Hourly and Gig Workers Are the Backbone of America – And the Unsung Heroes of Today

If we’ve learned anything over the last few weeks, it’s that we can count on our people to do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing. A lot of our brothers and sisters in the hourly workforce have been forced to the sidelines, cut off from their only access to what was once a secure income, waiting for the world to get back to normal. It’s a scary reality, one that we hope doesn’t last for much longer.

We’re living in this weird paradox of uncertainty and fear where, as more news and information starts rolling in, we come to learn that in fact, nothing is getting clearer – it’s only growing more convoluted by the day. While some of us are stuck at home during quarantine, hiding out in isolation and following recommendations for social distancing, our biggest worry is wondering when everyday life will resume, and we can go about our Friday nights as normal. But while we’re enduring this Twilight Zone marathon, some of us aren’t so lucky. 

While most of us are cooped up in the house, they’re out in the middle of a melee, facing off against an invisible enemy in a war that has no official end. And to be honest, none of us know what to expect.

Our nurses and healthcare professionals are running alongside doctors and straight into the fray. If anyone is deserving of the term “patriot” right now, it’s them. We cannot say enough about how proud we are of the medical community. 


Power to the Hourly

One section of our workforce, that has in recent events been highly neglected by corporate leaders and also widely deserving of praise, are the folks that are working behind the scenes. As cities and states face issued lockdowns and “shelter in place” regulations, businesses that are deemed non-essential by the government are being forced close, leaving only grocery stores, pharmacies, and a handful of other businesses open. And to keep those sophisticated and vital vessels moving, someone’s gotta keep the shelves stocked and the product coming through. Those folks are all hourly workers. 

There’s a common misconception that hourly workers and gig workers are “inferior” and that the jobs are simply a stepping stone to a salaried job. At Adia, we believe hourly and gig workers are important, and this outbreak proves that they are just as important as medical staff. And why?

They’re on the frontlines.

They’re moving inventory from the storage room to the aisles, putting up those boxes of Captain Crunch your kids love so much. They’re making sure there are enough bottles of Pedialyte and Tylenol to go around. Everything has to move like clockwork right now – and while we worry about whether there’s going to be any toilet paper left on the shelves at the local grocery store, they’re stocking the shelves and supervising store shoppers so your shopping experience doesn’t feel like the Royal Rumble. 

They are keeping the country moving, against all odds.

There are also the people working tireless hours in shipping and logistics, moving pallets around, filling up the trucks, and trying to keep a steady stream of inventory moving from Texas, to Arizona, to Ohio – and everywhere in between.

They’re working to keep this country going, all while facing the possibility of contracting the virus that has infected almost half a million people worldwide. 

There’s a dance happening right now in what’s ultimately a fragile ecosystem because we’re not running on a “business as usual” track. People are buying paper towels, meat, hand sanitizer, pasta, ramen, beans, rice – often in larger than normal quantities in cities where restrictions have yet to be placed. This is on top of everything else they’re throwing in their carts while trying to maintain a healthy social distance. 


This is the Hourly Worker’s Moment to Shine

There are also cleaning companies who are working around the clock, sanitizing spaces, wiping down surfaces, and making sure that particular contaminations are dead and gone. There are a lot of public places, which equates to a lot of hours spent decontaminating. Think about it: public transit, medical offices, regular offices, retail – you name it. Every single building that is frequented by people throughout the day becomes a possible breeding ground for COVID-19, which means there are a lot of places that require constant maintenance when it comes to keeping America sanitized. 

Other unsung heroes include the educators providing learning materials for all of those kids stuck at home (like Literati), the ones with clickable activities on iPads, or the ones freeing up their streaming services from behind the paywall so mom and dad learning to balance home and work life can get some peace and quiet, along with work done during the day. 

There are the postal workers, the Amazon delivery folks, UPS, and FedEx – rain or shine, they’re delivering packages, helping keep this country moving despite the lockdown we face. Our respect for all of these workers is unbounded and eternal. They’re the ones showing that America is strong, united and at our best, and we thank you. 

If you’re stuck inside, recently lost your job due to cutbacks or closures, and want to jump in and help too, there are a lot of grocery stores that could use an extra set of hands, even if it’s for a day or two. We’ve got thousands of jobs across the country for hourly and gig workers, and right now, every little bit counts.

If this opportunity sounds interesting, head here. We’ll get you hired and working within a day or so. 

As always, keep track of what’s happening by visiting the CDC and WHO websites to see the latest guidelines on staying safe in the fight against COVID-19.

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