries, says Alfredo Schillero of Aurel Fuselli. “Books are a very popular Christmas gift.”

In his view, business during the Advent season is intense, but not exceptional: “There are no significant comments from our employees in the branches about particularly unusual customer behavior.”

The hectic aspects of the contemplative Christmas season are also noticeable for Loeb’s department store employees. Christmas gifts and preparations are often only made in the last week, says Beatrice Zürcher from’s human resources department. But: “We all realize that this is an important time for us.”

“We support our employees by planning their tasks accordingly and providing them with discretionary support,” Zurcher continues.

This appears to be an important step in relieving the burden on salespeople: the Unia union and its members in the retail sector also demand strict adherence to rest periods and immediate compensation for overtime.