A 2,600-word New York Times story on the plight of part-time workers features the Fresh & Easy store in Spring Valley and employee Shannon Hardin.
The front-page report by Steven Greenhouse, published Sunday, says Hardin, 50, oversees seven self-checkout stations at the Campo Road grocery, “usually by herself.”
“Typically working shifts of five or six hours, she hops between stations—bagging groceries, approving alcohol purchases, explaining the checkout system to shoppers and urging customers to join the retailer’s loyalty program, all while watching for shoplifters,” the story said.
Hardin was quoted as saying: “I like it. I’m a people person.”
But the Times noted that after nearly five years at Fresh & Easy, Hardin remains a part-time worker “despite her desire to work full-time. In fact, all 22 employees at her store are part-time except for the five managers.”
The Times says she earns $10.90 an hour, with annual pay amounting to $16,500.
“I can’t live on this,” Hardin is quoted as saying. “It’s almost impossible.”
Hardin, who is single, was depicted as forever urging her boss to give her more hours, but instead, “they turn around and hire more people.”
Officials of the British company Tesco, which owns Fresh & Easy, declined to be interviewed, the Times said.
Hardin told the paper she moonlights 15 or so weekends a year as a security guard at Chargers and San Diego State football games.
“But she still has such a hard time making ends meet, she said, that she has gone to the movies just three times in the last five years,” the report said. “Nor does she own a television.”