Ashley Wilson
Posted August 21, 2020

Essential workers face off with angry customers

Grocery store workers were once touted as heroes in the beginning of COVID, but are now bearing the brunt of customer's anger and frustration. Find out why this is happening and what can you do.
Ashley Wilson
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Essential workers face off with angry customers
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When we imagine bravery we often picture someone running into a burning building to save a life. We don’t likely picture an individual who works in a grocery store. However, during COVID grocery store workers are putting themselves out there risking exposure every single day. Their work makes shopping at stores or having groceries delivered possible. Sadly, this job is not recognized as it once was.

What’s changed since the beginning of COVID

During the beginning of the pandemic, grocery store workers were considered to be essential and were greeted with things like hazard pay, raises, and recognition. Now as we are months into the pandemic grocery store workers are feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and under-appreciated. Many feel that their jobs could be cut a moment’s notice whereas at the beginning of the pandemic grocery stores were struggling to find workers to staff their places of business.

How essential workers feel

Many have expressed that work has become harder than ever before with the same pay and now added risks. For those individuals who took sick leave at the beginning of the pandemic, they no longer can afford to take unpaid time off now, even if they feel unwell. Adding to the stress, many workers say, are the new responsibilities that were added to their daily workload, including disinfecting store fixtures and enforcing social distancing and mask requirements.

What essential workers face

Many grocery store workers are faced with angry customers on a daily basis who are frustrated (or refusing) to wear their masks while they shop for 20-30 minutes where those workers are wearing their masks for an entire 8-hour shift. The customers are also angry that things are out of stock and taking out those frustrations on grocery store employees. Now, most employees report that they are screamed at multiple times a day by angry and hostile customers. The early days of the pandemic when they were heralded as heroic front-line workers seem to have disappeared.

What you can do

If you are out at the grocery store shopping wear your mask! This helps keep yourself and workers safe. Bring some hand sanitizer just in case or some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray down your cart outside before you head in. As you go through the checkout consider saying simple thank you or have a brief kind conversation. This could mean the world to someone who is in a difficult environment all day long for work. Remember to **treat others the way you would want to be treated! **These individuals are facing hazardous conditions just by showing up to work to earn money for their families.


Do you know someone who is working in a grocery store right now?

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Ashley Wilson
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Tonya Starr

I work at Walmart

I work at Walmart

2y
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Ford Simpson

Why do people have to be so confrontational,respect the rights of your fellow man.if they need protected be polite. These workers are helping you and we need to help them.Wear a mask,your freedoms have not been not been infringed upon. No sane person wants harm another innocent person. Ford

Why do people have to be so confrontational,respect the rights of your fellow man.if they need protected be polite. These workers are helping you and we need to help them.Wear a mask,your freedoms have not been not been infringed upon. No sane person wants harm another innocent person. Ford

2y
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Hern Carolino

Stop scarring people with your nonsense. Covid 19 does NOT kill or make a relatively healthy persons very sick (same as getting a common Flu virus). Constantly, wearing face masks damages a person's health and does not do a very good job of preventing the spread of viruses (do the research and stop believing the mainline media Gods/Gurus). Get off your couches, limit you entertainment (TV), eat right (no more fast food) and start exercising (even walking).

Stop scarring people with your nonsense. Covid 19 does NOT kill or make a relatively healthy persons very sick (same as getting a common Flu virus). Constantly, wearing face masks damages a person's health and does not do a very good job of preventing the spread of viruses (do the research and stop believing the mainline media Gods/Gurus). Get off your couches, limit you entertainment (TV), eat right (no more fast food) and start exercising (even walking).

2y
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Jay Young

Thanks Hern Carolino!!!! I am in TOTAL agreement with you. I DO NOT wear a mask and am not going to normalize this. It is the flu people. If the government said that masks had to be worn for another week and then it would be fine not to wear them, people would do it. Before COVID, hospitals are the most contagious places and NO ONE wore masks the entire time there. Stop acting like there’s something wrong with me because I am using my own mind. I have nor ever had COVID so what can I possibly transmit to anyone?

Thanks Hern Carolino!!!! I am in TOTAL agreement with you. I DO NOT wear a mask and am not going to normalize this. It is the flu people. If the government said that masks had to be worn for another week and then it would be fine not to wear them, people would do it. Before COVID, hospitals are the most contagious places and NO ONE wore masks the entire time there. Stop acting like there’s something wrong with me because I am using my own mind. I have nor ever had COVID so what can I possibly transmit to anyone?

2y
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