Community buddies

My job has definitely changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  I work in a single staffed branch library so it was impossible to work from home.  Instead we were redeployed as community buddies, shopping for people in the community.  It is a role that is perfect for library staff, as we have excellent customer care skills and are used to going above and beyond for our customers.  I can’t say I enjoyed visiting the supermarkets to start with but, after a while, you get used to it, and now there are hardly any queues, as children have gone back to school and people have been gradually returning to work.  The best experience has been meeting new people. The VPs (Vulnerable People) I shop for are lovely.  Or, should I say, VIPs as that is how I feel about them.  They are patient and kind, even when I sometimes bring back the wrong thing, and they are so grateful for the service.  I have about 4 or 5 people I regularly shop and/or pick up prescriptions for.  It gets me out of the house several days a week and it is also lovely to spend time chatting to them, as sometimes they might not have seen or spoken to anyone in days. The libraries are offering a click and collect service now, so things are slowly beginning to return to normal.  How long before I can go back to work is unknown, but one thing I know is that I will miss my VIPs.  That said, they have all said they can’t wait until they can ask me in for a cuppa.  Everyone that knows me is aware how much I love my tea, so I look forward to that time.  Until then, I will carry on shopping and doing what I can, to support and make things easier for my VIPs.