Confessions of an Essential Employee

While at home during this pandemic, I have been working a lot.

I’ve been working in the fast-food industry since 2016 at an ice cream establishment that I will not be naming for personal reasons, but we are considered an “essential business.” I haven’t been able to put my finger on why ice cream is essential, but I can’t complain too much. At least I’m still getting a steady income.

For the past few weeks, I’ve compiled a list of confessions from co-workers, myself, and other friends that are essential employees on some of the things that have made our job a lot harder. Of course, some of these things are smart to do all the time, but now they are crucial. Enjoy!

  1. 1. If you're at a drive-thru, don't add items at the window.

    When you go through a drive-thru, please be courteous of the people behind you. When you add another item at the window, you are slowing down the whole process. This also includes asking for lids on desserts; do it when you order. You don’t want to be waiting longer than you have to and neither does anyone else. 


  2. 2. You don't need to panic-buy.

    We all see that some items are going fast because of the worry of complete lockdown, but please only take what you need. When you buy things in excessive bulk, you are taking it away from someone else who needs it. I’ve heard so many stories of people not being able to buy alcohol swabs for their medical injections, and toilet paper when they are completely out. If we all do our part to only buy what we absolutely need at that moment, things won’t go out of stock. 

  3. 3. Don't ask for a minute at the drive-thru speaker.

    Of course, this is a little bit harder considering most restaurants don’t have their lobbies open, but please try to have an idea of what you want before getting to the speaker. This goes along with the previous confession. Most establishments have menus online and this cuts wait time down for everyone. When you peruse the menu board right as you get up to the speaker, you are holding up not only the worker taking your order but the one cooking your food and all the people in line behind you.

  4. 4. Keep aisles free if possible.

    Workers in grocery stores are working harder than ever to keep things stocked up and put in their proper place, so please do not just throw things somewhere if you don’t need them, please put them back in their proper places.  This goes for merchandise and carts as well. When you leave a cart in the aisle it just takes up more space and people can’t get through. 

  5. 5. Please bear with us.

    We know that this isn’t ideal right now, but that does not give you the right to be nasty to employees. We are working under new circumstances and not all of us are adapting well. We know you’re stressed because we are too, but please do not take it out on us. Some places are having trouble keeping stock of things and certain items are even becoming unavailable, please understand this is not our employees' fault. 

These are just a few of the things I’ve heard, but in this time of uncertainty, we need things to go as smoothly as they can. These can make our workday easier and your experience better. We always want the best for our customers, even when things get hard, but sometimes we need a little help from you.