Shelter in Place: Day 21

Three weeks, folks, three long and impenetrable weeks.

I don’t know how much I am legally allowed to share because the company I work for is publicly traded, but suffice to say I was not laid off yesterday. Instead I am dealing with a situation I never thought I would have to face.

I am trying to prioritize my safety and the safety of the general public and by doing so I am jeopardizing my income. I don’t know anything about labor law. I don’t know how the company will respond. I am simply doing what I believe is right.

I will be sure to keep everyone up-to-date as things progress.

Again, this is not a situation for which I feel prepared. I am following my instincts. My instincts have been very wrong before, but they have also been very, very right especially when it comes to work environment.

I am tired of jobs that make me feel physically unsafe. Especially when my job description is “barista” or “cashier”. It’s not like I signed up to be a firefighter or a crash-test dummy. That would be another matter.

I am tired of being asked to do things that make me physically unwell and unsafe. In my position as a barista (at a previous company) I was asked to seal floors with toxic chemicals and climb ladders with no safety gear. As a salesperson I have been verbally abused and harassed. As a host I was groped.

And I consider myself lucky. When you work these sorts of jobs, you find that everyone has horror stories. Everyone has their time of being stalked or harassed, being asked to do things that put their safety at risk. There’s this sense in the world of customer service that it’s more important to have job security than physical or emotional security. There’s a sense that we’re all replaceable and therefore disposable. I am tired of it.

Right now people working cashier positions are extremely vulnerable. They have to make the choice every day between a steady income or their physical safety. That’s not a position anyone should be in.

It is time to start thinking about the world we want to live in. It is time to create a society that will allow people not just to survive but to thrive. It is time to prioritize human life and human rights over the monster of capital.

At the foundation of human society is the belief that the society will protect the people who have created it.

Our society is not protecting us, it is exploiting us to the benefit of the very few. It is time to recreate society from the ground up.

I am sending love, I am sending health, I am sending every ounce of joy I can find.



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