In the midst of a global pandemic, many people are currently working from home, or not working at all. However, there are some workers, considered essential, that the public needs more than ever right now, and they are hard at work to make sure that needs are met in their workplace.
Heritage Junior Katie S., a barista at Starbucks, describes what it has been like since social distancing began.
“We changed to strictly drive-thru and we are the only store open in the area. We are constantly busy and traffic through our store is non-stop,” says Katie.
In addition to having extra store traffic, Katie is in the midst of welcoming temporary employees.
“We are working with a lot of people from other stores so it has become sort of exhausting helping them learn how our store works,” says Katie.
Another Heritage student, Joe A. ’21, is still at work as a courtesy clerk at King Soopers. His experience has also greatly changed.
“My biggest challenge has been keeping clean of viruses because of all the contact with customers. It became increasingly tedious and difficult,” says Joe.
Both students feel that cleanliness will be of high importance at work, even as the pandemic slows down.
“I feel as though how things are will make us increase sanitation in the workplace, even though we are already very clean when working,” says Katie.
Although the work itself has gotten much more difficult, Joe reports the benefits he has gotten out of the pandemic.
“They increased our pay by two dollars and gave us a bonus,” says Joe.
This positive side of the crisis goes for Katie, too.
“Starbucks is offering 30-day catastrophe pay if needed, and all workers who continue in the workplace have received a three dollar raise. Also, tips have increased greatly,” says Katie.
Some of the hardest working members of the workforce at the moment, such as baristas and courtesy clerks, often get the least amount of appreciation for what they do. But, when the world is in crisis, the public learns just how important those workers are.
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