‘Tis the Christmas season, the craziest time in two of my workplaces, in school and in retail

I just finished writing my final exams late last week. I’m really glad that my exams are spread out and scheduled at the beginning of the exam period so I can finally have some rest for the last few weeks of December. Or so I thought.

Here at my desk, there are still a few research projects that I am working on and I’m hoping that I can get much of it done within the next week. Just this morning, my department also just had a meeting with Marketing to look into the progress of our re-branding for our department and there had been really good progress so far. I’m looking forward to our new logo being finalized so that I can continue with the outreach projects that are already lined up for the New Year.

Apart from this job, which in my mind is classified as “school activity”, I also am still working part-time at Future Shop cell phone department. It’s more of a necessity than preference because unfortunately I do need to have more financial resources than what the SU provides in my paycheck to meet my needs.

This season is the busiest time for retail. For the past few years that I’m working at Future Shop I usually work full time whenever I’m not in school. The pay is great once you learn the ropes of competitive commission sales. Several times now during the past few months my managers there keep on asking me if and when I will be able to work more days and hours since “they miss me” and I do a decent job there. Whenever one of them do say that, I always respond in a jokingly manner:

“Awww man, I’d love to, but I have a year-long agreement with them (Students Union)! And besides, I learn things there that I will never learn from here.”

And that is totally not far from the truth.

There are of course many skills that I have gained from working in retail such a customer service skills, conflict resolution and communication skills especially on the telephone. That is on top of learning how to stand for hours at a time. Here at the Students Union I learned how to continue working while sitting for the same time without being restless! Well, there’s more than that. My professional writing has improved significantly due to the fact that I write documents and reports more often that what is required in my classes. I had an opportunity to learn how fellow students participate and contribute in the university experience of their peers either through representing them, providing services or influencing decision makers. I also managed to discover more events and activities on campus that I haven’t noticed before. Once I come back in January, I will definitely watch some of the AntiFreeze events!

Well, I better get back to writing my report. I’m not looking forward to working on Boxing Day but the next new days off after that would be nice. Thanks Students’ Union.

-Giselle

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