The veneer is starting to lift.
My experience as a shop worker throughout the lockdown period has been mixed. On the one hand, we’ve had a number of fantastic customers that have been courteous, empathetic and vigilant. Conversely, the looming threat of contracting COVID-19 has been a constant source of stress. It’s been a wholly tiring experience, when one event has consumed your day, everyday for nearly 3 months it becomes hard to find any distance from it.
Which I think has gone some way to making the recent relaxation of guidance so much harder, it feels like a complete juxtaposition of my new norm. Maybe a bit of context is important.
My town isn’t a big town, it relies heavily on saturday tourist trade. Obviously this has been impacted by the lockdown. And honestly, it’s been a breath of fresh-air, my hours have been more sociable and we’ve been interacting with fewer customers. Which has made social distancing significantly easier.
With this in mind, since the PM allowed for greater travel there has been a big uptick in the number of people travelling into town, both from within the local area and also from neighbouring towns. I have found this stressful, my town which was basically empty 2 weeks ago now looks like a seaside resort.
It’s also raised another issue, people are being less generous. By this I mean that some of the customers that we’re serving are ignoring social distancing guidelines- they’re leaning over the counter. They’re not giving their other customers adequate space, and from my own experience, they’re being much more dismissive of myself and my colleagues.
This is what I mean by veneer lifting, there was an atmosphere at the beginning of this crisis in which it seemed like everyone was in this together. Now it feels like this is business as usual. Obviously, I’ve not accounted for the individual experiences of the customers in question. They might be having a really bad day, but when it’s impacting my day, I think it deserves recognizing.
[RecordCovid19–65] Bridgnorth, Shop Assistant, Male, 25