15 Things You Absolutely Must Stop Doing To Grocery Store Employees Today

While the coronavirus rampages around the world medical workers and carers are receiving a lot of praise, but there is one particular workforce that is missing out and these people are the real unsung heroes. Who are they? Grocery store employees. That's right! 


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Grocery store workers are busier than ever, and they're putting themselves in harm's way every single day to make sure we all get to meet our most basic needs.


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Since these unsung heroes are going above the call of duty, there are a few things they want you to know to help them out during this uncertain time.

FYI, this person works as a cashier, bagger, stockperson, and cleaner at their store. Here are some tips they gave me:



1. Low Key - come alone if you can.

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The coronavirus spreads through the air and by contracting it from surfaces. The air droplets expunged by someone infected by coronavirus lasts for up to three hours and on surfaces, it lasts for three days. This means that if one person is infected a whole lot more could get sick, so it's really important you don't bring your whole brood on a grocery run. Only one person should be out doing the shopping, two if it's a large collection of groceries you're getting. Doing so significantly decreases the overall chance of spreading the coronavirus if you happen to catch it yourself and it also protects you and your brood from contracting it if someone in the store is sick with it. (open next page to see more)

2. Personal space.


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 Social distancing is key right now. That means to stay the bare minimum of 2 feet away from other people, 6 feet at the most. With store employees, though, and second nature practices, sometimes when you need assistance from a store clerk you get up close. It's important during the current pandemic not to do this. They may be wearing face masks and other protective clothing but remember those air droplets last in the air for up to three hours or can spread to surfaces. If you're infected and cough, you can guarantee those air droplets will attach to the clerk's clothes and that can further spread infection. Stay 2 to 6 feet back like advised. (open next page to see more)

3.Social Distancing Markings.


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One new thing to crop up during this pandemic is social distancing markings. Theseare usually indicated on the floor around tills or outside shops but they're unfamiliar and new. That doesn't mean you get to ignore them, though. They're there for a reason: to remind you to stay a specific distance away from the cashier when at the checkout and away from other customers when you're queuing to get into the shop. Be mindful of them. (open next page to see more)

4. Avoidance


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If you're feeling sick and experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus - not matter how early-stage or mild they feel - stay at home. When you sneeze you release six hundred million germs from your mouth and nose. All it takes is for one air droplet to cause the coronavirus to spread and get someone else infected. If you need food or other essentials, contact a friend, family, neighbor or a community support team. Do not go out or be around other people if you are infected, period. Stay inside and away from others for 7 days if you live alone and 14 days if you live with other people.  (open next page to see more)

5. Unsolicited Advice

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Bravo

The one thing many grocery workers have encountered since this pandemic began is advice from members of the general public on how they should be protecting themselves. Just like you, they are following government guidelines. Unlike you, they have health and safety professionals constantly being updated and applying new countermeasures to prevent them or others from being infected. Plus, they're already busy at it is and telling them what they already know is a waste of time. Only speak to them if you truly need something. (open next page to see more)


6. Unwarranted Visits


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We get it: living in isolation can create feelings of stress, alienation, and restlessness, but that doesn't mean you should visit stores "just to get out of the house". People have been doing this and there are two reasons why you shouldn't. One, you're taking up space for someone who truly needs to be there. Two, you're heightening the risk of becoming infected or spreading the infection. If you're restless and really need to stretch your legs, go walk laps around your garden or local park, or sit on your doorstep and read a book. Whatever you do, don't go to the store unless you absolutely need to be there . (open next page to see more)

7. Look With Your Eyes..Don't touch..


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And not your hands. In other words, don't touch stuff you don't intend to buy. Why? Because the coronavirus sticks to surfaces for up to three days and can spread by touch. This means that if you've picked up the infected air droplets on your hands - whether you're infected or not! - you can spread it around just by touching something. So, it goes without saying but it must be said: don't touch something unless you're going to buy it. Better still, wear vinyl or latex gloves (the kind cleaners and medical staff wear) to reduce the possibility of spreading or contracting it yourself. And give your hands a thorough wash when you get back home - without the gloves on.  (open next page to see more)


