Strack & Van Til also has called in reinforcements to help its swamped staff. Employees were allowed to bring friends and family to a job fair, and Rhyne’s 16-year-old-son, Jayden, got hired on the spot as a bagger.
Even with more cashiers and baggers, it’s been overwhelming at times. But customers generally have been understanding.
“Customers have been very appreciative and telling us, ‘Thank you, thank you for all your help, we appreciate you being here,'” she said. “We’ve had nurses buy us ice cream; essential workers buying ice cream for essential workers.”
Some customers have gotten upset over buying limits after they cleared out in-demand items like toilet paper, Lysol wipes, bottled water, milk, eggs and bread.
“It’s been crazy, absolutely crazy,” said Carol Moreno, who works at the Strack & Van Til on Old Ridge Road in Hobart. “We sometimes have lines at 6 a.m.”
Some customers have been cranky, but many have been nice.
“A customer just gave the bagger and I a $10 tip because her husband was blessed and she was paying it forward,” he said. “But then you pay it forward. A regular customer was short $3, and I told him, ‘I got you, you get me next time.'”
Moreno has been putting in an extra five or six hours a week and earning hazard pay. She’s been ringing customers in long lines and fielding frequent calls from people who want to know if they still have toilet paper or other items in stock.