Customer service work during the pandemic 

A man helps a customer at his store.
Ousman Camara helps a customer at his store, K's Grocery & Deli in north Minneapolis in July 2020.
Melissa Townsend | MPR News 2020

Working in customer service has always meant dealing with unhappy and sometimes downright rude customers. During the pandemic some consumers have become, well, grouchier than ever and even abusive.

Stores and restaurants are short-staffed, and that means employees are stretched thin and service isn’t always what consumers expect. On top of that, the strain of the pandemic is wearing on everyone.

Host Angela Davis talked about what it's been like in recent months for people who interact with the public and how everyone can be a bit kinder to people on the front lines.

We also get the latest economic news from MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell.


  • Libby Boucher formerly managed a gas station and convenience store in Crookston, Minn. She is now executive director of the United Way of Crookston. 

  • Dan Jasper is vice president of communications at the Mall of America

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