Bruised and Drained: Life of a Supermarket Staff during COVID-19

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A part-time supermarket cashier in Singapore has shed light on how tough the work is during the COVID-19 period. Due to a rise in demand for staff, the cashier was only trained for two days and has been working for a week.

Just a week is enough to make him bruised and drained, all thanks to those who panic buy despite constant reminders that there is enough for everyone.

People are not listening to the limits set. For e.g., each person can only get 2 packs of instant noodles and 6 canned food. If you want to get more, you have to re-queue. And, you cannot use your link card for the second transaction. Please read and understand the limitations before you reach the cashier counter.

On top of that, supermarket staff have to constantly place unwanted items back on the shelves as some selfish people will leave them lying around. Worst still, some people have no qualms hoarding and clearing out items that have just been restocked.

The least we can do is to really take what we need and save the staff further trouble. Shopping online may be a good alternative too.

Please be more patient if the cashier is slow. Some of us, like me, are inexperienced and have only gone for 2 days of cashier training. Some cashiers may be standing for at least 5hrs straight while you may stand for at most 2 hours. If the cashier made some mistakes, please don’t be angry at them. We are humans too. Please be more patient and wait till the manager come to assist.

Most of the cashiers are elderly of around 60-70 years old. I’m only 20 and I’ve already gotten some physical injuries. Bruises, cuts and bumps have appeared on my hands and fingers. My ankle and kneecap are swollen. If I’m already getting such injuries, what about the older cashiers. They would be getting more painful injuries. Each staff is supposed to have an hour break but it’s cut short in order to serve all the customers. Staff are also asked to OT due to the shortage of people.

Furthermore, the cashier was appalled that some people are stealing supermarket trolleys and reminded those who want to buy more to bring their own trolleys instead.

With the mad demand for groceries these days, our supermarket staff are already overworked but continue to do their best to serve Singaporeans. It is therefore only right for us to be more responsible so as to make their lives easier.

Take what you need, practise social distancing and be more patient. It will really help to be more understanding in a time like this.

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