Working Class Heroes


Photo Credit: Kaiya Kearns

Dorothy M posing at Mixed Greens.

Kaiya Kearns, Social Media Editor

As the whole world is looking up,there is an image of good.  But just below the surface are people struggling daily. These people are the working class citizens, they provide for the world and make it function with little recognition. One college student by the name Dorothy M, an employee for Mixed Greens, shared her thoughts on how to achieve more consistency in our daily lives, and how she feels people are adapting to the new rules.

K: How do you think we can get back to a consistent normal or even our old normal if that’s possible?

D: I personally think that if everybody takes the precautions that are available, things would get better. I know there’s different views on it, but just in general I feel like everybody would be better off if we are just at the same playing field in general no matter what it is. I think as long as people are abiding by store rules that are put in place, like I know a lot of stores have mandatory mask rules now again or hand sanitizing and things like that. I think as long as everybody is abiding by the rules then we’re going to be in a better place.

K: Do you feel like customers are adapting to the new rules and having to be patient since a lot of places are short staffed? 

D: I think so. When I first got hired we had much stricter rules than we do now just because there weren’t vaccines and things at the time. We needed everybody to follow our rules, hand sanitize, be masked up, and it was very encouraging and heartwarming by how many people in the public were abiding by our rules, just because they knew that we had to be safe in order to keep shopping and stores open.

Land Ocean kitchen staff.

Even though there are still some good things happening with businesses and the people associated with them, there are some people who aren’t as lucky. Christopher Reetz shared his view on the living sustainability in Idaho, and what it has been like working during a pandemic.

K: Do you think the average amount of money an Idahoan makes is sustainable to live?

C: The amount of money the average idahoan makes is not sustainable to live on, the cost of living rose with inflation, but wages rose at a much slower rate, and the cost of living has substantially become much more expensive and harder to achieve especially in low level service positions (an example would be in 1970 it took 2000 hours less labor to save for a car then it would today). People simply aren’t being paid enough to do the labor they are being asked to do, people I know are working 2-3 jobs and still having struggles making enough for rent and food, and it all stems from companies not providing employees with necessary benefits and a livable wage.

K: What has been the most difficult aspect of working during a pandemic?

C:Working in a pandemic has been difficult for several reasons, first it is difficult to be in close contact with a lot of people and still remain in business as a company, especially with lower consumer rates due to fear of illness. In this particular case, many individuals are being very ignorant about the seriousness of this pandemic, and are spreading mass misinformation that has been a huge problem for many employees trying to deal with customers in a way that complies with governmental and personal regulations to limit the spread of the disease.

Restaurant deliverer unpacking boxes from his truck.

It is necessary to start hearing from the voices of ordinary people in this “new world” we are navigating. Even though it may seem like everything is alright, it is vital to make sure it is actually alright.