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Some Managers Are Just Sick

, , , , , , | Working | May 21, 2020

It is in the middle of self-isolation, social distancing, and panic buying. My small local grocery store is still open and I head down to get some desperately needed supplies. Other stores have been limiting the numbers of customers inside at any time and have had shoppers waiting outside in lines, six feet apart.

Not so this store; it’s as busy as any given time. As worrying as this is, I am wearing a mask and gloves, and I really need these supplies, so I decide I will be okay.

I get to the checkout, and the poor woman working the register looks very pale, and I can see she is desperately trying to stifle her coughs.

Me: “You shouldn’t be working if you’re sick! H***, you shouldn’t even be outside!”

Cashier: “I tried, but my boss said I had to come in.”

Me: “What?! Call your manager!”

She does so and we wait. She has to call a second time before a grumpy-looking man storms up to the cashier.

Manager: “What?!”

I interject before the poor cashier gets any more bad treatment.

Me: “Your cashier is sick. She needs to go home and self-isolate right now.”

Manager: “I need her to work! Too many people have been lazy and called in! She has to work.”

Me: “She has to do nothing! She is sick, coughing, and handling other people’s food! What you’re doing is—”

Manager: *Interrupting me* “Buy or don’t buy. You’re holding up the line.”

Realizing the manager is a lost cause, I turn to the cashier.

Me: “Go home, now. Call this number for medical advice.”

Manager: *To the cashier* “Leave and you’re fired.”

Me: “Wow, seriously? That is it.”

I call the police. They arrive surprisingly quickly and I explain the situation. They step into the store, see the cashier, see the lack of social-distancing, and approach the manager.

Officer #1: “Sir, why are there no social-distancing procedures in place? Everyone here should be at least six feet apart, with controlled entry. Also, your cashier is obviously sick; why is she not self-isolating at home?”

Manager: “Look, all these policies are ridiculous. Everyone is saying they’re sick, and I have a store to run!”

Officer #2: “They’re probably sick because you don’t have these procedures in place! Also, they are not just policies; they’re also the law.”

Me: “He also said that he would fire the cashier if she went home.”

Both officers look shocked at this and they turn to the manager.

Officer #1: “Is that true?”

The manager, for the first time, begins to realize how much s*** he might be in.

Manager: “I… uh… Look, you have to understand.”

Officer #2: “That’s it; I don’t need to hear any more.”

[Officer #2] shouts out to the entire store authoritatively.

Officer #2: “Ladies and gentlemen, please put down your shopping and leave the store immediately! This establishment is being closed due to health and safety violations!”

Manager: “What?! You can’t do that! I—”

Officer #1: “And you, you’re coming to the station.”

The manager was led away to the car, cursing and screaming. All the customers did end up leaving but took all their unpaid shopping with them anyway. The sick cashier left immediately and another member of staff closed up the store, with the officers leaving him some documentation and explaining what he should do next.

The store is still closed. I have to go further to a larger store which, thankfully, is adhering to the state-wide health and safety mandates.

This story was featured in our May 2020 roundup!

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