Essential Tips from an Essential Employee

During this pandemic, I’ve been working two jobs, one at a Whole Foods and the other at Veggie Grill. I know that might sound a little nuts, but someone has to keep the country running haha!

No, actually, I’m working because I just got my own place, am totally independent for the first time in my life , and am trying to save up a bunch of money for the future. Anyway, at both of my jobs, I’ve noticed some things that people do which make no sense, and can even make things more difficult and even dangerous for all of us during this time.  So, I came up with a short list to help us all.

  1. Be Aware

Now is the time to REALLY  pay attention, especially when entering a place of business. I’ve noticed at both of my jobs that posted signs will sometimes get completely ignored. That is not a good thing. It’s very important to notice these things because most of the time, these signs are for the safety of both the customers and the employees. For instance, at Veggie Grill there is a  sign posted on the back door that says, “Please use the front door”. I mean, it is at eye level and everything. Yet, some people still will try and come through the back door, and then seem to get mad when it won’t open! Crazy, right?

There’s similiar craziness at Whole Foods.  Clearly visible signs are posted directing people to the carts which have been sanitized, but I still get people who don’t pay attention to those signs and will ask me which ones are clean. Or worse, they will try to grab one of the dirty ones without realizing what they are doing. After seeing this too many times again I want to yell at them, READ THE SIGN!!! So please, when you enter a business during this time, look for posted signs, read them, and adhere to them. One other reason signs are so helpful is because with everyone wearing face masks, communicating can be difficult.  Sometimes we are not physically close enough to each other to understand what we are trying to say, and/or there is a barrier between us, which also makes it difficult. So read the signs and follow what they say.  Make sure to pay attention to them. It really helps.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Space

At both of my jobs, I see a lot of people throughout the day and most of the time, people are great about keeping their distance from us. Sure, sometimes it’s unavoidable to get close to someone and I get that, but as much as possible, please respect the 6 foot rule. As I said before, I see a lot of people through out the day and if everyone is getting close to myself and my coworkers, that exposes all of  us to potential harm. That, in turn may then expose many others, who we later come in contact with, to potential harm.  I was in a drugstore last week a cashier told a customer who was clearly about 2 feet away from the customer in front of her/him to please back up and respect the six foot rule. The customer became irate and responded angrily to the cashier. This was not the way to handle that. Maybe the customer was having a bad day, who knows? But, going off on the cashier was still wrong on every level. Please just rememer to be mindlful of your space, and if you ever do step out of line and are reminded to get back in line, please do not take it personally. Just do what needs to be done to keep yourself and all those around you safe.

3. Be Kind

Most customers during this time have been incredibly kind and thankful to myself and my co-workers. It warms my heart when people tell me how thankful they are that we’re all working through the pandemic.. Don’t be afraid to share your gratitude for the people who are still working. It really does lift us up. I had one customer who insisted on giving me a $20.00 personal tip. I told him that it was not necessary, but he insisted. He said it was for my lunch one day because he wanted to thank me for my work. It made my day!

In that same vain, please be kind to yourself and others as well! We are all having a hard time with this, that is no secret, but it’s important to remember that in order to get through this, we are going to have to do it together. Even if you’re one of those people who thinks that this whole thing is fake, understand that the rules that are in place are not because the employees or the organization want to make your life more miserable, they are set in place so we can all be safer and get through this as soon as possible.  

Above all else, please do whatever it takes to keep yourself sane and healthy! I’ll be honest, I’ve been having a hard time maintaining a positive attitude, but I know in my heart of hearts that everything will be okay and that’s what keeps me going. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you soon!

-Gianna

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