Op/Ed: Coronavirus pandemic bringing out best in people

Above, Russell Foodland owner/manager Karine Boucher (left) and Renate Reijmers (right) prepare grocery order for delivery. Courtesy photo

by Doug Anthony, ORMP, HRF, DTM

John C. Morgan recently penned on March 16, “There’s nothing like a crisis to bring out the best and worst in people.”  His point is illustrated aptly throughout the entire Township of Russell, as caring citizens are aiding one another through this crisis, however, I’d like to highlight one particular entity I’m very impressed with…Russell Foodland. 

I’m certain that there are many other local stores and shops that mirror Russell Foodland’s attitude and professionalism…I applaud them all. However, it is Russell Foodland I am most familiar with and have witnessed firsthand their compassion and servant leadership.

Everyone is stressed, scared, worried and impacted by this pandemic and rightly so. The world has changed and may never be the same, we simply don’t know. Regardless of the potential looming calamity, Russell Foodland staff have remained professional, courteous, and have worked their butts off to cater to everyone’s needs. They also have been innovative and strategic in their approach to service delivery.

Led by their tireless manager Karine Boucher, they were one of the first out of the gate to offer grocery delivery and pick-ups, to circumvent person to person contact. They have also skillfully set up their store to protect both the consumer and their employees. 

The salient point is not that Russell Foodland staff have been avant garde in its business model approach to servicing their clients, rather in my opinion, it is the manner in which they carry it out. All staff are courteous, professional, caring, helpful and diligent in their duties to keep the shelves stocked as best as possible, customers served expeditiously and made to feel at home and appreciated. 

Despite the pressures, exposure to intolerant clients, long hours, and personal stress the employees must be experiencing constantly, they have risen above the fray exhibiting a welcoming warmth and genuine compassionate smile to all those who enter their premises. 

Please make sure you thank the Russell Foodland staff when you have the opportunity, they deserve it along with our first responders and front-line workers. It’s been opined often that Russell Township is one of the greatest places in all of Canada to live, I take solace in that examples like Russell Foodland continue to prove it beyond doubt.

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