LaShae is a frontline grocery-store worker who lives in Crofton, Maryland. She is twenty-eight years old.
“I get a lot of “thank you’s” for what we’re doing. We are at an equal risk to nurses with coming into [contact] with more than 100 people a day. I think it is good to be viewed as [heroes] simply because we often aren’t as grocery store employees. We are just props, it feels like.”
We are currently living in an unprecedented time where workers, students, and people as a whole are uniquely impacted by COVID-19. How have you been directly impacted?
I am directly impacted by the volume of overtime and the demands that the store places on its workers given the increase of customers/products.
In regards to the current administration’s handling of the pandemic, what are your thoughts on their management of COVID-19?
I think how he shut everything down, I was okay with that. I think the way that he makes suggestions is really childish, and he doesn’t consider the affect that his words will have on people. For instance, his comments on the Lysol disinfectant, is dangerous and could present some challenges as people might follow his advice. He’s a piece of shit.
Describe for me the work adjustments that your company made during the pandemic? What are some personal work adjustments that you have made?
My main department, prepared foods, is shut down. I am now in another section that I have never worked in over the last 10 years since being at Wegmans. The adjustment is working with new people, and trying to understand how the department functions, and learning how to work alongside people that I have never known/worked with in the past.
What do you think about the idea of people viewing you as a “hero” for working the frontlines during a pandemic? Would you agree or disagree with that?
I agree. I get a lot of “thank you’s” for what we’re doing. We are at an equal risk to nurses with coming into [contact] with more than 100 people a day. I think it is good to be viewed as such simply because we often aren’t as grocery store employees. We are just props, it feels like.
Explain for me how you view yourself, role, and impact as an essential worker?
I view myself as an understanding worker, and that everyone is an altered situation. My role right now is to make people smiling. If someone is having a bad day, I want to make sure they have a good day. I’m trying to keep them safe, to enforce social distancing, and to simply be express my bubbly personality to workers.