Dear self-important, and downright mean New Jersey shoppers,
Stop it. No really, take inventory and change.
I understand that we are seeing most of the country enjoying a mask-free world and we are ready to feel that independence. Unfortunately, New Jersey is sticking to the indoor mask mandate. Twice this week I've seen really out-of-line displays in stores and all of them had to do with jerks that want to "stick it to the man" and not wear a mask when they enter and place of business.
I encountered a "bro" that was at Target without a mask. A friendly woman in red went over to him and told him that he would have to put a mask on or leave the store. Ironically, he was holding a package of toilet paper. He threw the extra soft at this employee that had to be at least triple his age and called her the c-word because she held her ground and told him to mask up or get out. This guy stormed out and needless to say, the employee was applauded by others in line as she sent him packing.
At a grocery store, there was a middle-aged woman in front of me in line that was without a mask at checkout. The cashier was a kid that was 16 at best. This woman had a cart that was overflowing. The cashier calmly said to the woman "I'm sorry, but I am not allowed to check you out unless you're wearing a mask. This is our store's policy. Her response was "just start scanning so I can get out of here. I don't have time for this mask nonsense."
At this point, I told this woman (from six feet away) to "back off the kid." Her reply, "f-off." The classy response I was expecting. The customer then started to use the tactic that most checkout jackasses use. She starts insulting this kid more, but to other customers. Have you ever been in that situation? An angry customer starts looking to you for validation of their rage as you stare at them blankly. "Can you believe this?" "This is the last time I ever come here." Standard B.S.
I signaled the manager and she was escorted out after being offered a mask to wear. She wouldn't. I started to put my items on the belt and caught a glance at the cashier. He was visibly shaken and upset. Remember, he's a kid! The first thing he said to me was "I'm sorry about that, sir." I told him I was sorry he had to go through that and he didn't deserve it. He replied almost winded, "I'm doing the best I can." And he was. I had a bag of lemons that he dropped on the floor when he went to ring them up. He, very panicked, started apologizing and offering to get me new ones. I told him I was going to wash them anyway and not to worry about it.
So to all those reading this that only think about themselves, think about this. Retail, restaurant, and grocery employees have felt the brunt of this pandemic much worse than 99% of us. Governor Murphy is making customers wear masks, not the workers. They are just doing their jobs because they have money to make and families to feed.
Use this crisis that we've endured to learn how to start thinking about others, show understanding, patience, and compassion.
I hate to break it to you. You're that person. But, you don't have to be.