This is awkward.
We’re supposed to be staying home as much as possible,
But there’s no break in the line-up of customers
We need to keep six feet of space between us at all times,
But there isn’t room in the aisle for us to pass each other with six feet between us.
We both turn slightly away from each other as we pass.
I hold my breath,
And I bet you do too.
I wash my hands so carefully and thoughtfully,
But immediately use them to touch things that are
I feel really awkward about this,
But I’m touching all the stuff that you are buying.
I hate to do it,
But I haven’t yet figured out how scan and bag stuff without
You seem a little uncomfortable about it too,
But you kind of put us both in this position by being here buying stuff.
I don’t know if you noticed….
(Clearly you didn’t,)
But there are bright red strips of tape on the floor showing you where you should stand-
Six feet away from the cashier and six feet away from other customers.
Please stand on them.
Yes, you will feel awkwardly far away from the counter.
Yes, it might be hard to count out small change.
You should be paying with a card anyways, these days.
When you ask me if our store is staying open,
And I say it is,
And then you say,
“Terrible, just terrible. They should be ashamed,”
I find it a bit awkward
Because there you are,
Buying ONE PAIR OF FLIP-FLOPS,
And paying in very small change,
Which you are counting out on the counter
Even though I told you about the red line.
It’s a little awkward
When it seems like you brought the whole family
To hang out at the store
Because you were bored at home.
I find our ideas of what is truly essential to be rather…
Judging by what I have seen in the past few days,
We think that
Four sequined Canada Day hats
But they are not.
We need to rethink what we value.
We need to start making more sacrifices.
But we’re going to need to start making more of them.
We have to do it.
For each other.
For the whole world.
Sometimes you tell me your stories,
About losing your job,
About going crazy with your kids at home,
About not getting to see your daughter anymore,
About being afraid to go to your job.
It hurts me.
With my words and with my eyes (all you can see above my mask),
I try to express that-
That I’m with you,
That I care,
That I’m praying for us all.
People, I was practically born to save the world by staying home,
And now my time has come,
But I can’t stay home.
This is painfully ironic to me.
I’m grateful to still have a job,
But feel a bit guilty because of all the people who have lost theirs.
I’m willing to be there to serve customers who depend on low-cost products from us.
But I am struggling to find satisfaction in providing an “essential service”,
When it feels like, by being open, we are just enabling people to purchase nonessential things.
On Sunday, I was so excited about being at home
all day with Ricky,
with neither of us working.
But I got called into work in the afternoon,
And it hurt so much to give up my day off,
That I cried for a good long while.
I felt a bit better about it once I actually got to work,
Because do I like to save the day?
Of course I do.
Every day I wonder if I should quit.
It is interesting to me
How loyal I am to this team
Of workers that I don’t actually know well at all.
If I quit, it hurts them.
I also am interested in
How deeply I desire to
Do a good job.
Even when it’s a job I feel weird about and know does not line up with my soul and what I care about.
I still want to be able to do it well.
Quitting now would feel like not doing it well.
For now, I stay.
I know that what I’m doing is peanuts
Compared to doctors and nurses and other caretakers
I hardly know how to feel for them.
It is just so much
What they are doing.
This is a big, scary, awkward situation we’re in.
But you know what?
Most of you saw the red tape on the floor and stood back.
We’re learning new habits.
We’re doing it.
Let’s keep doing it.
Let’s keep doing it better and better.
Let’s grow together
(from six apart, please).