Returning to Work After Furlough

Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 174

Wow, I have not posted in a while! 

I have been furloughed from my job at one of the Rochester, NY Dick's Sporting Goods stores since the end of March/beginning of April and was home sick since the beginning of March/end of February. I have been stuck at home for all but 20 days of it, which were spent at the VA getting my PTSD meds adjusted. We just got an email from our manager telling us that we have a tentative re-opening date for next week and that we will have some new policies in place to help prevent the spread; and that they'll be calling us this weekend with specifics. The cabin fever has been a struggle for me mentally because while I'm an introvert who values their alone time, I need to interact with humans on a regular basis or I get a bit stir-crazy. 

I am super excited to go back to work, but I'm still wary of the risks that will come with it. I'll be using public transit almost daily, be in contact with the public most of the day, and my position requires me to handle items (and cash when I back up the registers); and not all items can be fully wiped down - much of what I sell in the hunting department can actually be damaged by bleach. I'm fortunate that I live alone and thus don't have a potentially vulnerable family member that could be at increased risk; but it's still a risk for myself. One of my co-workers has a pregnant significant other who's due date is soon - they'll have an infant at home that they'll have to protect - and he's my main backup when I get swamped or need a half day. There's only six of us to cover the department and one of them is actually assigned to anther department while the other three are primarily assistant managers - meaning that there's really only two of us to solely work in the department and the other guy has a day job and only works weekends; which only leaves me to work the department on a regular basis. I usually work alone too, except when the younger guy is home from college (so hopefully now that classes have officially ended he'll be available to alternate opening and closing with me or one of us can usually open while the other one closes because closing one night and opening the next morning when you don't get home until after midnight is rough). 

 Have any of you been furloughed or have been working during this shutdown? I know at least in New York the whole state has been almost entirely shut down for months, but I'm not sure about other states. Any tips that anyone can offer for going back to retail work at this time? 



  • charryccharry Posts: 147
    edited 05/23/2020 - 12:35 AM

    I hope you can wear a mask and have a partition at your register but maybe you work on the floor? I worry for my Neice working cash and my brother who worked non stop through all of this but hopefully you'll do well.

     I hear bring your own coffee cup so you can transfer bought coffee to your cup and throw the disposable cup away.

    I wear a mask if I go out and carry sanitizer with me. Also, tissue to open the door handle I even spray the bottom of my shoes with sanitizer. I also use dry shampoo in my hair when I get home, change clothes. 

     Just try and distance. I wish everyone would wear a mask and wish every store would have to have a sanitizer station in every store. Blessings. Char

  • Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 174

    Charry, I do work on the sales floor - I pretty much run the hunting department (we don't have a sales lead at the moment and I'd put in for the position before COVID forced us to close for a while so who knows what'll happen now), but if the line gets a bit long at the front I'll go up and help them out. I answer the phone, pick online pickup orders, and stock shelves too. 

    My boss called Friday afternoon and let me know that we are definitely opening this upcoming Friday and that we would have masks, sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc. provided for us as well as gloves if we want them. He's really been great at making sure we have all the supplies we need even before we closed, so I'm not worried about not having supplies and whatnot. My boss often works register and the sales floor with us so he gets our concerns about safety because he's out on the sales floor with us a lot of the time - honestly he's out on the floor more than he's in his office. I've even seen him helping out re-arranging the shelf units, those things are super heavy and aren't always cooperative when you try to assemble them. He's definitely got our safety in mind for re-opening. 

    I'm not sure about partitions at the registers, I guess I'll find out on Friday. We'll probably have six-foot squares on the floor like I've seen at the grocery store and specific directions on the aisles - making them one-way streets essentially. Wearing the mask is going to be mandatory, that's already been made clear (I take the bus and you can't ride the bus without a mask or other face covering on so I've got no worries there plus fares are suspended for the time being). 

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  • mjcgmmjcg Posts: 75

    They make some really cool hats with plastic face shields.  You should check them out and get one for yourself.  It's an extra layer of protection, especially for your eyes.  I think as long as customers and employees following safety precautions everyone will be ok.  It's still a very contagious virus and we shouldn't let our guard down until there's a vaccine.  Good luck!

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