You make the holidays happen


It’s that time of year again. Families are gathering, presents are being wrapped, candles are being lit, and many of us will be lucky enough to spend some time sharing a good meal with our loved ones.

That means right now UFCW Local 655 partners are working harder than ever. That’s how the holidays go for the men and woman across this country working in retail, especially those working in grocery stores. Sometimes it feels like the general public might forget this fact. You’ve probably heard it before when someone says “the grocery store was PACKED” today or “it was crazy at the store!”

Sometimes they seem to forget that long lines and more customers aren’t the only things that result from the busy times. There are hard-working men and women keeping the shelves stocked and working at registers to handle those long lines.

The customers don’t always realize that the busy grocery store means longer hours for workers and more work than any other time of year. This is all for one simple reason. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: UFCW partners make the holidays happen. While I can’t wave a magic wand to make your days less stressful or your weeks a little shorter, I can say from the bottom of my heart that I know how much you’re doing right now and how much it means to the public, whether they realize it or not.

While some people spend this time of year coasting through the days and perhaps enjoying some extra time off, you’re working harder and longer to make sure those same people can enjoy this time of year.

With all that in mind, let’s try to remember a few things.

• First: breathe. You’re working harder and longer than usual and there are going to be some tough days, but it’s only work. It can sometimes feel like our jobs are our whole lives, but they aren’t. Ultimately you have more important things, whether it’s your loved ones, your goals, or just the life you live when you’re off the clock. Don’t let a tough day at work give you a tough time at home.

• Second: be safe. This time of year there is more theft. It’s a simple fact. Remember there are clear rules on how to handle theft but ultimately the most important thing to remember is that nothing at work is worth risking your safety. Your employer is insured. There’s no reason to risk your safety for something, big or small, that might be snatched away.

• Third: prioritize yourself. Remember to enjoy that time you get away from work. You might get less time this year than someone else you know, but you can still allow yourself to enjoy it all the same. Whatever family traditions you celebrate, enjoy them. Don’t mentally travel to your workplace and don’t let the happy memories slip by without seeing them.

Every year I try to remind the public to thank workers like you during this time. I remind people that a little patience or a sincere “thank you” can go a long way. Some people take the words to heart. Some people… well you’ve already had to deal with those other folks.

I can’t make this time of year easy or quiet, but I can offer my gratitude. Your work makes the lives of others a little easier. Your dedication makes me humble to work on your behalf. You make the holidays happen.

From my family to yours: have a joyous holiday season.

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