Here we are, day whatever of Covid-19. Some of us are still on lockdown, some are self isolating, some are in Phase 3 of reopening, some are back in Phase 2. Many are sick, and sadly many have left this earthy realm far too early. Parents are scrambling for daycare and with every sneeze their child has, worrying if their child will be allowed to go to school that day, all with the ever constant worry if they will have a job tomorrow. Teachers are trying to educate and discipline via Zoom. The list of change is endless. The one thing that hasn’t changed is retail. Yes, I realize the nature of retail has changed, the one constant is the behavior of the customer. Many are great, but as always, there are always those precious few that explain why there are warning labels on detergent. Here’s a glimpse of what retail life has been like over the course of the last few months, pre and post mandatory masks.
- Social distancing is a concept many cannot grasp. Keeping 6 feet away from each other seems too hard to comprehend. I mean, I understand that all our lives women have been “told” what 6 inches is, but come on.
- I have been called a bitch because I asked a customer, who was not wearing a mask, to back up so I could get her shoe for her.
- My coworkers and I have been purposely coughed on while being told “Well, you got a mask”.
- I’ve been told I’m a hoax believing lemming because I was disinfecting surfaces that countless numbers of people touch.
- I had a customer tell me “I’m a truck driver that goes to the U.S. all the time. I’m supposed to be quarantining right now, but they can’t make me! I got a life to live!”.
- Before mandatory masks, I was laughed at, pointed at, smirked at, told to “Speak up! I can’t understand you!” or ignored by customers because I chose to wear a mask.
- I’ve had complete strangers walk right up to me, rub my arms and say “It’s too bad no one is taking Covid seriously”. … six feet Karen. Six feet.
- A woman kept taking her mask off to sneeze, then touch her face, then touch the product, then put her mask back on.
- A woman clipped her toe nails to see if that would make the shoe fit better. I shit you not. Pulled out her nail clippers in the store and clipped away.
- A woman continued to stand right beside me, even after asking her to move away. Then complained that she couldn’t sit beside a woman (who was 6 feet away) because of Covid. …sigh
- Every day, I am asked when stock is going to arrive, and many woman do not like that I don’t know. Some even get angry, some pout, some even tell me “This and you are bullshit”. FYI – many products weren’t even made. …pssstttt, China was shut down for months too.
- Grown men have yelled at our part time teenage girls who ask them to sanitize before entering the store. Literally losing their shit, waving their arms, yelling “masks and hand sanitizers are bullshit”.
I could go on, you have no idea for how long. There have been lovely customers too.
- I’ve been thanked for working during the past 5 months.
- I’ve had customers give me a cash tip for helping them.
- I’ve helped make our elderly customers feel comfortable and safe.
- A woman with a portable oxygen tank had her mask on. I could see she was struggling. I told her she could pull it down for a moment if she needed. She said “No. It’s the rule and I want to protect you and me.”.
- I’ve had customers come to my defense when another customer isn’t being so nice.
- My coworkers and I have each others back.
- My boss and the owner have come to our defense with irrational customers. They will come and take over the sale for us.
- My work place is doing their best to protect us.
Here’s the deal. Believe it or not (that’s your choice), Covid-19 is here, and it’s gonna be around for a while. Be prepared that you may not get the fall boot you’ve had your eye on. There are stock shortages everywhere – tried to get any Lysol wipes lately? I get it. It’s frustrating. It’s a royal pain in the ass. Wearing a mask isn’t fun – try wearing one for 9+ hours a day. I know you miss your friends and family, so do I. I too miss the days of my only morning thought on my way to work was “What should I make for dinner”. It sucks. Plain and Simple. How about trying not to make it suck more for yourself and others.
Be kind. Be patient. Think about others. Try to remember every sales person is doing the best they can, some days better than others, some days worse, no one is perfect. Try to remember, just like you, they have no control over what is happening. All we can do is control ourselves.