Working during COVID


Mackenzie Shrum, Writer

     Customers rush through the doors, feeling a relief of being able to go anywhere during a pandemic. Some wear masks, but sometimes some don’t. Young employees struggle to assert authority as they ask them to wear masks, and find their new way of working part-time far more challenging than before. Working during COVID-19 has proven to difficult for teenagers that try keeping a job. 

     “The hardest thing about working during the pandemic is attending to guests’ needs without getting too close to them,” said Madison Buscemi, a senior who works at Target. “It’s difficult to hear what they’re saying and help them while trying to maintain social distancing.”

     Most students say they struggle with keeping customers following the regulations. According to, 44% of Americans claim they always wear a mask,  28% say they very often wear masks, and 3 in 10 Americans say they rarely wear a mask and in public. From these statistics we see that there is still a present issue from people that don’t wear masks. 

     “It’s really frustrating when a customer refuses to wear a mask,” said Madison Butina, a Norwin junior that works for Dairy Queen. “I wear one for 8 hour shifts while lifting heavy things and talking, but out of consideration for others I have no qualms with wearing a mask. It’s kind of frustrating when a customer doesn’t have that same consideration for my well-being.”

     Stores and restaurants now have new regulations as well that can add a bit more pressure when it comes to working. Regulations that are often pushed are keeping a six feet distance, wearing masks, and getting your temperature taken as well. 

    “At Target, there are daily temperature checks to make sure that nobody has a fever, the tables in the break room are spread 6+ feet apart, there’s multiple sanitizing stations throughout the store, we always have someone cleaning the carts, and employees always wipe off their equipment before turning it in. Target also provides masks everyday for employees,” said Buscemi.

     With the ongoing risk of COVID, working part-time during the pandemic heightens the risk. 

     “I am definitely concerned that working during COVID is putting me at higher risk, but I need the job. I avoid sitting with other employees on break and, avoid touching things when I don’t have my gloves on,” said Butina.

     There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to working during COVID, and most teenagers are aware of the risk when it comes to being in public.

     “One of the toughest parts about working during COVID is easily the risk, dealing with customers who would rather not follow the rules, and knowing if someone has COVID or not,” said Joe Kelch, a Norwin junior that works for Jersey Mike’s. 

     With the recent shutdown mandate, some students have found themselves out of work or still have to work but at a decreased capacity. This new change and the new school schedules affected students’ lifestyles.  Working with COVID constantly changes depending on the rules and regulations. Teenagers working part-time have to adapt to the new regulations and new conditions of working during a pandemic.