Essential Jobs VS COVID-19

Joan+Avila%2C+Courtesy+Clerk

Joan Avila, Courtesy Clerk

Roman Sierra Rafael, Staff

Joan Avila, Courtesy Clerk

I sat down with Joan Avila, a senior this year, to talk to him about his job and what it’s like to work during the Coronavirus pandemic.

I usually bag the food for the customers and go outside and push carts and bring them back inside” said Joan Avila.

Joan is a courtesy clerk for a local Fry’s. Joan’s tasks consist more than just that. He is also responsible for maintaining the front-end of the store clean and putting “go-backs” away (items that customers don’t want anymore). Depending on the schedule, he will either be outside for his whole shift cleaning and sanitizing shopping carts or be inside bagging and only going outside to push carts.

I’ve been working here for eleven months, almost a year“, said Joan.

Joan has been working at Fry’s since before the Coronavirus struck the U.S and during the pandemic. That includes the time when Arizona had the most Coronavirus cases.

Front-End manager Scott P. scanning customer’s items.

The changes that I saw the store make was apply plexiglass between the registers and they gave us masks and hand sanitizer” said Joan.

When the Coronavirus hit the U.S; Fry’s didn’t have protective equipment to keep their workers safe. When the state of Arizona mandated masks to be worn in public, Fry’s took quick action and gave masks, gloves, and installed plexiglass between the registers to help reduce the chances of a cashier getting COVID-19 from a customer.

There was only a couple of times I didn’t want to come into work because of the Coronavirus, but I wasn’t really worried at the time. I just had to make it to work” said Joan.

When the Coronavirus hit the U.S. A lot of Fry’s employees were afraid to go to work because they never know if they might catch COVID while working. According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), “…older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19”. At Joan’s workplace, there are many employees who have elderly people or small children at home.

I stay safe by watching my surroundings, making sure that I wash my hands, keeping social distancing, and keep my mask on at all times” said Joan.

Fry’s has been keeping their employees safe by making them sanitize their department every hour and allowing their employees to go to the restroom to wash their hands. Fry’s also had installed brand new sanitizing stations at the entrance of the store for customers to sanitize their carts or baskets. Fry’s also mandates that every department cleans up and sanitizes their departments at the end of day.