Juan Bolano is a 21-year-old business major at the University of Central Florida who began his first shift as a bagboy at Publix a little over three years ago.
“It’s how I pay the rent every month,” he said.
Publix, like most supermarkets, have remained open during the crisis and the bagboy-turned-customer-service-manager is now an essential worker clocking in three to four days a week.
“The store manager called me into his office and personally thanked me for being there every shift. It felt nice,” he said. “But right before I left his office, he gave me a $50 gift card and THAT felt nice.”
In order to lower the danger of the virus spreading throughout the store, Publix has implemented plexiglass windows in front of each cash register and encourages every employee to wear a mask during their shift.
“It’s pretty scary to show up to work when so many people aren’t wearing masks and you don’t know if they might be sick or not,” he said. “To be honest I’m not too scared about the virus but I am very scared about giving it to someone else.”