Pub and shop staff: ‘Please be nice to us this weekend’on April 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Newsbeat hears from staff heading back to work after four months away.

Primark shop front

image copyrightGetty Images

“It’s going to be a couple of manic days.”

That’s what Primark worker Hannah is expecting as pubs, shops and restaurants in England gear up for their first weekend since restrictions were eased.

While you might be keen for a rummage through the clothes rack or a pint in a pub garden, spare a thought for the people serving you.

“Just try and be kind to all the workers,” says Hannah.

She had her first shift back on Tuesday. And, well, it was “chaos”.

We’ve given her a different name because she didn’t want to get in trouble with her bosses.

“Before the store reopened, we were going round making sure everything looked perfect,” she says.

“The state of the store after, it looked like there was a war in there. You just want to cry.”

She’s hoping this weekend, her customers will be less “blunt” and “rude”.

The men’s section – according to Hannah – was the worst. And the chaos meant some staff stayed until midnight tidying up, three hours after the store closed.

This weekend, she wants customers to treat the store “how you would treat your own home”.

23-year-old pub worker Beckii

image copyrightBecki Whiting

Becki is working back-to-back 11-hour shifts in a pub in Birmingham over the weekend.

The 23-year-old is “dreading it”.

“I did a seven-hour shift yesterday and my feet were burning and I started getting dizzy towards the end.”

“It was absolute mayhem”.

“Think nightclub on a Saturday night – that’s how the pub has been on a Wednesday afternoon.”

Before the pandemic she was regularly working behind the bar for eight hours at a time.

“It would be water off a duck’s back,” she says. But all that time not working has had an impact.

“During lockdown, I’ve gained a bit of weight… and it’s just so much harder now.”

There are also new rules to enforce.

Remembering what we are and aren’t allowed to do isn’t easy – but Becki says people have been pushing their luck when challenged.

“They say things like, ‘I’ve already had it’ and, ‘What’s the point?'”

“At the end of the day, we’re all in it together. None of us want to get ill and get Covid and pass it on to our families.”

“Just be patient with us. It’s new to us as much as it’s new to you.”

25-year-old Jan works as a barber

image copyrightJan Spencer

For 25-year-old Jan, the easing of lockdown in England is like “Christmas”.

The Manchester-based barber says one of her customers drove 90 minutes for a haircut.

“He baked me a tonne of brownies and give me a massive tip.”

She won’t be dreading this weekend like Hannah and Becki – but things haven’t been easy.

“It does really affect you mentally because you go from seeing over 200 people a week to seeing nobody,” she says. “It’s been quite tough”.

At one point, she even considered quitting as a barber and looking for another job.

“Because there wasn’t much support, I felt like it was a waste of time. I didn’t even know if we’d even have a shop to go back to because lockdown was that bad.”

Opening the doors again has changed all that and Jan’s now feeling much more positive – especially with a bumper weekend of clients.

“It’s like I’ve never been away.”

Presentational grey line
Newsbeat

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

India’s coronavirus outbreak may soon trigger an unprecedented recession as millions of migrant workers travel from packed cities to rural villages

Migrants workers occupy every spare spot aboard trucks in Patna, India, as they attempt to get home during the coronavirus lockdown on May 17,...

Ordering Business Cards Online

Business cards are an important part of any business, as they help people to identify the business for further communication. Many other places you...

Love and money: Why breaking-up is so hard to doon August 19, 2021 at 11:19 pm

More people are looking for help in paying for divorces after relationships ended during Covid.

Euro 2020: Ukraine 0-4 England – ‘England not settling for the semis’ says Harry Maguireon July 3, 2021 at 9:27 pm

England are not settling for a semi-final spot at Euro 2020 after they progress to the last four by hammering Ukraine, says defender Harry...

Saudis Raise Oil Prices by Most in 20 Years to Bolster Rally

Saudi Arabia increased prices for some crude exports by the most in at least two decades, doubling down on a strategy to bolster the...