Marijuana Budtender: Dispensary Shoppers Need to Grow Up, Wear Masks | Westword – Westword


As a worker required to have a mask strapped to my sweaty face for eight hours a day, five days a week, I readily concede that wearing one sucks. It itches constantly, restricts respiratory function and begins to smell overwhelmingly of recycled coffee breath mere minutes into my shift. It fogs up my glasses, tugs painfully on my ears, and makes me look like a psychopath when I try to smile. When my dispensary first began to require all of its employees to wear personal protective equipment, I thought it was an overdue but welcome development — a small sacrifice to make in a joint (no pun intended) effort to keep the store’s customers and employees healthy. I was right about everything but the “small sacrifice” part.

I couldn’t have imagined how much I’d come to dread wearing this uncomfortable face diaper, or the relief I’d feel when I’m free to tear it off at the end of the day. However, now that we’re all several months into the COVID-19 pandemic and the interminable mask debate, I can confidently say that the only thing more irritating than wearing a mask is dealing with people who refuse to put one on.

While the vast majority of consumers are graciously willing to endure a few minutes of discomfort in exchange for continued access to legal weed, my store sees a minimum of three to four PPE scofflaws per day. Generally, the employee in charge of checking IDs and adding customer information to the online queue bears the brunt of the unpleasantries.

There’s no fixed profile of mask-averse shoppers. Sometimes they’re coming in from states like Wyoming (where masks are not required and thus seldom worn), sometimes they’re making a misguided political statement, and sometimes they’ve rationalized their harmful entitlement as free-thinking non-conformity. The

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