Being an essential worker during COVID-19


Emily Ryan

Emily posing at work with her coworker.

Emily Ryan, Editor

Going to work at Lou Malnati’s is one of the few things that I enjoy in my normal day to day life. 

I get to see my coworkers who are also my closest friends, and my managers who have helped push me to better myself every day even when things become difficult. But during a pandemic, going to work gets more difficult as the days go on. 

There were certain safety precautions that we all needed to start practicing to be able to still fulfill the job, and at first, I thought “Well this isn’t so bad, I need take the extra steps for my safety,” but now I think otherwise. 

Being stuck inside a building for a handful of hours, and not being able to see the smiles on anyone’s face is miserable. 

Removing my gloves, washing my hands, sanitizing my hands, and replacing the gloves after every customer I come in contact with has been so harsh on my skin. 

Using chemicals to wipe down surfaces every couple of hours that can possibly burn my skin is a handful. 

Now I hate complaining about my job, I am doing it on my own terms. I could have easily quit my job, but I still have bills and necessities to pay for myself that my parents can’t buy with the money they barely even have. Then again, I really did not have a choice whether or not I wanted to work during this worldwide pandemic because I needed the money. But I could never leave my job, coworkers, or management during a distressing time, it wouldn’t be fair. 

Being one of the few things open to the public, I still see how ungrateful some of these people are for our food service. They still like to complain about the time it takes to get their food, or about the few packets of parmesan cheese they asked for and we had forgotten to give them. I mean how ridiculous can it get? 

A lot of them like to make comments about us wearing gloves and masks (which we do all the time), while they are wearing nothing on their face or hands for their protection. 

I am not sure how serious things actually are, but from seeing things on the news or just reading articles that I can find, I know that people are risking their lives every day trying to help and serve people. 

So having people harass us about how “safe” we are while they aren’t even taking the same precautions as us can be really stressful and almost irritating. 

I am super appreciative of the hours I am still given, and the time I still get to spend with my coworkers, but being under all the stress and seeing how much it has been affecting all of us, I would say it is not worth it right now to be working. 

I believe that if people are still choosing to go outside, and are still continuing going to stores, they should at least think about the people who are working for them and how they are also worried about their health and past lives before the pandemic.