Stacking Refrigerators: A Pandemic Work Story

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Stacking Refrigerators: A Pandemic Work Story

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This image is of me working at a refrigerator plant during the Spring of 2021. Before I started working at my law firm, I bounced around and did odd jobs to make ends meet. I came across this plant job in my hometown because the plant was suffering from severe labor shortages due to COVID-19. The plant was offering higher pay due to labor shortages and was offering to hire in employees faster because of it. We were required to wear mask inside the plant at all times regardless of it being extremely hot and were expected to do overtime and come in on weekends if needed. I did not only want to highlight the work conditions of this job but illuminate businesses began to operate due to the dire conditions of the pandemic. I also wanted to highlight how some people had to continue to work during the pandemic despite setbacks with workers, production numbers, and work conditions. It is important to illuminate stories like these because many essential workers stories are not heard and recognized. Despite unemployment numbers being at all-time high nationally, people are still working. Therefore, it is important to recognize the sacrifices and contributions workers like I had to make in order to continue to support ourselves and our loved ones.

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This item was submitted on April 2, 2022 by Ashley Hampton (She/Her) using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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