The experience of shopping in Japan has definitely changed during the pandemic. Likely the same in other countries, customers almost uniformly wear masks, mostly remain distanced while waiting in line, and are separated from checkout staff by sneeze guard-like plastic divides. Shoppers are also more often turning to online platforms, occasionally sending retailers scurrying as they attempt to meet spikes in delivery demand.

While enhanced measures may be working—Japan has managed relatively well during the pandemic—they are certainly the cause of stress. For instance, we've covered ill-behaved shoppers and public freak outs occurring throughout the country due to pandemic-induced stress. Sure enough, retail staff have their hands full dealing with customers during theses trying times.

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me”

Indeed, the current conditions make some—shall we say—a little more curt than usual. Even in conscientious Japan, there is just too much going on to worry about putting up a facade continually.

Recently, manga artist Tanuki Dani (@akatsuki405) published a piece on Twitter about just this. The artist works at a retail store where she often assists customers. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, she has had some less-than-savoury interactions:

Reproduced with permission from Tanuki Dani (@akatsuki405)

A good point, to say the least. Tanuki Dani noted on the post:

  • “Although it's gotten better compared to the peak, customers often say this or act this way around me. When it happens, I always wonder why they don’t just shop online.”

Readers of the manga were sympathetic. They responded:

  • “I used to work at a drugstore, and this is definitely how it is.”
  • “Exactly! Even though she was the one who first approached weird.”
  • “We are working despite the danger, so don’t treat us like some type of virus.”

If you could relate to this manga piece, you can find more like it on Tanuki Dani’s Twitter account. Enjoy!

By - Luke Mahoney.