Working at a bottle shop during COVID19

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Working at a bottle shop during COVID19

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Throughout the pandemic I worked in a bottle shop owned by Coles in South Melbourne. Sales increased dramatically during the pandemic for two reasons. Firstly, people were worried about Dan Andrews closing bottle shops during lockdown. Secondly, because bars and venues were closing, people had to source their own alcohol. During the interim period when people were discussing what the stage 3 and 4 lockdown would look like customers would come into the shop and ask if we were considered an ‘essential service’. I would respond with “I assume we’re considered essential,” “how would you survive without booze?” and “you’d know more than we do.” During this period of time it seemed like everyone knew a friend or an acquaintance of a friend who was in politics and sharing information about COVID lockdown meetings and what the next stage would involve. The uncertainty of not knowing if I’d be working next week was stressful and caused anxiety and it also caused me to panic buy wine (most of which was not touched). Nonetheless, we stayed open throughout all lockdowns and acquired new customers. During lockdown our sales increased on cocktail ingredients such as triple sec and campari because people started making cocktails at home. During the pandemic customers seemed to have more time to chat and browse and wanted to try new products. but this could also be because they liked the excuse to stay out of home for longer. As well, Coles gave employees who worked from March to May 2020 a one-off thank you bonus for working during the hardest weeks of the pandemic. Working during a pandemic had highs and lows, I was grateful that I didn’t live with my family, so I couldn’t bring home to virus, but it was hard juggling extra hours at work around online uni and other aspects of life. HIST30060

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This item was submitted on November 10, 2020 by Samantha Coffey using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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