One of the great injustices in life is that people who work behind the spotlight but do incredibly important work, never receive any credit for it. With the coronavirus pandemic, the medical staff fights the huge battle to save lives, and they deserve every credit and praise they get, and so much more. But we sometimes forget about the people who keep life going – retail employees. They also risk their health and lives to enable everyone to get the groceries they need.
One woman wanted to give them the respect they deserve and try to lift their spirits a little bit. Amy Cook, a mother of five, from Findlay, Ohio, placed dozens of witty and cheerful sticker notes all over Walmart. Her kind action did not go unnoticed, and after she posted it on Facebook, it was shared more than 43k times and got 21k likes.
"My favorite was probably the Gas-X one. It makes me giggle every time. It was honestly easier to come up with them that I thought. Once I started, the ideas just kept coming," Amy explained. "Many of them are borrowed from memes, so I don't want to act like I'm taking credit for the wording of everything. My idea was pairing those hilarious sayings with products to give others a giggle," Amy said. "The self-quarantine, Wilson, Yoda, max capacity 10, lotion, listen Linda, Michigan hat, quarantine motto, Canadian club, cheese, toilet paper (wash your butt), Krusty Krab, nuggets, coffee filters, lasagna, beans, and trash bags were things I just came up with for the most part. Everything else came from recent memes that I found hilarious. I wish I knew the creators so I could credit them for their wit."
Amy believes that even a plain "thank you" goes a long way in encouraging out retail workers. "These employees are exhausted and overworked and many are doing jobs they didn't even originally sign up for. They're unloading heavy pallets as fast as they can only to be greeted with ungrateful and hostile customers because products are out of stock beyond their control."
"I spoke to a dear friend who told me horrifying stories of being called horrible names, being told they are worthless by customers because of items being gone. It's. Not. Their. Fault," Amy said. "She also told me that theft has been a huge issue, which in turn means their systems won't order items automatically or allow them to because it thinks there is so much in stock when there isn't. So that's even more work to go through and manually adjust and rescan items 1 by 1 to fix this problem." Amy added: "Many problem customers aren't getting that (nor do they care) and are just taking their panicked anger out on the employees. A simple thank you and being polite goes a long way."
Amy says that the pandemic affected her entire family, and all of Ohio, but they are doing the best they can to adjust, "The Ohio governor shut down all nonessential business and issued a formal stay home order, but I have a feeling we will be in for this for a while, unfortunately."
"For the most part, we've gotten what we needed (and I just buy a normal amount of groceries, usually 2-3 weeks at a time bare minimum because with kids I don't have time or even want to go to the store all the time). But I've had to make multiple trips to get everything because of shortages. Even making one dinner, I've had to go out 2-3 times to get all the ingredients or hit multiple stores and that's not helping anyone. It's not helping to end this."
"Some people want to blame big families but in reality, there was always enough product before for everyone, so what's the issue now? Unfortunately, it's people freaking out and hoarding more than they need. It's people that don't actually need things going 'well there's only a few left, I should take them just in case,' and then the people who do use and need those things in their normal daily life can't buy them."
"So they've had to put restrictions in place—understandably—but it causes a spiral effect of issues because instead of going to the store once a week or once every couple weeks, people have to go every other day. Until the hoarders stop clearing the shelves, the shortages won't stop, and people will continue making repeated trips to get what they need. 2-3 trips or more to get what they could have accomplished normally in one. This is causing more crowds, more germs, more issues. Its a vicious cycle," Amy spoke about the existing situation in Ohio.
"After the Post-it trip, I have only done grocery pickup so far, but it's a cycle of picking up the order, finding out stuff was out of stock, and having to reorder again or with someone else to try and get those items. Rinse and repeat."
Amy says that she and her family are Ok, considering the circumstances. "We are fortunate in my area that many local schools set up meals for the kiddos, so they have been working their butts off organizing that and we have pickups about once a week in which they distribute food for multiple days. Drinks, snacks and then lunch and breakfast foods."
"As a working mom (working from home but still full time), I greatly appreciate that not only from a time sense as it makes lunch a breeze, but because of the grocery shortage and Covid issue as a whole. I'm not forced to make trips and fight the shortages to buy things for lunches because it's been taken care of. Normally, my kids buy hot lunch 3-4 days a week, so we are so grateful for our schools for stepping up during this crazy time."
Amy started her photographer carrier in 2009, and she specializes in family, newborns, weddings, and toddlers photography. She is a mother of five daughters, and her family lives in the countryside in Findlay, Ohio, where the kids have plenty of open space to run around. The open space is also enjoyed by their three cats and two dogs.
She pointed out that retail workers are under a lot of stress in this situation. They must provide for their families and deal with panicked and very often rude customers.