Things That Matter

Thank You To All Of The Essential And Frontline Workers That Guided Us Through Covid This Year

This has been a tough year for just about everyone. Covid-19 spread across the world forcing governments and businesses to shut down. Billions of people were forced to quarantine to stop the spread of the new virus that was infecting and killing millions. Yet, despite the ongoing pandemic, some people worked to keep the world moving forward.

Frontline and essential workers maintained the essential parts of society that keep life moving forward. They kept the grocery stores stocked and managed so we could eat. They filled prescriptions to make sure that no one had to go without their medication. They kept hospitals clean so nurses and doctors could do the work of saving lives from an unknown virus that was spreading through the country.

As the world hid, a brave few worked daily to keep us in our comforts and we owe them an immense debt of gratitude.

Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for putting yourself in harm’s way so we could survive. History will back at this time and remember the millions of people who we could not live without. They did what so many of us could not.

There was a palpable fear in the air in mid-March. Cases of an unknown virus were appearing everywhere in the world. Community spread was recorded as the virus arrived in new countries. It crossed borders with ease because of how connected the world is at this time. Borders were closed. Cities, states, and countries announced lockdown orders shuttering non-essential businesses to protect lives.

We were scared.

From that fear emerged the frontline and essential workers. Society had a chance to see the people that we need and who support us. Grocery store workers, farmworkers, pharmacists, nurses, and so many other people became our first line of defense. They braved the virus to protect us.

Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do. You are the reason we are anywhere near the other side of this pandemic. Your tireless work to maintain the flow of food, medicine, and paper products saved lives.

In thanks, mitú stands with the essential and frontline workers in urging our readers not to travel or gather this holiday season. After months of working non-stop during this pandemic, essential and frontline workers need us to stay home. They need us to do what we can to slow the spread during this second wave. By staying home, you keep them safe from potential exposures as cases continue to climb in the U.S.

We can make a big difference if we follow guidelines. We must keep practicing social distancing, wearing our masks, and listening to health care experts. Do it for the essential worker in your life. Do it for the real life heroes who continue to work as the pandemic rages on.

READ: 28-Year-Old Nurse Dies From COVID-19 Hours After Filming a Heartbreaking Video For His Family

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

The Suicide Rate Of Retail Workers Sparks Trending Conversation On Reddit— “It’s unbearable.”

Things That Matter

The Suicide Rate Of Retail Workers Sparks Trending Conversation On Reddit— “It’s unbearable.”

MOHAMMED ABED / Getty

Despite their status as essential workers, retail employees have faced unbelievable amounts of pressure and abuse from the customers they serve. From facing indignant customers who refuse to wear masks to those who attempt to demean them for their work, it’s entirely safe to say that retail employees do not get paid enough for the jobs that they do.

A recent post on Reddit underlines this truth in some pretty shocking ways.

Check out the comments below.

“Low paid, long hours, usually very little control of your hours, working weekends and holidays and being forced to put up with a lot of abuse every day and not often too many avenues for promotion. I’m not shocked tbh.”- Foreign-Complaint130

“The worst part when I worked retail was the combination of “very little control of your hours” and the most fucking erratic schedule in the world. Not consistent day-to-day, week-to-week, or month-to-month. Some days working 2 hours, others working 12. Some weeks you only get 3 days, other times you work for 3 weeks straight without a day off. Sometimes a manager would straight up forget to schedule you and that’s a whole week of pay gone.”- ledivin

“The shitty “performance metrics” created by those firms to “optimize” the workplace efficiency make it million times worse. corporate don’t have time to go over those numbers, so they just look at the graph and summary; regional managers dont want the graph to reflect bad performance, so they punish the local managers for dips in the metrics (bad reviews, lower q-to-q number), so the local managers punish the workers if any customer ever complained. overtime it created the vicious cycle and allowed bad customers to face zero consequences, enabling their abusive behaviors. those managers get away with such tactics because there is very limited workplace protection and there are always people who are desperate for work, so they don’t care about the turnovers.”- seimungbing

“Don’t forget having to deal with people coming in very last minute when you’ve been at work all damn day and just want to go home. I swear, people who do that shit are literal scum of the earth.”- tsalyers12

“The worst part about it is people will show up on holidays and make remarks like:

“wow they make you guys work on x holiday?”

