Springfield grocery store chain receives mixed signals on employees wearing masks

Published: Jul. 5, 2020 at 10:12 PM CDT
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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic MaMa Jean's Natural Market has kept their doors open.

"We've been here since the beginning. We're essential workers. We haven't had a break from any of it," said MaMa Jean's Natural Market manager, Jesse Lovelady.

Jesse Lovelady manages the store on Sunshine Street. She said she has seen some mixed signals from their customers.

"We almost feel like we can't win for losing," said Lovelady.

Employees have been encouraged to wear face masks but there's been some backlash.

"For every customer that comes through and says thank you for wearing masks that makes me feel comfortable. We have customers that come through and wonder why we are wearing them and wondering if we're being required too and if we are they won't shop here anymore," said Lovelady.

MaMa Jeans only requires employees to wear face masks when they're within six feet of customers. They can take them off but they have to keep them on their person if they're taking a break or stocking the shelves.

Lovelady said it's been a challenge to provide good customer service while ensuring public safety.

"The best thing is to smile and nod. We have young people working here. We don't expect them to stand up for themselves," said Lovelady.

The company is asking their customers to be respectful of the policies the store makes.

"Masks or no masks we just really want to see humans being kind to one another and to not put our employees on the spot and to not be yucky to each other. We are all just doing the best we can in the situation as it unfolds," said Lovelady.