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Anyone else with high school kids considered “essential workers”

LTmomof2LTmomof2 182 replies4 threads Junior Member
I have posted before that my son is a bagger at a local grocery store. This is not a huge chain store, but a family owned business with I think less than 20 stores in the Boston area. Terrific company. BUT... he is only 16 and I am scared to death every shift he works. Today, a local Market Basket worker died from Coronavirus.

His store is supplying gloves and we have secured 2 masks for him (fabric type) that I can wash in hot water. When he gets home from a shift, we literally have him strip in the garage and immediately put his clothes, apron and mask in a hot water sanitizing cycle in the washer.

I know people need to get groceries, so do we! I don’t want to saddle all of the other employees at his store with the shifts, but I would be lying if I said I don’t want to block him off for the next month.

Is anyone else in the same boat? I’m really struggling with what to do.
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Replies to: Anyone else with high school kids considered “essential workers”

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3642 replies13 threads Senior Member
    My teen took a leave of absence from grocery cashier job originally because one parent was scheduled for a pretty serious but apparently delayable orthopedics surgery and didn’t want to chance getting ill before the surgery. Then it became more clear that social distancing (and postponed surgeries) are here to stay for a while so we are not clear when teen will go back or if job still exists. Too bad because it was a good part time job and it’s not clear there will be other jobs available this summer.
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  • LTmomof2LTmomof2 182 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @momofsenior1
    I value so many of your posts. That’s what we are thinking as well. I guess I feel guilty because every shift I cancel for my son, some other teenager will have to pick up. Every bagger there is a high school kid and I’m sure they have parents who are just as worried. I don’t want to be selfish, but I also don’t want my son to get sick and die. Thank you for responding.
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  • LTmomof2LTmomof2 182 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Thank you @CheddarcheeseMN! This is a great job too, he likes his boss and coworkers. It will stink if he loses this job, we live in a very small town and there aren’t many jobs for high school kids. I think after reading these last two posts I am just going to go with my gut and call him off for the next month. I do feel badly for the workers that don’t have that option.☹️
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  • cshell2cshell2 1063 replies11 threads Senior Member
    My son works in a Fastenal warehouse. I'm not real worried about it as he's not interacting with many people and he's cut his hours to only a couple 3-4 hour shifts a week.

    I don't think I'd feel guilty about having a teen quit a grocery store job right now. Really there are plenty of adults supporting families that need work right now so they should be able to find help.
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  • LTmomof2LTmomof2 182 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @deb922 @cshell2
    Thank y’all for responding. You can always count on CC folks for honest feedback. I appreciate both of you. My husband just called his boss and called him out for Saturday. We can block him online going forward. I was just feeling selfish that I was saddling other high school boys to take his shifts. The lives of those boys are just as important as the life of mine.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 3872 replies14 threads Senior Member
    H is having to go out to stores for work more often than either of us are comfortable.

    In addition, this week he sent a couple workers home for coming in with cold symptoms.

    It’s scary. But (!!) he is an adult & is trying to save the business & keep a roof over our heads.

    If one doesn’t need to expose oneself (work & $$$), why not stay home and be safe(r).

    Good luck!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9820 replies110 threads Senior Member
    I wouldn't feel badly about this. As noted above, baggers really are not essential.

    Every parent/family can make the same decision to not send in their child and the store will survive.

    You do what feels right for your family/son!

    PS. Our market is working a skeleton staff to minimize exposure for both workers and customers. The boss should be understanding.
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 302 replies5 threads Member
    edited April 7
    My college freshman is home and he just took a temp job at a huge grocery store (like walmart but nicer). Mostly he is stocking and cleaning carts (gloves also provided there). I send him with his own pocket sized hand sanitizer. He washes his hands and changes clothes right when he gets home from work.

    I worry but his stepdad has been working and doing the shopping. Im in healthcare. We all know our risks and are trying our best.
    edited April 7
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  • atomomatomom 4734 replies41 threads Senior Member
    My HS senior D works serving food at a retirement community. They have changed how they serve--it used to be restaurant style, but now they package the food and deliver to the residents' apartments. She is not exposed to very many people and only works about 10-15 hrs./week. I am not too worried about it. Not crazy about it, either. We don't think she should quit as things are now. H is a physician, so still working and more likely to be exposed. My two other daughters and I have had our part-time jobs suspended for now. Two adult sons working from home. I do the shopping for everyone.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4199 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I am surprised at the treatment baggers get at Hannaford, our local chain. The cashiers have a plexiglass screen, a plastic bin to deposit change, and wipes to sanitize the screen and anything else. The baggers, who are less than 6 feet from the checkers and the customer, get none of these things. The only positive change our store instituted for them was to require customers to use the store's disposable bags.

    If I had a kid working as a bagger, I would have them quit.
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  • evergreen5evergreen5 1922 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Ours are doing more than just bagging and cart cleaning. They clean the whole store after closing so that it's ready for "senior hour" in the morning.

