Dad Employed As Covid Marshal Reveals Worst Part Of Doing The Job
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The coronavirus has hit us all in lots of different ways. Whether it's the passing of a loved one, a change in lifestyle or the loss of a job - everyone's been trying to deal with things in their own way.
Take Ash for example. The 41-year-old from, Torquay in Devon, lost his job as a security guard when venues began to close back in March. With two young sons to provide for, he had to sort something out - and fast.
He ended up applying for a job as a Covid marshal through an agency. The job description was fairly straightforward. To 'ensure the management and monitoring of all procedures implemented to deal with COVID-19 on an ongoing basis,' including social distancing measures, keeping an eye out for large groups and help companies keep their customers safe.
Ash ended up being an ideal candidate because of his previous job, teamed with the fact he already had an SIA badge.
With an average salary of between £22-30,000 (dependent on experience, location, hours) he knew he could make it work.
But it's not been an easy start, admitting some people think he's just there to be a 'party pooper.'
Armed with some names on a list Ash set out on his first shift earlier this month. He says he's been well received for the most part - but has had a bit of abuse from passing cars. I mean, the hi-vis saying 'COVID marshal' probably doesn't help...
But nothing compared to what he experienced one weekend. Speaking to LADbible, Ash explained: "One Saturday I was put on to work at 6pm, just as the town starts to get busy. I opted not to wear my jacket this night purely to avoid any unwanted attention.
"Torquay town was extremely busy come around 11pm that was when I went into a location and it was bedlam. There was no distancing, people dancing around, more than six to a table, groups and groups of people.
"I tried speaking to the manager and I wasn't taken seriously. He then proceeded to laugh it off with the punters and things got a bit nasty. Word spread across the bar and I had a fair number of drinks poured on me.
"It's really disappointing but it is what it is. People just didn't want me spoiling their good time. I get it."
But with the bad does come good. Ash remembers walking along the street as a coachload of visitors from Wales arrived.
"I was doing a walk along the establishments, to check things were ok," he said. "There was a group of elderly that noticed my Covid-marshal jacket and followed me. They thanked me for my work trying to keep them safe so they can enjoy their retirement without being locked down, it really was lovely."
Essentially, Ash's role is to go to places of interest - the seafront, beach, pubs, other popular establishments. He has to check that seating is correctly spaced and ensure Test and Trace is enforced.
"A lot of people seem to think my job is just me walking around, going into venues and 'grassing' people in if they're not adhering to the new guidelines," he said. "While I have had to report a few places, it isn't something I like doing - I'd rather just discuss issues with them on a human level."
When it came to whether Ash thinks his role is making a difference, he's undecided: "I feel like it is giving the elderly generation a lot more peace of mind about going out, doing their day to day things.
"But I think within the younger generation they just see me as they do a SIA, a party pooper. It has to be done so we can all crack on with our lives.
"I've had to take on this role, it wasn't a preference but I have to put food on the table for my two young boys."