Despite most high school students choosing to quit their jobs during the pandemic, junior Leah Knodel continues her weekly shifts at Target.
Leah began her job in January 2020 to pay for gas for her car and remained at work through quarantine to continue earning despite her recent injury.
Said Knodel, “I had actually broken my foot just before quarantine, so I didn’t work the first few months of quarantine[…]. Once I got the wires out of my foot, I started working again.”
She decided to continue her job at Target amidst the pandemic, keeping safety guidelines in mind while making the best decision for herself and her family.
Said Knodel, “I don’t really have any concerns about the pandemic and [me] or my family staying safe because of my understanding of what is going on. But I do try to keep people comfortable. That’s why I clean down carts or [wear] a mask so they’re comfortable talking to me [or] coming into the store..”
Leah’s responsibilities are tailored to satisfying the customers’ needs, including a new position recently added with the pandemic.
Said Knodel, “My job title is a guest advocate. Basically, I help guests in any way they need. I either work at self-checkout, a checkout lane, or LSA, who is the person that stands by the door, welcomes you, and cleans the carts. [Target] started the LSA position because people wanted their carts wiped down before they came in.”
There have also been new protocols and measures specific to Leah’s job to ensure customer and employee safety.
Said Knodel, “They provided gloves, masks, disinfectant, and paper towels for wiping stuff down. […] About two weeks after I started working, they required us to wear masks. At self-checkout, every time someone was done with the machine, you had to wipe it down. They have you wipe down everything you can whenever you can.”
However, working long shifts every week can be time-consuming.
Said Knodel, “A lot of the time that is usually set aside for students […] is taken up by my work. I work 20 hours a week. That’s a lot of time that I could be watching TV, having my personal time, exercising, or doing any sort of homework.”
During her time working at Target in quarantine, Leah has encountered several unique experiences, including one interesting encounter with a hoarder.
Said Knodel, ” There was one lady who tried to buy like 12 bleach bottles, like the big gallon ones, and we’re like, ‘You can’t buy our whole stock of bleach!'”