    (Just asked my junior if I should make him stay home from work. He said no. Has a relevant health history; doc advised clothes washing. I'm not worried.)
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  • 3kids2dogs3kids2dogs 360 replies24 threads Member
    edited April 7
    My daughter (junior in HS) works at a frozen yogurt shop. Why they are considered essential is beyond me, but they can do take out/curbside like all the other restaurants, so they are open.

    She is not working at the moment. The shop used to be open noon - 10pm, they are now open 3-8pm. With so few hours to spread around, she was going to get one four hour shift a week. She donated the shift to a coworker who needs the money the first week and then just sent a note to her manager that she would be happy to just take time off during the shelter in place order so that others could have more hours. Her manager was happy enough to just take her off the schedule for now.
    edited April 7
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  • LTmomof2LTmomof2 182 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @Massmomm
    You took the words right out of my mouth. That is EXACTLY what he is experiencing. 6 foot tape that everyone minds before coming to the checker. The checker sanitizes, has bleach spray and sprays everything down before each customer. Nobody gets close to them while they scan.

    My son has a taped off box that says “bagger”, but I have watched with my own eyes while shoppers maul him to grab their bags away. Literally almost bagging on top of him, grabbing the cart, less than 12 inches away from him. He is the most laid back, non complaining kid you will ever meet and even he said nobody is minding the distancing when it comes to baggers.

    I really appreciate all of you terrific posters for your comments. PLEASE distance from the baggers! CC’ers are awesome, so please just pass on to your other shopping friends.
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  • one+twoone+two 159 replies7 threads Junior Member
    My 21 year old college junior son pulled home from study abroad has little school work and was getting bored so applied to be a bagger at local grocery chain store. He was hired on the spot (manager turned out to be high school classmate but they were desperate so this is one time connections didn’t matter). I wasn’t too happy and debated telling him not to but before going back two days later for training he started shopping/delivering for Instacart and is making good $ plus he said the “old” people he delivered to were so appreciative. So he turned down the bagger job. I feel much better as he can control his interactions when shopping more than with bagging, etc. I shop at the store where he was going to work and they had several “older” people bagging this week.
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  • LTmomof2LTmomof2 182 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @one+two
    I wish mine had the instacart option. He just turned 16 two weeks ago and doesn’t have his license yet.

    My mom(74) has been doing instacart and is super appreciative of the instacart shoppers. That is the way to go if you ask me. Shut down the grocery stores and just do delivery.

    Thank you for responding.
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  • abasketabasket 21035 replies908 threads Senior Member
    I will be a +1 to saying that I don't think I'd want my teen son or daughter working at that position and +1 to the fact that someone bagging is a luxury and not critical.

    If the store is decent they will not hold it against him if times change and they need staff perhaps they will hire him back. Really, the store management should already be recognizing that baggers are one more hand on the products - shouldn't we be eliminating all the touches we can???

    Is there by chance another job he could do there like stocking that you would feel more comfortable with???

    I honestly appreciate but feel for all the grocery workers. I don't even know if I'd feel great about someone in my home doing Instacart just because they are in the store around so many people over and over. How many Instacart runs does one do in a day/shift???
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  • ClassicMom98ClassicMom98 424 replies1 threads Member
    yesterday, younger S got an interview for a job at a big box hardware store. Initially, I thought I'd be ok with it, but had him turn it down. H thought I was being over-protective but said he would support my decision. It's just that he's had too many weird things in his life, and I wouldn't forgive myself if he got sick and had complications. He was hospitalized for a week when he was 12 days old with RSV. At 1, he was the first person in our city to get MRSA. You couldn't go to the drugstore to get a prescription. The hospital had to specially mix something up and when he had MAJOR emotional reactiond, nobody could tell me if it was normal because he was the first! Then, he managed to get rhabdomyolysis working out at a Planet Fitness of all places! And then the broken bones, etc. He had asthma growing up, but only needs inhalers now when he gets sick... Ding, ding, right?

    But then my friend is a PA at an ER in a major city (not a hot spot yet) and she thought he should take it. Her take is that everyone's going to get it and he's young and will be fine. Even knowing his history... I dunno. I guess I am scared for him and over-protective. I bought him an iPad and I'm going to have him learn arcgis and have him collect cemetery data for me - a project we have been trying to complete for about 10 years... He won't be paid unless I give him an allowance - which I might do.

    So thanks for this... I was completely second guessing myself after I had him turn it down. I think he was nervous about the prospect too.
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  • HImomHImom 35828 replies396 threads Senior Member
    I honestly wouldn’t want my kids working right now. I am glad they’re sheltering at home with us. All 4 of us have asthma that always acts up when we catch any “bug.” In addition, H is >70 and I’m >60. We all have varying chronic health conditions. Some of the extremely sick had NO risk factors, some had several. I rarely have had a bagger in decades.

    Hunkering down and social distancing is an important job we all need to do right to help the most people possible survive so we can move on to better times.
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