Working at any grocery store can and will dwindle your life spirit. Anything related to the customer service field will do that to you. I would know. I worked in the industry for five years.
Not to toot my own horn, but I was great at what I did. But none of that mattered when the pandemic hit. It ruined everyone’s lives. People had to stay home bored out of their minds, watching Netflix and Hulu aimlessly… oh wait, that doesn’t sound terrible, right? Grocery store workers did not have that luxury.
We couldn’t isolate, couldn’t relax, meditate, none of that. Instead, we grew anxious every day one of us would fall ill with the virus. I remember, before the lockdown, I came in with a yellow face mask. Only a few people wore masks initially, and it wasn’t until one particular Friday that everything went to Hell.
There aren’t so many grocery store stories out there, but here are a few so you can get your mind in the same mind space as these essential workers.
Do you want to know how all this went down firsthand? Take, for instance, Daniel. In this novel, we meet a guy on his first day on the job. Which also so happens to be the first day of lockdown. I can’t imagine that turmoil. Your first worry should be about how you bag groceries, not if you’ll get sick!
This story lets you in on the actual problems an essential worker faces. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you are new on the job. Step into his psyche to understand the trauma one faces when dealing with the pandemic amidst the public and not being able to quarantine in peace.
I can only tell you my experience, but if you want to see actual evidence on how to run a grocery store, take a peek at this story. Benjamin Lorr will tell you the ins and outs of running the grocery store with factual evidence. His focal study is from our beloved Trader Joe’s.
Supermarket by Logic
For a more comedic outlook, we have fellow rapper Logic, who tells us a story about Flynn and his misadventures working at a supermarket. It’s a little spooky, a slice of life, with a mixture of dark comedy. Sounds like my life in the front lines. This story takes place pre-covid, though, so life was slightly different then.
Sadly there aren’t many workers that share their experiences. My only answer is they’re still living in post-pandemic shopping. Yes, the numbers have fallen, but people are still getting affected by the virus. All I can tell you was my experience when I was in the trenches.
I kept telling myself things would cool off tomorrow. I was wrong. So very wrong. There were lines outside the store that Saturday morning. The store I worked at was relatively small, so we usually only had regular customers come in, but at this point, half the city was coming in and out of the store.
By Sunday, my boss stood in front of the entrance, shouting to the line that entered, “No bread, no water, no toilet paper. We are all out!” Some customers would turn around and leave, while others would endure whatever madness that was inside these four walls. At this point, half-hour lunches with no breaks became the norm.
For that entire weekend, I worked in the dairy department. That place was ripped shreds, but there was no such thing as departments anymore; we all combined and conquered the shelves. We, the essential workers, were in this together. We had to be to make it through the day.
It was as if the Fourth of July weekend, Thanksgiving, New Years, Christmas, Easter, and the Superbowl decided to land on one horrible day. Instead of the alcohol flying off the shelves, it was the water and the toilet paper. I remember thinking, this is it. The world is about to end.
I was a stocker. My job at the time was filling water, beer, soda, and ice. Needless to say, everything was ripped into specks, and all I had to do was bag. Bag. Bag. Bag. Keep bagging. Keep moving. Don’t stop. Never stop. We went on autopilot. It was 9:00 pm when my shift ended. But alas, I stayed over time, about an hour and a half. Everyone did, so there was no complaining until after it ended. All I can remember was my feet felt like they were bleeding.
I was promoted during this fatal time. I had to learn quicker than most because there wasn’t time to train cashiers. Here are the produce codes. Learn as you go, and I did. I wanted to help out as best as I could. I didn’t know when this fever dream would end. The reality was this was only the beginning.
So how exactly shall we celebrate these essential workers? Go to your local market, and say thank you for their hard work. That’s it. It works wonders when you give recognition to grocery store workers. Anyone associated with customer service deserves everything they desire, especially if they worked during the trying time of 2020.
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