An ode to the shelf stacker

Yesterday I felt embarrassed

To tell the world what job I did.

I dreaded when they asked

I hated puckered, disappointed faces

When I said that I stacked shelves.


Today I’m feeling rather proud.

Today I am a cog, an important one

That helps the country lurch along

In desperate and uncertain times.


Those people who were so judgemental,

Now they breathe a sigh of beautiful relief

When they see the store is open,

When they see that they can buy

The things they need to stay alive.


So never twist your face in mock disgust

When a person does their best.

There may just come a dark and deadly day

When you’re the one with little use

And the lowly stacker of the shelves

Becomes the hero of the day.

My name is Rachel and I work in a petrol station. I was an A grade student at school and I have a handful of degrees but that doesn’t seem to have helped me in my career.

And I spent a long time feeling really embarrassed that I was only doing a job that I could have done without any qualifications. I had the look of scorn from old school friends whenever they came into the store and it really did dent my confidence.

But it sometimes takes a huge crisis to realise that you’re not as useless as you thought you were. All of a sudden, the person working as a Marketing Director isn’t really needed. When everyone is scrabbling for food and work and hoping to stay alive, status will do very little for you.

The sad thing is that it shouldn’t have taken the virus for me to realise my worth. I am in work and contributing to society. I pay taxes and National Insurance. I am a single mother and bringing up my son is an important job in itself.

So what if I stack shelves for a living. And so what if you’re not proud of where you are in life as far as your career is concerned. Just make sure that you are being a nice person and serving the world as best you can.

Much Love

Rachel xx

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