Back in the middle of March I was anxious about lockdown, anxious about not seeing anyone and being almost ‘locked up’ inside the house. I got used to lockdown. I had a nice routine going, and I had plenty of time for university work, reading, FaceTiming my friends, baking, doing online courses, blogging, and working out. Then on the 17th June, my life kinda went back to normal and the reality of working in retail was alive and kicking again.
I’ve wanted to give up retail for a while now. I was furloughed, and I actually loved lockdown in the end. I did have to spend 4 /5 /8 hours on my feet standing around and feeling unproductive. I had all the time to focus on my next career path, and finish my masters.
I’m the lucky one. I have a job. I haven’t lost my job, but here I am moaning. The moaning is probably coming from stress of trying to write a master’s dissertation when you are almost being forced to work nearly everyday in the week because the new area manger thinks a store can run on only 4 members of staff. I don’t have the time, nor the energy to sit down and spend hours researching sport social media and that isn’t even without trying to get social media managers at football clubs to participate in an interview for my dissertation.
When non-essential retailers opened on the 15th June, everyone (most, the majority) in my town thought we had gone back to reality. I, on the other hand, was sitting a remote 23 hour exam in my living room which was one of the strangest exams I had ever taken. I used Google for examples, watched lecture slides back and spent 5 hours planning four exam questions. Just because shops were opening up doesn’t mean things were back to normal.
By Wednesday 17th I was back in my first shift at Burton. Serving customers and wearing PPE. I was back standing on my feet and wishing I had given in my notice back in March. Since, I have had customers moan at me because they weren’t allowed in the store because the limit of people in the store had been reached; I’ve worn gloves and mask to clean surfaces in work; and I have been staying my distance away from other people. However, although most are taking note and adhering to social distancing measures, there is quite a few who think we are back in January and couldn’t care less.
My back to reality is feeling tired, having a work get ready routine, and forgetting my till password on the first day. I’m stressing about my dissertation, and don’t have the energy to research, plan or write after working all day. Yes, I don’t work on the frontline and to a lot of people working in retail is ‘piss easy’, which it maybe if you don’t have other priorities. My main priority is my £10.5k masters, keeping a social distance from everyone still, and keeping myself and my family safe.
I mis my reality of lockdown, and I’m still not going to step foot in a bar anytime soon. Yes I moan about my retail job, and I moan about customers, and I moan about having to park so far away because I don’t want to pay to park, but I know I am the lucky one having a job.