Supermarket thank you
March 17, 2020 6:06 AM   Subscribe

We live right on top of a supermarket and are regulars who chat with the employees. I would like to show my appreciation for how they have handled the last few days. Most of them look exhausted, but are doing an amazing job. Normally I would bake them a cake for the staff room (have done that once in the past, was much appreciated). But that doesn't sound like a good idea right now. Any ideas?
posted by Omnomnom to Human Relations (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
if you have the means, you should give them money, preferably via electronic transfer rather than cash. you should also find out from them if they're getting a decent base wage, hazard pay for the work they're doing now, PPE (and paid training in how to use to it properly), a generous paid sick leave policy, and good health insurance, and if not, ask them who to call/email/speak to directly to demand it on their behalf, and talk to other customers about doing the same, as a group.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 6:41 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

We live in Europe and I'm pretty sure cash wouldn't go over well.
posted by Omnomnom at 6:52 AM on March 17, 2020

For example, we share the same mandatory health insurance.
posted by Omnomnom at 6:53 AM on March 17, 2020

Can you prune or forage some branches to force into bloom in a nice or reusable container?
posted by cocoagirl at 7:53 AM on March 17, 2020

Could you bake them something that could be heated up? Like pot pies or something? The virus doesn't do well in heat so generally cooked food is safe -- and if *they* get to do the heating, even better. Things that are individually packaged would also probably be a good idea so that they don't have to divvy themselves.
posted by thebots at 9:36 AM on March 17, 2020

Kind of a silly idea but how about just painting them a big thank-you banner and hang it outside somewhere where they and everyone else get to see it?
posted by Gusaroo at 10:17 AM on March 17, 2020 [10 favorites]

Similar; when the store I was at was dealing with aftermath response to a massive storm, we were all exhausted and it was such a relief to have some brand name sodas/energy drinks/iced coffee/bottled water and grab and go snacks available. We were sooo tired and dealing with our own shit and going in to work extra shifts. You're grand for thinking of them. I like the poster idea too because it's genuine. Good for you!
posted by mightshould at 10:48 AM on March 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Write cards of appreciation. Search for and print cartoons. If you know Chris likes a particular form of music, drop off a cd, or make a mix cd. Small gestures make a big differences. Maybe contact the manager and offer to buy some fresh fruits and/or juice for staff.
posted by theora55 at 11:05 AM on March 17, 2020

As an exhausted supermarket worker, I can't thank you enough for wanting to do this. Honestly, gifts of money would be frowned upon (we aren't allowed to accept tips, for example), and baked goods, while wonderful, can be forgotten in the rush to get out of the store at the end of our day. Or the employee may have certain dietary restrictions. We feel terrible is someone makes something for us but we're allergic. I really like the idea of a card expressing your thanks; and perhaps if there's a parent corporation, an email to them about your happiness with how the store employees have handled these stressful times, will also be wonderful. I still have a copy of a letter written to corporate about our store after Superstorm Sandy (USA here) where someone praised us. And individual letters can be kept forever, and looked back on with appreciation.
posted by annieb at 3:56 PM on March 17, 2020 [6 favorites]

In the short term - and i bet you're doing this already - just thank them every time you see them. Forever.

I said "thank you for coming to work today" to a teenage cashier the other day, in a chaotic grocery store, and she said "nobody has said that to me today" and nearly broke down crying.
posted by jessicapierce at 11:07 AM on March 18, 2020

posted by kjs4 at 4:49 PM on March 18, 2020

Actual grocery store worker here.

A local restaurant randomly sent us Thank You take out the other day. We really appreciated it.

Take out would also be a way to support local businesses.

Also, be sure to be patient, respectful, and ready to go when you get in line - if you can, have your coupons out, make sure they're in date, make sure you already have your form of payment easy to hand so no one has to dig in their pocket or purse. If you are writing a check, have your license/ID easy to access.

Don 't expect us to magically divine that you have three cases of 7 Up under your cart.

If you have a question about a price or anything else, ask up front. It could take us a minute to get someone to answer some questions and we don't like to hold up the line.

We have no idea when X product will be back in stock - none. The department managers don't know either. It's a waste of everyone's time to ask.

Don't bitch about toilet paper hoarding, or empty shelves, or grumble about the coronavirus being no big deal - we're hearing the same things a hundred times a shift and it gets really fucking tedious, esp in a store that stresses personal customer interaction.

Or how there aren't enough registers open; our schedules were not made with a pandemic in mind, and we don't have an infinite supply of extra cashiers. We can call staff in from other departments but then those folks aren't available to unload trucks, unpack boxes, or stock shelves, cut meat, serve customers at the deli counter, et cetera.
posted by Archipelago at 7:10 PM on March 18, 2020

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