Angie Bush has worked at Fresh Market in Chestnut Hill through the pandemic. The 2020 CHCA Meritorious Award was presented to the Essential Workers throughout the Chestnut Hill area. Over the next …
The 2020 CHCA Meritorious Award was presented to the Essential Workers throughout the Chestnut Hill area. Over the next several weeks the CHCA will present profiles of several essential workers whose work has helped us all get through the pandemic.
By Heather Gray, CHCA Membership Coordinator
Angie Bush has been the Floral and Gift Specialist at Fresh Market since the store opened in Chestnut Hill in 2016. If you have picked up a fresh flower arrangement, potted plant or gift basket from the Floral Department, it is likely you’ve seen Angie’s smile – or, these days, her eyes smiling at you over her mask.
“I try to make them leave here feeling happy,” she said. “That’s pretty much my goal here. With flowers and a gift, it’s a nice opportunity, especially in these times, to make people feel good.”
In the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Fresh Market established an extensive cleaning routine, including sanitizing carts and other high touch areas and taking workers’ temperatures. Angie recalls other changes in the daily experience.
“You could see there was a difference in the way they shopped, people didn’t want to touch a lot of things,” she said. “You could see a change. It was sad. A lot of our regular customers didn’t even come in.”
Angie and other workers at Fresh Market worked hard to attend to customers’ needs and put them at ease. Over time, and with the loosening of state and city restrictions, more customers have come back. Angie is happy to report that, these days, “everyone is wearing their masks and abiding by the rules we need to do. More people are coming into the store and they seem to feel more comfortable.”
Continuing work during the lockdown was a dilemma for Angie. Her husband, Dennis, is over 60 and has COPD. Angie also takes care of her 88-year-old mother, including doing her shopping and taking her to necessary doctor’s appointments. Even following all the safety protocols while at work, there was still a risk to her family and her own health. But Angie felt that for a company like Fresh Market, which doesn’t have a surplus of workers, losing even two or three people could put the store into a crisis situation.
“It is interesting how things can change with what is happening in the world,” Angie said. “One minute you’re just considered a cashier, the next minute you’re an essential person.”
Angie is grateful that work keeps her busy. She also limits television news to 30 minutes a day. She wants to know what is going on in the world but thinks too much news can be stress inducing. When she has time to rest, she prefers to watch Netflix, read and connect with friends and family through Zoom. She says that once we are past this crisis, the first thing she wants to do is see her grandkids.
“Just being able to see them and hug them and kiss them again, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing,” she said.
The experience of working through the pandemic has impacted Angie's perspective on work.
“I think we have taken a lot of things for granted,” she said. “Maybe this is a wakeup call for all of us, that we need to be thankful and grateful no matter what job you are doing. It needs to be done, so be thankful and grateful that someone is doing it.”
The Chestnut Hill Community Association is thankful for Angie Bush and all the essential workers in the Retail Grocery and Pharmacy industry.