(Student submission spring 2020)
In order to combat COVID-19, my boss, Greg Cohen (also the owner of Lofty Pursuits), has asked us to begin new cleaning procedures. He has been watching and staying updated on this virus since January, in order to be prepared if it ended up in the United States. The cleaning procedures include, cleaning the tables, chairs, door handles, and counter tops with a commercial food-safe disinfectant equipped for handling and killing viruses with a similar make-up as COVID-19. We must clean tables double the amount of times required in previous cleaning procedures. We must do an initial wipe down of surfaces, then spray surfaces to allow them to air dry.
More Cleaning Procedure have been enacted today. We are now required to wash our hand at least once an hour, with 20 seconds of scrubbing under warm water. A bell will now sound at the top of every hour, as a reminder to wash our hands. In addition, in the middle of the hour at two hour increments a different bell will sound as a reminder to clean the bathrooms. We also must document the times of each bathroom cleaning on a clipboard and receive a supervisor’s signature. Tables are also required to be cleaned after every customer.
We are now beginning new clock in procedures for all employees. Upon arriving, we must wash our hands immediately. Then we must take our temperature with an ear thermometer (with a disposable cover) and document our temperature on a clipboard. Then wash your hands again, before and after clocking in. We have been asked to try to wash our hands every 20 minutes but are required to at least once an hour. If cash or a credit card is touched, we must wash our hands, or change our gloves.
Dine-in parts of restaurants officially closed today at 4pm. This caused a slight bit of confusion and we almost closed for the remainder of the day. This meant my shift for tonight would be cancelled. However, we were able to remain open for takeout only and I was able to work my shift. I was also asked to hang up all pages of the ice cream and breakfast menus on one of the windows. This allowed customers to browse the menu without having to touch the menu or come even inside. Greg also announced that we would begin making deliveries tomorrow. He developed a delivery system in 5 days. He able to foresee the closing of eat-in restaurants and work to ensure that we had other means to continue working. From delivery driving to candy packaging and shipping, to remodeling the store. He has been working tremendously hard to ensure that everyone willing and able to safely work was able to keep their job.
Today we began making deliveries. This was a very weird change as it caused me to be completely alone in the store, multiple times throughout this shift. This made it difficult to do anything that required me to leave the main part of the store. I worried that if anything went wrong, the blame would fall on my shoulders. We were asked to prefill two pints of every ice cream that was available for delivery. This included carrying those pints back to the walk-in freezer, which caused me to need to leave the main part of the store for about 30 seconds. Those seconds feel like a lot when you are alone. Especially, when there is a total of three entrances in the store and no way to see what is happening at two of those doors at one time. This created a lot of anxiety to an already nerve-racking situation.
We have now began serving two types of beer for delivery and in store (to-go). We must check IDs as well to ensure that we are not serving to anyone underage.
We have now began serving wine and Champagne. In addition, we can sell orange juice with Champagne for a mimosa kit. When I heard about the mimosa kits, I began thinking about having my mom buying one for my sister, Ashley’s, 21st Birthday, which is on April 12th. Ashley has worried for the past few weeks about her birthday. She hates how she will not be able go out to a bar legally for the first time on her birthday or even get to hang out with her friends. My mom and I are hoping we can make it slightly better.
Today we were asked to begin recording the pick-up orders (and delivery orders for drivers) that we filled from the website. This is to help determine who gets the tips for that order.
Today was my first day bagging candy. All the candy packaging workers had to be let go for health reasons. However, candy orders have skyrocketed. Lofty has also decided to set up a quarantine system for our candy shipping. All candy must be packaged, sealed, then stored upstairs for 5 days before being shipped. Many members of the ice cream staff have been working to packaged candy.
Today was my first day helping with candy shipping, from upstairs. I filled orders, folded boxes, prepared candy bag labels, and prepared shipping labels. Adam, the Shipping Department Manager, has been slammed with orders and with being the only person working in shipping he needed help. Adam’s wife is at a higher risk of getting COVID-19 due to underlying health issues, so he is very particular about who can come upstairs. He often disinfects the room after anyone (who is not supposed to be there) comes upstairs and requests that anyone planning to come upstairs washes their hands immediately before coming upstairs. Upon getting upstairs, I realized how far behind Adam was on orders. I only got through 2 days of orders before my shift ended.