Small-business Workers depend on Work during the Corona Virus for Survival

Appreciate those who keep working for you and risk their health to stay on their feet.

Small-business Workers depend on Work during the Corona Virus for Survival

The corona virus panic has kept everyone inside, quarantining, and away from stores... Unless they desperately need a coffee, supplies, or a quick meal. They're grateful that the stores are open, but often don't think twice about the employees who keep the stores open for them. They’re grateful to be in a safe home, away from all the stress, while still being able to make money through working at home. There are people out there today who can’t afford that luxury. Every hour counts, whether or not its in a deadly pandemic.

I worked at Dunkin' for half a year. It was my first job. I got to meet some incredibly kind people, as well as depressed and angry people. I was only 18 years old trying to get some extra money, but I didn't need it to survive. These people did. So many of them were in their 30's, with kids and a home. They counted on every hour of work, for their survival.

Before this job, I would walk into a fast food restaurant and think that everyone was happy to work there, that they wouldn't want anything else. That they could go home to their big beautiful houses, cook the best food, and go online shopping to wind down the night. The truth is, they just dealt with what they were given. They put on a brave face in their job because they know they need to do it for themselves and their families.

The amazing thing about my coworkers was that they were positive and kept a smile on their face, and showed me the ropes. Even though they knew that every day was the same for them and nothing could change soon, they were happy. Those who were angry and snappy at me knew this too, but couldn’t even pretend that things were okay. I understand. I don’t have anything against them. I could never imagine having to be strong for 8 hours every day, living paycheck to paycheck, not being able to buy most things I wanted.

Now more than ever, it's hard for those fast food, construction, and small-business workers to keep that same smile and positivity. But they do it anyway. This virus has kept millions of people stuck at home, many of whom are happy and relaxing. These workers continue their everyday 9 to 5 lives because they need it. They do it for their kids, for their families, and their survival. We don't think about this often, but the small businesses that are still open today are open because if those people didn't have a job, they would lose everything.

We often don't appreciate what we have. We should be grateful that a lot of us can work from home and still be alright. My Dunkin' people can't work from home. They need to risk their health and their lives to stay on their feet. I'm thinking about all of them now, making drinks in that fast-paced environment. I bet they all have smiles on their faces, even if outside of that store, it's an apocalypse. These workers are the strongest people I know. I'm over here in my bed, depressed that I can't see my friends. But what I don't appreciate is that I have a home, plenty of food, and I don't need to be employed right now to survive. People in small-businesses are still working to make us happy, but keep in mind that they stay strong for their futures.

The next time you're shopping at a small business during this pandemic, make sure you thank your workers, not just for helping you, but for being a role model and for never giving up in supporting their families and themselves.

humanity
Jessica Fontaine
Jessica Fontaine
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Jessica Fontaine

Writer, photographer, college student, athlete, journalist.

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