Christmas preparations can be stressful at the best of times, and this year we can only assume it’ll be worse.
The good parts like busy Christmas markets, children’s plays and gathering with friends are likely to be prohibited, and the essentials such as food and gift shopping are going to be awkward.
So, if you do get grumpy, fantastic… get constructively-grumpy!
The main lesson here is that the current way of life is new to everyone, and we’re all learning as we go and bound to be making mistakes along the way.
So, if you’re shopping for groceries, and get annoyed that someone is breathing down the back of your neck, or the sanitiser has run out, ask yourself whether your workplace makes staff and customer feel secure.
If you try 'click and collect', and find it frustrating that the shop isn’t open before or after the school run, think if you are open all hours. If a shop is busy due to lack of staff, ask yourself if you have any staff off that could be working.
Have you arrived at a shop only to find them shut, or phoned someone up and keep getting voicemail? Well, this applies to all businesses, do you make it clear on your website and social media what your special terms are? Do you list opening hours and explain that people are working from home?
If you are fed up with physical shops and move online, pay careful attention to what annoys you. Slow loading times are a big one, lack of information on products, hidden contact details, difficulty on filtering (narrowing down) of products or services, websites not working well on mobile phones, the list goes on.
This isn’t just focussed on retail either. I have tried to buy a few things recently and needed to talk to someone, and have been diverted to voicemail, or sent to someone's mobile with no reception.
Imagine your potential customers are grumpier than you, put yourself in their shoes and see what would annoy you. This is quite a hard thing to do, but what a fantastic opportunity we now have this December with everything more different, restrictive and stressful than ever.
On a positive note, don’t forget that most people and businesses are trying their hardest, so be nice, and hope others will do the same to you.
Have a merry Christmas and a Quacky new year, the Webbed Feet team.