We’re In the Trenches

It’s crazy that we’re now living through a pandemic. Yet despite the fact that people have died of the Coronavirus, some people don’t seem to be taking the threat all too seriously.

It doesn’t help that a local tattoo parlor claimed on a side via their window: “Coronavirus is a joke!”

I work retail and am part of a business that is considered “essential.” Because my store sells gas. I understand that truckers are getting supplies to customers, so that’s not my beef. What I have a problem with is the fact that our store is open. We could easily shut down the store and leave the pumps on for people outside to get what they need before they go on their way.

We are a convenience store, not a grocery store, so we technically don’t have to be open.

However, corporate won’t allow for that. Gotta get that pandemic money, I guess. The problem is, they’re not providing us with any protection either, aside from gloves. They’re not providing us with hand sanitizer or masks.

Why do we have to risk our health and our lives because corporate values profit over people?

There are some coworkers that I work with that are autoimmune compromised and some that are pregnant, and one that’s even compromised because of her diabetes and pregnant on top of that. Yet we are expected to work as if the world is going on normally. Like there isn’t some pandemic outside our windows.

If one of us gets sick, we’re all going to get it. Which is something corporate doesn’t seem to understand or care about as they all work remotely from the safety of their own homes so they don’t put their own families at risk.

They told us we could take two weeks if we wanted to, but it would come out of our vacation time. Very generous, guys.

Most of us are poor and we rely on our paychecks to pay our bills, our essentials, and to put food on the table. They know this! They’re using us as sacrificial lambs to pad their wallets.

They could do the right thing and give us paid leave which wouldn’t cost any vacation time, but of course, they cannot do that. That would require them to be human, and that’s something they have never been.

I don’t want Covid-19 or to give it to anyone I love. I don’t want to go to work, either. But I don’t have a choice — I need the money.

So I don’t want to ever hear a snide remark about those of us that work retail again. We’ve got nerve and we’ve got grit, and we get things done even when we have no idea how it’s going to work out for us. If I get sick, I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it, but what choice do I have? Apparently, America needs me in the trenches they would never dare be in.


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