As the coronavirus pandemic gets more intense with each passing day, it’s time to acknowledge some absolute heroes among us: grocery store workers.
Supermarkets are busier than ever, and their employees are putting themselves in harm’s way every single day to make sure the rest of us stay healthy, safe, and properly fed. They deserve our endless respect and gratitude.
And given how chaotic the stores are these days, let’s appreciate the efforts they put up for us by making their lives a little bit easier and safer.
Don’t bring your whole family to the store — come alone if you can.
It’s hard to practice safe social distancing when the stores are jam-packed. If at all possible, leave the kids, spouse, and/or grandparents at home and shop by yourself.
Don’t get in an employee’s personal space
Whether it’s the cashier at the register or a stockperson refilling shelves, give workers as much distance as possible — even when asking for their help.
Don’t ignore any markers on the floor that encourage social distancing
Many stores have taped signs on the floor that tell customers where to stand while checking out. There might be another marker when you reach the register that encourages you to keep some distance from the cashier. Pay attention to all of these!
Don’t come to the store ‘just to get out of the house’
We’re all cooped up in our homes right now, and cabin fever is natural. But don’t hit up the supermarket simply for something to do. Save the grocery trips for essentials.
Don’t touch stuff you don’t intend to buy
For your own safety as well as everyone else’s, try to only touch the items you intend to purchase.
Don’t tell employees how “lucky” they are to work
Working from home can suck, and layoffs are absolutely awful. But grocery store employees are forced to work among huge crowds in the middle of a global pandemic. They may have job security at the moment, but they are not “lucky.”
Don’t complain about items being out of stock
Shortage in alcohol, disinfectants and toilet paper may suck. But they’re not your cashier’s fault. Don’t take it out on them.
Don’t whine about store limits
These limits exist to make sure everyone can get the essentials they need to stay healthy in this time. Stop stockpiling, and just take your fair share.
And finally, just don’t be rude!
Remember that grocery store employees are working in a highly stressful environment right now, putting themselves and their families at risk, and often for little pay. Whatever it is you’re mad about, the employee in front of you probably does not control it. Be kind.