The Reality About The ‘Worker Shortage’ That Is Happening Right Now

Everywhere I go, “Hiring Now!” signs are in front of retail stores and restaurants.  It’s been like that for over a year now. When COVID hit, many people had to stay home while other workers had to keep the world moving. 

If people worked in an office, chances are they were working remotely from home to stay safe. But those who worked hourly at hospitals, banks, restaurants, and retail locations had to continue to work and deal with the public. 

Since then, many of those people still having to work with the public have either been furloughed, quit their jobs, or gone job hunting to find something better. There are news stories of whole staff at restaurants quitting because management is not treating them properly.

So what is causing a worker shortage?  

It seems that people working from home and being furloughed has made jobs tougher for essential workers. Why? Because the people furloughed from retail positions can no longer support the rest of the team that they previously worked with. 

So now, you have employees running around like chickens without any heads trying to help all of the customers who wouldn’t stay home with, possibly, half of the manpower they used to have. 

Due to the employees having to essentially do double the work, the customers then feel like they aren’t valued or appreciated because wait times have increased significantly. If you go to a restaurant, chances are you’ll see your server less often and have to wait longer for your food. 

So what happens? Of course, depending on the kind of person you are, several different things. You could be understanding that the service world is a much different place than it was even a year ago or you can choose to complain and make their lives even more of a living hell. 

This whole thing is evolving off of itself. People just do not seem to be grateful toward one another anymore. I mean both employees and customers.

Customers aren’t grateful for those who still work and brave the COVID world. 

Employees are sick of having to deal with ungrateful people and it makes them feel underappreciated by the business they work for and customers, therefore, affecting their work quality. 

Pay is also another major factor. With extremely competitive pay becoming more common, it makes those who are receiving minimum wage feel underappreciated. If you don’t feel appreciated, especially in your pay, that causes a whole other set of problems. 

For example, my job is currently hiring hourly employees with a wage of $3 more than what I make. I’ve been there for much longer and I can do the tasks more efficiently than a brand new person. 

I’ve been job hunting since before COVID hit and it’s been a disaster.

Employers want 10 years of experience from a new college graduate with minimum pay. Employers can absolutely pay out more, but I don’t believe they should be forced because of the current market. 

That’s where competition comes in. If one company begins paying employees more, then maybe others will once they see they can no longer keep a store staffed. 

There’s no real answer to the job market.

One potential solution is one that cannot be spoken about enough. It is to be kind and understanding to people. 

It’s rough out there right now. Nobody is living a life they want to live, and we’re all suffering from the same thing. Be kind to those who showed up to work and be kind to those who might need your services. It’s unacceptable to ridicule and belittle an employee because they are dealing with situations that truly are unprecedented. 

Take care of yourself too. If you feel sick, stay the heck at home and rest until you feel better. There are some exceptions, but as a general rule, your job isn’t going to go out of its way to make sure you’re going to be okay. They are going to make sure their money is still coming in and that their pockets are getting padded. Do what is best for you. Just don’t make any irrational decisions. That won’t help anybody in the long run. 

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash


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