Students work over the holidays, experience heightened holiday stress


Lauren Nery

Senior Kristin Bellinghoven (left) and sophomore Abby Kendrick (right) eat lunch in the cafeteria while discussing the troubles of working during the holidays.

Lauren Nery, Editor-in-Chief

Elbow-to-elbow supermarket aisles and suburban roads glazed over with winter’s first layer of ice; the holidays are more than near, they are here. Students working in these supermarkets and restaurants during the holidays feel the increased amount of stress from their customers and fellow employees.
In 2008, the American Psychological Association conducted a poll determining that eight out of 10 Americans felt anticipated stress over the winter break. When family is home for the holiday season, stress tends to diffuse itself through the house, as well as outside of it.
Some students work at different local businesses and companies around the area and experience the second-hand stress from their customers.
Junior Leasel Piranian works at Regal Cinema and has worked during several different holidays over the course of the year.
“It’s more stressful for us because more people come in and it poses opportunity for more problems,” said Leasel.
Situations around the workplace not only get crazier as a result of the increased amount of customers, but the inherited holiday stress carried with them.
“Customers are usually more stressed,” said Leasel, “and it’s likely for them to take out their emotions on us.”
Former Coastal Edge employee, and senior Kristin Bellinghoven, described it as stressful as well, even saying employees would get fired if they could not work during the holiday.
“Working during the holidays is really really busy and stressful,” said Kristin. “We were forced to work on the holidays or we would be fired. It was called black out days.”
Senior Spencer Peeples, employee at Outback Steakhouse, also sees the stress more as on the employees rather than the customers.
“I think the environment [of the workplace] is more cheerful because the restaurant is all decorated and customers are more nice,” said Spencer. “But it’s also stressful because it’s way more busing during the holidays and the staff gets annoyed at each other.”
The stress among coworkers has even escalated to violence, as described by Spencer.
“The most interesting thing I’ve seen was that it was busy, and the cooks got into a fight,” said Spencer.
Despite the increased amount of holiday stress and the results that come with it, workers will always work the holidays with one incentive in mind: money. Most workplaces will give holiday bonuses or give their employees that work during the time of celebration more money too.
“The one thing that really makes the holidays nice is the money,” said Spencer.
The graciousness of the gift giving season is often seen in restaurants with customers leaving large tips, but can also even be seen in retail, as described by Kristin.
“One time I helped this guy as he shopped for Christmas, and he bought over 500 dollars worth of stuff and tipped me 10, even though you’re not supposed to tip people,” said Kristin.