And I always responded with “No, you make me work on x holiday.”

They’d probably give me the day off if people weren’t literally trying to spend money at a big box store on a holiday, so I have an unnatural hatred for people who think they should just run to the store on any major holiday.”- doomsdaymelody

“Not only that it’s now a prime target for shooting rampages. I have to watch the same video of “what to do in case of an active shooter” every so often. Each time I just think I don’t get paid enough for this shit.”- 

KresblainTheMagician

“I lost a friend that way. He was working long hours, and was already depressed. Then in the first months of the pandemic, people were particularly rude and abusive and his managers wouldn’t do anything and just overwork him. He was often yelled at by customers for things beyond his control.”- Asleep_Koala 

“I’ve never felt worse as a human being than working in customer service.

Being knowledgeable about the product and a willingness to help. Then getting constantly shit on by customers who’d turn me in to management then being forced to defend myself week in and week out for years..”-LoveIsOnTheWayOut

“I saved this guy $10 on an item by letting him know about an online coupon and did everything for him because he was older and didn’t understand tech much. After the transaction he counts his change and tells me I shorted him a dime. I apologized and gave him his dime. Before he leaves he tells me I should go back to school to learn how to count…”- Rabblerouser6

“I emphasize (meant to put empathize) with this. My “school in underwear“ nightmare is me serving tables or working retail again. I left those years behind long ago, but I still get bad dreams about those times.

Edited and leaving the original in because it’s funny”- Principal_B-Lewis

“I was very fortunate in my time in retail to only get three proper nutters.

I worked in the furniture department at Babies ‘R Us and a lady came in and asked if she brought in a sample of the furniture, could I identify it, match and and replace it?

I said I couldn’t, but I’d make an attempt to find it if it existed, but not to get her hopes up too much because we had a selection that rotated out pretty actively.

She seemed to think that was agreeable and then brought in an actual chip of wood (not a picture or a swatch) that was almost genuinely orange. However orange you could be without being painted that way.

All we had at the time was white, whitewash, a few brownish things and a reddish “cherry” brown. Nothing on the floor, so I looked through the special order catalog; nada.

She lost her mind and started swearing at me and called me deceitful and all kinds of other things.

The yelling attracted the attention of the assistant manager who stood there for about three seconds, long enough to go “Ah, this woman is batshit” and give me a sideways glance before saying, “____, I believe I can help this customer, can you do me a favor and go check on the Baby Italia stock in receiving?”

That wasn’t even specific enough to be actionable but I caught the hint, apologized to the woman for the misunderstanding and left.

Come to find out the chip wasn’t from baby furniture and wasn’t from our store. Amazingly, they actually found the thing based on other pieces she brought in which were marked, and found out it was from an old nightstand she bought in the ’70s (explains the orange).

That’s the burnout part for me. Not helping, not the confusion, not that the person has a genuine concern, but that they double-down on bad reactions unnecessarily while contributing nothing, and expect to not only be seen as reasonable, but that you’re a space alien for daring to deal with it in a professional manner based on your existing level of knowledge and training.

Hell, my department manager was like that. She never said a word to me, then brought me in to talk with both the manager and assistant manager, and complained my product fluency was lacking. At one point I said, “I wish you would have come to me first and let me know. I saw ____ the other day had a sash and a guidebook to learn about all the kinds of products, so I’ve felt kind of helpless, and when I asked you before about the best way to study up you said it was all by osmosis and experience.”

