Returning to Work: Anne's Spring Season at Home Depot

By Sara Porcaro | May 11, 2021
Employment, COVID-19, Rhode Island, Disabilities, Work, Recognition, Home Depot, Local Business
Anne Watering the Indoor Plants

In the spring of 2020, the atmosphere was that of a different world. During the shelter-in-place, shops hummed with less than half their usual activity, with some businesses closing entirely. For many, this meant the loss not only of their day-to-day activities, but often their jobs, as well, as positions were slashed and store hours reduced. It was a quieter time--like a long winter, a pause that made days blend together. However, the spring is back in 2021--both with the May sunshine and the gradual reopening of all the things we love--and for Anne, that means returning to her seasonal gardening position at Home Depot!
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the many jobs lost to the shelter-in-place, Anne never had the opportunity to return to her seasonal position in 2020. However, she's glad to be back in the store now, making sure to wear her mask as she helps customers and cares for the many plants the store has available to bring a pop of color back to gardeners' homes. From hydrangeas to potted herbs, decorative Easter flowers to Mother's Day gifts, Anne dons her orange Home Depot vest with pride and enjoys the early morning shifts spent in the sunlight, surrounded by spring blooms.
"The Easter flowers were my favorite," Anne notes, "but I love all the different flowers, like the rose bushes and the geraniums; they're so pretty. I like seeing customers buy them and knowing they're going to good homes."
For Anne, the position brings her a way to give back to her community through the growing season while also ensuring that she can get her steps in and catch some sunlight. It's also a good change of pace from her work life pre-COVID-19, as she'd kept a position at a local nursing home since 2000, spending her Saturdays helping to maintain the nursing home's cleanliness. Due to the pandemic, she and her mother agreed that it was safest to stay home, however, and while she missed working--both at the nursing home and Home Depot--she knew it was the right choice for her health and safety.
"[COVID-19] has been such a pain," Anne says. "My parents stopped by for Christmas, but other than that, I haven't been able to see many people. Now things are getting better, and I'm making plans with friends again, but I missed having a job. I'm really lucky Home Depot took me back for my seasonal position."
"Now things are getting better, and I'm making plans with friends again, but I missed having a job. I'm really lucky Home Depot took me back for my seasonal position."
And now that the vaccination rates are increasing, Anne is looking forward to all the things she used to do pre-pandemic. For Easter, she enjoyed coloring eggs with her friend Bayley, as well as the chance to see her boyfriend Brendan for dinner. She's also spending plenty of cloudier, rainier spring days indoors on her iPad, learning more about how to take care of plants like the begonia she bought from her store, and taking trips to the mall for a bit of walking and window shopping. When the gyms were still open, Anne was an avid fan of Zumba and working out with friends--though while she's waiting to feel more comfortable in that environment, she's definitely looking forward to the summer, where she'll be found swimming and enjoying the sunshine from Rhode Island's gorgeous beaches.
For now, though, the warmth of early spring and all the cheerful plants Anne finds herself surrounded by are a perfect change of pace from the cold winter days. She's got her sights set on new experiences with the money she's saving from her work, and her home is cheerful and bright with the flowers she buys to take care of at home. As summer comes speeding along, and our communities continue to open up, we know Anne will keep doing a fantastic job at Home Depot--and we're wishing her the best in all her goals for summer!


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