Retail employees are our everyday superheroes during the coronavirus outbreak and they deserve our love and respect. Now, more than ever.
Mother-of-five Amy Cook, who lives in Findlay, Ohio, decided that the employees at her local Walmart needed some cheering up. That’s why she stuck dozens of witty and wholesome sticky notes all over the supermarket.
Amy’s good deed didn’t go unnoticed. When she posted about what she had done on Facebook, she got over 21k likes and her story was shared more than 43k times. Her photos brought smiles to our faces and we hope that they lift your spirits, too, dear Pandas! Let us know in the comments which note was your favorite and why. Scroll down for Bored Panda's interview with Amy.
We wanted to find out which of her notes Amy liked the best and how she came up with them. "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."
"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 told us. "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."
According to Amy, even a simple "thank you" goes a very long way in helping 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 pointed out. "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."
She 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."
Finally, Bored Panda wanted to find out how the coronavirus outbreak has affected Amy, her entire family, and all of Ohio. She said that the outbreak has made things rough in her area, but her family is adjusting. "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," she revealed some of the difficulties that people are facing.
"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 shared her insights about the current 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."
According to Amy, she and her family are doing alright. "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 is a photographer who started her business in 2009. She specializes in taking photos of families, newborns, toddlers, and also weddings. She has 5 daughters and her extended family lives in the countryside in Findlay, Ohio, so there’s plenty of space for her kids to run around and help out with farming. Amy also has 2 dogs and 3 cats.
She correctly pointed out that a lot of retail employees these days are under huge amounts of stress. Not only do they have to provide for their families during a pandemic, but they also have to deal with long hours at work and stay professional in the face of panicking (and sometimes rude!) customers.
It’s safe to say that while medics are on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus, retail employees are working nonstop behind the lines, making sure we have everything that we need. World leaders have said time and time again that we’re at war with an invisible enemy—the coronavirus. During wartime, supplies are essential. If you want to know what happens when supply lines stop working, have a look at Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and how that ended.
Luckily, the US is starting to recognize retail workers’ valiant efforts in keeping the country functioning. For instance, some states like Minnesota and Vermont are planning to classify grocery store employees as emergency workers. That includes register clerks, the staff who stock shelves, the people working in distribution, and those who keep the stores clean. We can all do our part to help retail employees feel valued, just like Amy did. Are you up for the challenge, Pandas?
Note: this post originally had 34 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.