As more businesses reopen, an unprecedented number of Americans are walking away from their jobs in restaurants, factories, offices, and hospitals. A record 4 million people quit in April, followed by another 4 million the next month. And the next. Some left to chase deeper fulfillment or to finally escape dead-end jobs with the cushion of enhanced unemployment checks. Many furloughed workers didn’t return to positions that exploited them and put them at risk of catching COVID-19. The so-called great resignation has created a seismic power shift that has already forced corporations like McDonald’s, Walmart, and Starbucks to boost wages or offer perks to entice new hires. There has been an endless parade of Schadenfreude-inducing headlines about employers who are now on their knees begging for staff like desperate suitors. But for those still toiling in these threadbare workplaces, the great resignation has led to even greater exploitation. While the mass exodus may improve conditions in the long term, in the meantime it has been devastating to those left behind whose unbearable workloads have led to depression, substance abuse, and trips to the hospital. After all, not everyone can quit.
You can read the full feature over at The Cut...