Sunday, September 10, 2017

Confessions of a Retail Clerk Working in a Hurricane Surge

Empty water shelve
(9/9/2017) --- I am writing this before any power failures. The last seven days had been insane, I can't imagine for health care practicioners, EMT's, firemen and police officers have to deal with the aftermath or what they have to deal during the panic attacks that people have during hurricanes and other weather phenomena.

I always took advantage and bought my supplies before the storm season arrived, at this moment I am missing a good flash light but any lights and batteries have been out of stock everywhere for a week now. What it gets my attention is the behavior of some people who go into a rage frenzy, a panic and ultimately an understanding of their own mortality without even thinking about the consequences of their actions towards themselves and others.

It is madness to work in between a category five hurricane, people just fight and attack the clerks for almost anything; I shouldn't complain too much, because after a trip to the gas station I saw how badly the clerks on those establishment can be treated by people who are rushing into a panic mode. I went to the gas station, I am not going to mention which location but it was a WaWa, after picking up sand bags with a dear friend of mine, people were trying to skip the line and put gas as soon as possible.

On a certain moment, two individuals started to fight, they mentioned racial epithets to each other but their fight suddenly stopped, when one of them pulled a gun on the other, and the one who started with the racial slurs just went back to his car. The attendants who were directing the traffic were alarmed, they started to scream "that someone should call the cops" but the honest truth, there was a cop sitting behind them and didn't do anything.

A long line for water
Going back to the store setting; almost every store that I worked with, they contain one of two water filling stations. On the one that I am right now, we have one on the exit, next to it there are some other coolers with drinks and vending machines; but, the main treasure, the golden objective was to go to the water station, to fill up the gallons.

Lines were insane, just for water, to refill water. They were more people on the other side of the door, almost 30 something people in line, waiting to refill the water, going slowly as possible, blocking the entrance and exist as well the cart receiving station.

It is understandable, water becomes the main resource for survival, mostly when there can be a failure on the sewers due the rise on the water; but, whenever customers start acting aggressive and threat the employees, which they have been working hard to assist the customers, then the experience of working in a tense enviroment turns into a nightmare.

8:15 AM 09/09/17
The last day before any major evacuation and before the store closed earlier; it fell as it was rush hour, but it was 8:00AM, just one hour after we open. The photo on the left, I took it exactly 15 minutes after I arrived, and the store was full. Right now, I am just waiting for the power to fail, anyone who is in Florida, please be safe, be safe.