Last week, the Whitchurch Herald took a look at some of the bushiness in the town who are at their busiest in the build up to Christmas Day.
Now reporter Harry Wright gives a first-hand experience of what it was like to work over the festive period as a McDonald’s member of staff...
Christmas is a stressful time of the year for most people. December itself is tough on the wallet, and finding the time to purchase everyone’s presents can be a challenge.
Along with that you have to remember Christmas cards for everybody, and Christmas Day itself can be a real nightmare.
Spending all day prepping the dinner, hoping everything goes to plan and inevitably having a big family row is part and parcel of the festive period for some, but not all, obviously..
But for the staff at Whitchurch McDonald’s, Christmas can be especially hard work. I worked at the restaurant on the A41 from October of 2016 and have worked a Christmas at the restaurant.
Balancing my time between university and work is tough, but in a weird sort of way having the Christmas holidays means I have my free time back.
But I can imagine that for a lot of staff here, Christmas is tougher than normal. Typically Christmas is one of the quietest parts of the year for us, and a lot of days you can tell.
With the snow early last month, I was reminded how the weather can affect things though. As is always the case in the UK, the first sign of snow meant that all the schools closed, and everybody says they can’t make it.
This might have lead to stress, but fortunately the masses stayed away, and the days passed without incident, but also, the schools breaking up can be tough on the restaurant and the crew.
It’s not just me that works at McDonald’s though. The restaurant employs around 80 people, many of which work full time.
Silvia Huxley is one of the lobby ladies at McDonald’s, and it’s her job to keep the public areas looking spotless. Silvia enjoys working the Christmas period, saying: “It’s really good fun because you can wear your Christmas jumpers and that makes the customers’ day.”
“A lot of staff that are at university come back for Christmas, and it’s nice to see all the girls back; you need to do a lot of catching up.”
For some staff though, this is their first Christmas at the store.
Megan Cank joined McDonald’s earlier this year, so was yet to experience the trials and tribulations of December.
“It can be quite stressful, it’s obviously very busy, but I don’t think it’s much different to any other time of year,” she said.
Hattie Williams has worked at McDonald’s since last year, so for her working over Christmas is not a new thing. But she knows that working as part of a team is a crucial way to get through the period.
She added: “I think it’s really exciting, getting to work as part of a team. It gets you into the spirit of things. It’s fun helping the customers, and I enjoy it.”
So all in all, it’s not too bad working over Christmas. I personally think the summer is worse, as when the weather is good everyone floods to the store.
The squeeze on your time and your wallet isn’t much fun, but for the most part it’s not a bad experience.