A letter to my employer: Thank You

My gratitude for continued support through this global crisis

Within the space of a week, my life along with so many others’ has changed dramatically.

I’ve gone from tapping away at uni computers trying to hammer out my dissertation before deadline to finding myself stuck at home with no motivation and an increasing case of cabin fever.

But more important than my education and dissertation is the striking realisation that I am in fact a key worker.

The job that was once the simple stacking of shelves and the mundane scanning of groceries has now become work that is ‘so vital, the Government is keen to ensure that they are able to carry out their jobs with as little restriction as possible.’

We’ve all felt the fear since COVID-19 started creeping closer to our homes and the uncertainty of job security is a discussion that has happened in just about every household up and down the country.

Companies like Topshop have ‘temporarily laid-off’ their staff to avoid paying them sick pay and the self-employed are struggling to keep their heads above water.

But my employer, Tesco, have made sure that working for them is bearable, doable and valuable in a situation where so many other big corporations have failed their employees.

Tesco have announced to their employees that they will be paying an extra 10% of everything earned from March 9th to May 1st. They have also stated that the 10% colleague discount will be increased to 15% from April 6th to May 7th, easing the financial strain of the pandemic on all employees.

“…we have decided to give a 10% bonus for permanent colleagues… This will be backdated from Monday 9 March and paid until 1 May, at which point we will review the situation.”

OurTesco; Colleague Announcement

Admittedly, the new implementations are support that we should expect from any employer with the funds to provide. But the reality is that this is not the case.

In a situation where it would be so incredibly easy for such a big company to disregard the wellbeing and needs of its employees, Tesco have really stepped up and for that I have to thank them.

They’ve allowed me to take job security and finances off of my Pandemic Problem Pile and instead focus my energy on my university work the safety of my family.

So, to all of the corporate staff at Tesco; from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

But here’s a side note to customers: it’s not our fault. And we’re still people.

Without putting a downer on a post that was meant to be lighthearted, I would just like to say this:

Now more than ever is the time to show people the respect and dignity you would like to be shown.

Respect the boundaries of shop workers by staying a reasonable distance away from them; they may be one of the only people you see all day, but we see hundreds of you in one shift.

If we’ve run out of toilet roll, it’s not our fault and we can’t magic some out of thin air. Shouting at colleagues for out-of-stock items is not going to make them appear. Remember that before raising your voice at staff.

A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Supermarket staff are people and we deserve to be treated as such.

We hate this situation just as much as you do. But we can’t make it disappear, so don’t take it out on us.

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