The managers cut things off right there because the first time I was finding out meant that there time was being wasted. Which meant she got pissed at me for being outed and claimed up and down she’d given me training materials before despite there being no evidence besides an assumption in her memory.”- credit_counselor

“I’ll say it every time, but when I was in retail (and this was many years ago) I could deal with the rude customers, what I couldn’t deal with was managers who forced you to enforce rules just so they could come skipping out of their office to say, “Oh we can do that for you!” and happily bend the rules so you could stand there looking like a jackass. Zero patience for that bullshit.”- shanthology

“Yeah, that part sucks. I got into this habit of being straight up with people about it.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been instructed by my manager that I can’t do that for you. But if you’re okay waiting, I can try and ask my head cashier or manager to help you.”

Sometimes they’d take me up on it, but there were plenty of times they didn’t. But I had a lot of good experiences because I figured out who to ask about what.” – YellowHammerDown

“This is the exact kind of company I’m working for right now. We have ridiculously strict policies about our products, to the point where I’m arguing with people more than not. Then I have to call my superior and they tell me to just make the customer happy. The fuck is the point of the policies if I’m just going to let things slide anyways????”- brahmen_noodle

“I still dread weekdays and have thought about quitting. Trouble is, my work experience lends toward interest from companies who need customer service workers. I feel completely stuck in a no-win scenario.

Try executive support, at least you’ll get paid well – even if you still have to deal with people who act like children, at least your customers have the money to go with the inflated sense of self worth.”- SpaceChevalier

“An old employer did this to me. I got a promotion doing back office work, and then one day they sent me back into Customer Service, because someone else went on maternity leave.

I was angry, depressed, and absolutely hated it. I made several complaints but they didn’t amount to anything. I applied for different jobs but didn’t hear anything.

I finally conceded I was stuck in life, and even when I would get moved back to my office job, there was no guarantee this wouldn’t happen again. So I went back to school. I spent 4 years working full time and being a full time student. I knew I needed a better resume (especially being an older college student), so I volunteered for everything at this crappy job. I become an invaluable team member. I was even given an award (lol) for being such a committed employee at an annual dinner.

And then I quit. My resume had a bunch of good stuff on it, I had a degree, and had lined up a new job with all these skills I had been working on.

The look my boss had on their face was priceless. They tried to counter offer but the new job was literally double what I was making and even more than my boss was paid so that wasn’t going to happen.

I’m not saying that path works for everyone, and it was a huge time commitment, but I was able to leverage all those awful customer service experiences for something positive. I hope you can do the same!”- Hambushed

“My first job as a teen was telemarketing. Awful idea. I did that for about 3 years.

I started developing high anxiety from the job but didn’t realize it. I ended up walking out twice because I just couldn’t do the job anymore. I was good at it, but I couldn’t bare the thought of being yelled at anymore.

A few years later I’m doing tech support because I want a career in the tech field. Nearly a year later I walk out of that job because I just couldn’t do it. I was good at doing the job, but I couldn’t bare the thought of being yelled at anymore.

Four years ago I try to do phone work again for a corporate ISP handling business internet, and I couldn’t last even a year. I’m almost begging my supervisors to let me train others on occasion because my anxiety is fucked whenever I’m on the phones. The supervisors didn’t give a single shit. So I started calling out often to avoid the anxiety. I was also going through a lot in my personal life and nearly committed suicide because it was all too much. The thought of ending my life seemed amazing compared to facing life for another day.

I walked out of that job ranked in the top 20 technicians out of 160 for 3 consecutive months after the supervisors gave zero shits about my performance. So I was good at the job, I just couldn’t bare being yelled at anymore.”- ilikethemaymays

“I’ve really, really been forcing myself to show patience during all of this. Part of that is the way I was raised, part of that was the decade-plus I spent in low level customer service jobs. I know how much these kinds of jobs suck under normal circumstances, and now you have idiots who won’t comply with mask orders and get upset when their favorite brand of Charmin is out of stock. Personally, I’ve noticed an increase in mistakes and even some rude behavior from people I interact with, but every time I’ve let it go. People under enormous stress all the time aren’t going to be at their best, the rest of us have to understand that. It’s not the guy running the register or the girl answering the phone who is at fault if things aren’t perfect.”- cugamer

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Things That Matter

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Hector Vivas/Getty Images

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com