I spent 30 long years doing my time in Retail Hell (5 of which were not all that bad). Too often, I got to eyewitness boss-wardens at their worst; the dog eat dog unprofessionalism; the up and down the corporate ladder, anything goes, diseased sexual shenanigans; (and more to the point) how all that crap not only negatively impacted our day-to-day store ops, but also compromised the well-being of customers and subordinates, alike.
Let’s check out a few horror stories…
• My very first boss had opted to adopt, not one, but two, non-housebroken schnauzer pups; gave ‘em free run of our stockroom; allowed ‘em to urinate and defecate in any, within reach, open shipping carton. Seeing how neither the (eventually dried) pee nor the (more or less solid) poop had perceptibly stained our primary product line (dark indigo Levi™ jeans) we, the underlings, were ordered to stock the shelves / racks and sell these crawling with microbes jeans, AS IS, to our unsuspecting clientele. To my truth-in-advertising minded readers, I suppose we could say our, on the QT, corporate motto had been: “We put the DUNG in DUNGarees!”
• It was about that same time when overhead slashing, corporate tightwads had ordered all store restrooms’ hot water heaters turned off. And then, just to earn extra brownie points, our boss soon stripped her monthly store supply orders of hand soap. Beyond that, our toilet bowl soon wound up… uh… well… let’s just say I’ve seen far less gross public restrooms.
• Our health compromising work conditions were inclusive of fatigue, too. Yep, as overworked, underpaid and undervalued subordinates, we were oft scheduled to work well past midnight, yet, be expected to return (bright-eyed and bushy-tailed) by 5 or 6 the same a.m. It’d be an understatement to say groggy employees (especially cashiers) were, indeed, fortunate to catch costly errors, in time; i.e., to avoid being falsely accused of internal theft.
Folks, it’d be a forgone conclusion to say that the above-mentioned working conditions are hardly unique (to me) AND, in all likelihood, have worsened since workplace related injuries necessitated my way too early departure from Retail Hell (now, some thirteen years ago).
So… other than rehashing retail’s revolting side… just WTF is my point here?
For starters, I absolutely DO NOT want anyone to co-opt the following discussion into some sort of lame excuse. All this amounts to is my trying to better wrap my head around the BIZARRE nature of Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, and, that does demand exploring BIZARRE possibilities.
While I’d hope that Retail Hell, as I’ve known it, is NOT APPLICABLE to Retail Pharmacies (oft, our primary inoculation sites), WHAT IF, in part, it’s been our workforce’s negative perception of retail, which has been causing some of them to view such venues as managed by unsanitary un-professionals, who staff their stores with burnt out, too pooped to participate, error-prone, transient employees?
After all, prior to the pandemic, we have been accustomed to inoculations within sterile, doctor’s office / emergency room / hospital settings.
Could a switchover to those traditional, more clinical venues boost the vaccination rates within hesitant homelands, such as America?
Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!