“Excuse me love, would you show me where you keep the cream?”

When you put your mask on properly and take a step back, I’d be more than happy to help.

This thought goes through my mind everyday on my supermarket shift when a customer not wearing their mask over their nose, sometimes even to the extent that I have seen a moustache or a stubborn upper lip.

Instead I say, “Of course Sir, right this way.”

Whether it’s working from home, or coming up with inventive ways to keep customers 2 meters away from you; for many of us, our working lives have had to change because of covid, and so there are more limitations and things we have to thing about on a day to day basis.

As someone who has been trying to stick to the rules as best as I can, it was at first very frustrating (and still is at times) but the only way to get through it is to get inventive and laugh at it, and do your best.

*If you are someone who gets frustrated from hearing about others breaking rules the perhaps this blog post might not be for you.*

As a graduate (still feels weird saying that) during ‘covid times’, I’ve picked up a part time job in a supermarket to pay off my student indebted overdraft and give me a little bit of financial stability while I spend the rest of my time dabbling in Freelance writing.

The supermarket that shall not be named is not where I expected to find myself as a graduate, but no one is where they expected to be right now (at least that’s what I keep telling myself)– in fact right now, I should’ve been on holiday in New Zealand visiting my brother!

Clearly, as you can tell by the very fact that I write this blog, I adore writing … but I’m still finding my feet in this crazy unpredictable and variable industry and finding where I fit into it and so in the meantime I’m getting inventive trying to stick to government guidelines.

So, whilst I’m pulling my 8 hour supermarket shift in the supermarket that shall not be named, and carefully strategically placing objects in between myself and customers (my most common method is holding out or folding cardboard at arms length in front of me), or perfecting my social distancing reflexes , I’ve been trying to make light of the situation I’m in and enjoy making witty remarks in my head.

There was one occasion whereby I was actually rudely confronted:

I was on the door counting people coming in and out of the store and reminding people to wear masks, I reminded this couple about these government guidelines and they said they were exempt so I apologised and they carried on with their shop.

However, as they were leaving the store they said “That should be illegal”

I said, “I’m sorry, what should be illegal?”

“The rules for wearing masks, they take away our freedom” they said.

I’ll leave it up to your imagination of what I wish I could’ve said, I’m sure my face (if you could see it beneath my mask would’ve been a picture).

For most of us, covid has made us more spatially aware, for others the opposite is the case.

Often when I am stacking shelves I’ll see someone is wanting an item near me, I’ll move out the way- simples.

I don’t always notice, perhaps it’s because they don’t linger and jump straight for the towering grab, but my social distancing reflexes are getting rather nimble now.

On one occasion I was so quick that the customer actually apologised and said “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have leaned over you like that”

No you shouldn’t have, it’s a good job my social distancing reflexes are getting so quick.

“No problem Sir” I say.

I have to admit, my colleagues equally witty remarks have been a joy to laugh at, my favourite of which being;

When a customer came up to them, leaned in close to begin asking my colleague a question, then coughed to clear their throat to then ask where the parsnips are.

Cheers to our good health mate, was their first thought.

But it isn’t just happening in the supermarket that shall not be named, it’s happening in other industries and all around the country too.

One of my friends who works in a café says she is regularly tapped on the arm. She says,

I love how everyone forgot to tell me that that as staff I am immune to corona and everyone can come as close as they like… if only we all had this job related immunity

Another friend of mine, also in hospitality, tries to make light of the situation by putting up a comical jokey covid awareness posters in the bathroom.

A customer got a bit too offended by the poster which said “Wash your hands you dirty animal” and started accusing the staff themselves of being the said “dirty animals”….

Perhaps something touched a nerve that might have been a bit to close to the truth

Keeping the distance, especially from loved ones feels so unnatural but wit’s providing me with some good anecdotes!

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. This is the last blog before Christmas so I wish you a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a lovely day and keep safe.

Thanks to you all for being lovely readers and supporting my blog this year.

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