I Guess Waitstaff is Disposable When it Comes to COVID-19

On the first day of restaurants outdoor patios being reopened in Colleyville, Texas “so long as physical distancing is maintained between tables,” a waiter wearing a face mask takes orders from diners eating on the outdoor patio at Rio Mambo Tex Mex.

Today is the day that restaurants in the state of Georgia have official permission from Governor Kemp to reopen their doors for business and potentially spread COVID-19 all over the damn place like it’s mayonnaise on a piece of Wonder bread. Last week he opened up nail salons, gyms, tattoo shops, and bowling alleys which makes total sense because whenever I think of a place that’s clean, sanitary and full of socially responsible people, my mind immediately goes to bowling alleys and gyms.

Restaurant owners will now decide if they think it’s safe enough to open today and if it will even be worth it. After all, is the dining public is ready to dive back into the coronavirus pool? Sure, I would love to have some fish tacos and margaritas at my favorite Mexican restaurant, but at what cost? And what about the servers? They don’t get to decide if it’s safe enough. That choice is taken away from them when some greedy asshole boss decides to reopen the restaurant. Servers that were collecting unemployment along with the other 26 million people in our country suddenly having to give it up and put their own health at risk so that someone can have some damn buffalo wings. It’s completely unfair that employees who have been laid off from their restaurant jobs will now have to either go to work or turn it down, possibly leaving them ineligible to collect unemployment. It’s like being stuck between a rock and hard place except the rock is making less money than you did when you were working and the hard place is making no money at all. I feel entirely grateful that my restaurant has made the decision for me that I do not work. While it is staying open for takeout only with limited hours, the owner is doing all the cooking and his son is taking the orders over the phone and putting them all together. If I lived in Georgia and my boss asked me to go to work today, I’d be scared to go and even more scared of losing my unemployment benefits.

I saw a photo of a restaurant in Texas that recently reopened their patio and it upset me to the core. It shows a one solitary waiter who is wearing a mask surrounded by happy-go-lucky customers all crowded around him blissfully shoving food into their uncovered faces. We all know the masks don’t protect ourselves, they protect others in case we’re infected. So this sever has to wear a mask to keep all of his customers safe but what’s protecting him? Bill and Sally McFuckface can show up to the restaurant, possibly infected but asymptomatic and spew their germs all over the server just so they can satisfy their urge for a chicken mole burrito? And then, when the server gets sick, he’s the one who pays the price. Hmmm, it’s almost like restaurant staff is disposable. Imagine that.

I’m sorry to my server friends in Georgia who have to go to work today. I know some of you are looking forward to it and are completely okay with it while some of you are worried. Most experts agree that it’s too soon to reopen the economy and just because Governor Kemp thinks it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it is one. I mean, even Donald Trump strongly disagrees with him about reopening, but this is the same Donald Trump who last week was encouraging states to reopen as soon as possible, so what the fuck? I hope your restaurant owners and managers all determine that a little more time is needed before you have to strap on your aprons again. Hopefully, they have more sense than your governor does. And if you do have to go to work today, please be as safe as you can.

 

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