He basically told me if you don't like it quit

I came back and realized that almost all of it was for show

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with an employee at a water park in Florida about how unseriously customers, and his employer, are taking safety measures, and how badly things in the state are in general. To read the full piece you’ll need to become a paid-subscriber and find the rest here.

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So your situation at work is pretty fucked up?

Well the thing that’s so crazy about it, I think there are a lot of people...Yeah I work at a rinky dink water park and there’s no social distancing, it’s terrible, but most people are still going to work around here. I have a friend who works at Walgreens and nothing changed. She works five days a week getting screamed at by old assholes not wearing masks. She didn’t even get to do the lockdown thing. I got laid off for a couple months. 

They laid us all off via email on March 15th. Then they called me two weeks before Memorial Day and offered me my job back with the implicit if you don't come back we will hire someone to fill your slot…. They also hired us all back as seasonal workers, so no vision or dental insurance anymore, even though those things sucked. 

I used to have to climb the towers every morning to turn the slides on and I'd have to push down the urge to jump off, and that was before Covid. Now I work mid-shifts so I almost never have to climb the towers, but fuck man.

Jesus man. That’s awful. I’m sorry. And they explicitly told you if you don’t come back you're gonna lose your job?

I asked do we have to come back? They said you don’t have to if the virus makes you feel unsafe, but we can’t hold your job forever. I’m the only person there that does what I do so if they replace me… We’ve had other people that didn’t come back and they replaced them. So I came back even though I was making more money on unemployment, and I make like $5 more an hour than most of the other employees. 

Were you getting the full unemployment plus enhanced?

Yeah I was getting the Florida maximum, like $225 a week, plus the $600, which is definitely more than I make. I had the most money in my bank account I’ve ever had in my entire life in the beginning of May. 

And that’s smart. Water parks do not need to be open during a pandemic.  

No they do not. I even had a sit down with the general manager where I told him I felt like the Covid rules they implemented were a joke and I cried. He basically told me if you don't like it quit. 

Right when I came back they said we’re going to do all this social distancing stuff, we’re gonna be safe, bla bla bla. They had these big plans for social distancing and masks and whatnot.

I came back and realized that almost all of it was for show…

Read the rest here.