Attitude is everything. This might best describe Theresa Edwards. She’s seen many changes over her 12 years working at the LDF Country Market. But this year has been a doozy.
“The pandemic is wearing on people and fraying their nerves,” Theresa says. “But customer service is what we’re all about here, so it’s imperative I keep my attitude in check. Just gotta make the best of it.”
Theresa works as a cashier, where she sees many people doing their best to get through the pandemic. An 80-year-old shopper quickly comes to mind for Theresa.
“This shopper obviously has seen a lot over her years, but she has the right attitude, taking precautions, even though she says ‘it sucks wearing a mask,’” Theresa shares with a smile. “If she can do it, we all can do it.”
As social distancing in public becomes the norm, Theresa says, the pandemic seems to be drawing people closer together at home.
“More customers are doing more at home,” Theresa says. “I ask people what they’re cooking at home when they come through the checkout line.”
She sees people buying ingredients for making homemade breads. The pandemic seems to have people buying more ingredients for cooking and baking at home, she says.
In fact, Theresa started baking more lately. She cooks other dishes, without much baking in the past, she says. But now she’s taking time during the pandemic to learn to bake and try new dishes. Beyond baking, she’s also looking forward to learning to do bead work this winter. Her daughters bead, and she’s looking to them to teach her to pass the time during the pandemic.
There’s no question she needs to be at work, though.
“Got to pay the bills,” she says. “Put a smile on my face and do my job. Work through it. If I have any issues, I share with my supervisors and George. We all get along and it’s easy to talk to them.”
For many who work in retail and food service, it’s a labor of love.
“Without the team we have in place, we would not have made it over the last eight months,” LDF Country Market General Manager George Carufel says. “Many could have taken off during the pandemic, but they chose to be here serving the community. No question it’s been scary, but the team really works to take care of each other.”
Keeping everyone safe as possible is key during the pandemic.
“We remind people about masks, social distancing and sanitizing work stations and entryways,” Theresa says. “Our community is a good place with good people. Everyone knows we need to wear masks. I’ve seen people remind other shoppers to wear a mask and then they run to the car to get one. We have masks for shoppers who may forget them. But we are seeing most people getting used to wearing masks.”