8. It's Not Luck 

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ABC


Another thing grocery store employees are hearing a lot of lately is how lucky they are to work. It's not lucky. Luck would have them be sat at home and not on the frontline of retail demand, facing down the possibility of contracting the worst disease of the 21st century to meet the needs of others. The lucky ones are the ones who get to stay home and avoid it. Yes, they are getting income (and they deserve bonuses!) but is that really worth the risk of contracting a killer bug? Not in anyone's book. Don't say it, no matter how much you think or feel they are lucky. (open next page to see more)



9. Items being out of stock.




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Due to the nature of the virus stocks are going to be getting low and deliveries are going to be getting slimmer. There are a few reasons for this. One, people have foolishly being stockpile buying. We're not in the apocalypse but they're still doing it, or attempting to, and that puts a strain on resources. Two, delivery drivers aren't immune to the coronavirus and they can fall ill with it. Take one driver out of the fold and that's one or many essential supplies to supermarkets disrupted. Stocks are going to get low and the clerk's know that but they aren't in a position to really do anything about it, so complaining to them about product unavailability or stock depletion isn't serving anyone. Just grab what you can and get back home.  (open next page to see more)

10. "check in the back" for out-of-stock items




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Another issue with stock is what grocery stores "keep in the back". If it isn't out on the shelves it's very unlikely they'll have it in the back. Most stores have a policy where they have to immediately fill up gaps on shelves so consumers have access to the products, so you can guarantee if it isn't on the shelf, they don't have it in the back either, because if it is in the back it's going to be on the shelves. Comprende?   (open next page to see more)


11. Don't fights ..


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When we want something we want something but this doesn't mean you should engage another customer in fisticuffs to get it. If a product has run out and they grabbed the last one, suck it up. They got there before you and don't deserve your ire. Everyone is in need. Either find a replacement item in the store or find it elsewhere. Don't go and pick fights at a time when stress is at an all-time high. It's just going to make matters worse for everyone and you'll end up spending time in a police cell. It's not smart, it's not clever and that person may actually need the item more than you do.   (open next page to see more)


12. Disinfecting Machines .




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One thing you shouldn't do is spray disinfectant on machinery to prevent contracting the coronavirus. Some people have been found to spray ATMs and card readers with sanitizer before attempting to make payment. This is a ridiculous thing to do because 1) the store cleaners have industrial-grade sanitizer that is more effective than anything you have and 2) the liquid could damage the machine causing breakage or delay in use for others. Just wear a pair of latex or vinyl gloves and you'll be okay .  (open next page to see more)


13. Payment :

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If you're super concerned about contracting the virus and don't like to touch items widely touched by the general public, you may want to consider paying with cash rather than a card. Better still, wear protective latex or vinyl gloves. This will protect you and at a reduced rate the people after you from contracting the virus from items like keypads or handles. Either way, don't complain to the store clerks because they can't do jack about it. How you pay is up to you. Alternatively, it is actually better to pay with a card than with cash. Cash goes through a multitude of handlers which increases the chance of it coming into contact with an infected individual. Your card is only really touched by either you or the clerk, so it really is the better of the two options. 


14. Opening Times :


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Stores are having to regulate their opening hours because of the knock-on effect the pandemic is having. Complaining to the clerks isn't going to change anything, especially when the opening hours are being dictated by the government for the most part. The opening times have changed to meet the needs of everyone - especially the elderly and those most vulnerable to infection - and to restrict stockpiling individuals. It's also to protect you and the staff while operating at full efficiency to ensure everyone gets their needs met. Additionally, some of the clerks could have contracted the virus and one body down puts the team under more stress. Two bodies down and that will affect the overall performance of the team, meaning the store will either have to reduce its opening hours or close as a consequence.  


15. Designated Hours :




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Go to the store when you're able and not during the period reserved for the elderly or vulnerable. These specialized opening times have been implemented so they are protected from other irate customers and also to protect them from contracting the virus. If you don't know when these specialized hours are, check on a search engine. If the search engine doesn't turn up anything useful, get one social media and ask people who live locally. Someone is bound to know. 




TLDR: Don't be a jerk to clerks and other customers. Follow guidelines, don't stockpile and don't visit the stores unless you absolutely have to.

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