Where Are They?


Last week, I walked into a store at 10:30 am; CVS Pharmacy. I saw a middle-aged woman leaning over-the-counter yawning. To make conversation, I said, “Is it time for a nap?” She replied, “When you didn’t sleep all night, it is!”

“I’m sorry, I have those nights too!” Don’t know why I asked this question, but I did… “Can you attribute it to anything?” Her answer, “YES, this STORE! I lay awake trying to figure out how to keep it open when I can’t find help to hire!” She’s the manager. She told me after not sleeping most of the night, she fell asleep in the wee hours, then overslept, barely making it to the store to open by 9am.

I’ve done that. Can’t sleep in the middle of the night, but as the sunrises my body finally gives in and then I sleep later than I wanted! It’s frustrating and disrupts normal routines and plans.

I wished her well, wished her sleep, and proceeded with my day. I felt so bad for her I actually left wondering if I could help. I’ve been thinking about her and whispering prayer words ever since.

But, here is my question…

WHERE ARE THEY?

WHERE ARE ALL THE WORKERS WHO ONCE HELD THESE JOBS?

I have heard no one explain our worker shortage. It’s everywhere. Every business has “Help Wanted” or “Hiring” signs in the window!

I know they shut businesses down during Covid. What I can’t figure out is why when they reopened weren’t people wanting their jobs back. It may have been nice not to work, but how are these people functioning without incomes? I can’t fathom that Covid Relief checks are sustaining households this long.

Every place I go is short handed; restaurants, stores, gas stations, repair places, construction, schools, hospitals… EVERYWHERE!!!

Bus Drivers! Businesses and companies are going to tremendous efforts to make jobs enticing! I heard this week our county is so short of bus drivers it’s offering full-time employment with benefits for drivers! During the non-driving hours, they report to a school for a host of assignments. The pay is decent!

Teachers are checking out too! Post-distance learning classrooms are just too much. Our county is scheduling school days off for students and work from home days for teachers to help with the load and emotional toll. They’re, also, offering at school services to help teacher’s emotional and physical health.

I have been to restaurants and felt bad for the short-staffed workers trying to make up for two or three people. I want to support the business, but kind of feel like a burden to the people working so hard. Yet, if we don’t frequent them, all the workers will be jobless. Have you been in a drive-through line lately? Or noticed the check-out lines at stores? Few registers are open with self-check out the best option. It used to be the opposite.

Life sure is different Post-Covid isolation!

Even though I don’t understand, my recommendation:

Be kind!

Be patient!

Be caring!

Be thankful!

Tip well!

I am mystified as to where all these people went!!

Wherever you are … I notice your absence and miss you!

Baffled, Scratching my head,

6 thoughts on “Where Are They?

  1. It’s horrible!! Like you, I can not understand where the workers are and how they are living with no paycheck! My grandaughter, who is a pharmacy tech at CVS, worked 70 hours last week because they are short handed! Not only that, but she was telling me how rude and disrespectful the customers are to her because there is a long wait! It’s a sad situation for everyone and I don’t understand why people are anxious to return to work post Covid!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad I’m not the only one wondering! I am learning to be very thankful for the ones who is behind the register, serving my food, keeping the business open!! It’s bizarre to me!

      Like

  2. This brings up a lot of thoughts. I remember how excited to go to work that I got a job the day I turned 16. My paycheck meant freedom to do extra things that my parents couldn’t afford. I was proud I was able to buy my own books in college. I loved buying clothes too of course! Those extras weren’t handed to me for free. Work ethic taught and modeled by parents. If you are still raising kids consider not handing them everything. Thanks Elaine for another thought provoking blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems with unemployment, our government issuing some checks, the attitude that a lot of businesses have towards the newly hired (businesses finally realized they need to start paying people a decent working wage), and Covid a lot of people are staying home. I’m not sure there’s a single reason. Everyone is surviving somehow. It’s a sad state of affairs. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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