Be Nice To Essential Workers, By An Essential Worker

The last person I checked out was a woman with a little daughter in tow. Her daughter reminded me of myself when I was young because she told her mother, “don’t call anyone else sweetie because I’m your daughter” and that put a smile on my face behind the mask. It was a genuine smile, even after I told a “gentleman” that I couldn’t cash him out because I was going on break and he unnecessarily retaliated with, “you couldn’t tell me that five minutes ago?”

I’ve been working at Dollar Tree for six months, and I don’t know why I’m still surprised at the fact people can be so rude to essential workers.

I’ve had to deal with conflicts between customers, people throwing their tape at me, and getting in my face to ask if there’s rubbing alcohol even when they don’t have a mask on. One of my managers actually answered a call of complaint from someone who left my line because he had two food items and there was someone in front of him with supposedly “100 things.” No, that was not the case, so stop. He reportedly said, “I’m in law school, so you’re going to have to please me in the future.” I’m in graduate school, too, just trying to earn some money in my bank account and for some people at my store, this is their only job. Everyone’s different, but no one is more important than the other.

Retail obviously isn’t my dream job, but I now get all of the horror stories behind the ones I’ve heard from various acquaintances.

The public needs to know that we, essential workers, are not only trying to make some sort of living but we are doing our best to meet your needs, as well. We have stockers who make the store look at least somewhat aesthetically pleasing, or at least neat. And us, cashiers, ring out your items just so you can have them. On top of that, we have to abide by rules that we have to 100% be cognizant of to sustain the business environment.

But to the woman who comes in periodically and says, “thank you for what you do,” we not only need more of that empathy but we also need more people saying that. We’re not fishing for compliments, here. We, retail workers, are just like you, except we’re behind the register with that plastic glass separating us to avoid germs.

And for Pete’s sake, wear your mask.

If you like this article, check out : https://www.harnessmagazine.com/covid-stole-my-job-and-gave-me-an-identity/

by aprilfederico

April Federico is a Rhode Island-based content creator, creative writer, editor, and social media guru. She has been a digital and social content creator since 2018. She studied Creative Writing and Visual Arts at Roger Williams University and is currently attending Emerson College for its M.A. in Publishing and Writing. She hopes to one day go into magazine publishing.