Choosing kindness in the middle of a crisis
By ANGEL LACLAUSTRA
SNN Staff Writer
The time is 3 p.m., the sun is shining hard, and I can feel the sweat trickling down my back. My hand is reaching out the drive-through window to hand a customer the milkshake they had me remake three times because it was not “thick” enough. With every second that passes, my smile becomes a little bit more forced. The customer rides off, muttering something rude under his breath, and all I can do is smile. Something like this happens every day.
I work in a fast food restaurant and, since the beginning of March, have been considered an essential worker. Every day, I put on my face mask and gloves and I go to work. And every day, without fail, there is a rude customer who makes my quite simple job really hard. While I understand that everybody is on edge because of COVID-19, I also understand that people are still capable of being nice to each other.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people who get it, will recover without needing any special treatments. However, those with compromised or weak immune systems are at risk to develop more extreme symptoms that could end up in death. This is virus is obviously really serious since it’s spreading incredibly quickly.
Everybody is taking precautions, from businesses only doing carry-out orders to social distancing. My work is now no longer selling ice cream cones or putting dome lids on desserts. Everybody is doing his or her part to help. Some, however, seem to continue to act like nothing has changed, from not respecting social distancing to being rude to workers.
A lot of people have always acted like working a minimum wage job is bad. They have a sense of superiority against those who work these types of jobs, even though most of these jobs are occupied by teenagers and students. Minimum wage workers are treated like they are at the bottom of the feeding chain, even when they have been deemed essential workers in a time of crisis.
I understand that the service that I provide does not compare to the job that healthcare workers are doing right now. However, if people can bring themselves to show the bare minimum amount of respect to healthcare workers, they can do the same to other workers - not because they are deemed essential, but because they are providing you a service.
So, next time you are about to scream at a worker, do your best to stop yourself and make the conscious decision to be kind. It is a stressful time for everybody, and it is easy to forget that the person right across from you is going through this the same as you, one day at a time, but we have to try our best to remain kind.