& The Santa Fe Reporter’s reporter who reports under the pseudonym of firstname.lastname@example.org has recently reported:
“We saw a Facebook post from a Santa Fe foodservice worker heading back into the acid mines, and we think it’s important for everyone to read it, especially if you’re thinking of dining out anytime soon…”
It’s a glimpse into the day of one waitperson in the midst of a pandemic. It goes like this:
2:30pm: It’s almost time to leave for work. Mask? Hand sanitizer? Apron? Inhaler? Lysol and wipes in car? Check.
…Get to work. Put on mask. Walk inside. Search for gloves that fit. Check station to make sure it’s ready.. I have no idea what I need. I just had 2.5 months off. I can barely remember my name. Sanitize gloves…Walk up to first table to see what they want to drink. Fuck. I forgot to bring them silverware. This isn’t pre-covid days when silverware is on table. Facepalm. Fuck. Now I have to change my gloves.
Table wants coffee. Bring coffee. They ask for sugar. Sugar isn’t on table anymore. Facepalm. Shit. Change gloves again. Get sugar.
Go to take order. Customers masks are off. Try to stand back. 6 feet isn’t possible. They have so many questions. I hold my breath as they speak so maybe just maybe I will not inhale their potential coronavirus.
More tables get sat. Here we go again.
WHY IS EVERYONE TAKING OFF THEIR MASKS??
Holding my breath as much as possible. I cant breathe in this mask. They are protected by my mask. I am not protected by theirs. They aren’t wearing one. Holy fuck it’s hot in here.
They all want to chit chat. I love chit chat. But this is not a chit chat world. They can barely hear me because of my mask. I can hear them just fine because they aren’t wearing a fucking mask.
Is today going to be the day I catch this virus?
Silent prayer. More tables. One after another. Masks off as soon as they sit down. There isn’t enough sanitizer in the world to protect me. I’m still smiling. It’s pointless because nobody can see. Why am I even smiling? It’s not helping my tip.
15%, 10%, 12%, 5%.. WHAT THE FUCK?? Really?? I’m risking my life to bring you that margarita for a $3 tip???
Shake it off. Holy crap it’s hot. Mask feels like it weighs a ton. I’m not getting any air.
Oh, hello severe asthma. This feels like a GREAT time for you to make yourself known. Now I’m hyperventilating. I need my inhaler. I may pass out. Yes. I am super high risk, waiting tables during a pandemic and unable to stand 6 ft away from all these unmasked customers.
I NEED 5 MINUTES TO HIT MY INHALER OR I MAY DIE. She agrees to cover my sections. Thank god. Run outside around the corner away from other people so I can pull my mask down, grab my inhaler and open up my lungs.
5 minutes is all I have. I have to get back inside. My section is full. Regular customer walking thru the restaurant with no mask. Are you kidding me? My friend and I tell her she cannot walk thru unmasked. She covers her face with her hands.
Sorrryyyyyy. Oh. My. God.
I’m running 1.5 sections. We all are. Not a single person pulls up their mask when we go to their table. NOT A SINGLE PERSON.
I know it’s not mandatory but… My mask protects YOU. I have to wear it for 6 hours at a time. I have asthma. My lungs are a mess. I can barely breathe. Why are you not required to protect ME?? And if you are going to insist on not pulling up your mask when I come to your table, why can’t you tip like you know we are all risking our lives to take care of you?
Bust ass to clean so I can at finally have that margarita I’ve been dreaming of. Find a safe space to sit away from all my coworkers and customers so I can sit at a table, remove my mask, know I am putting nobody at risk, drink my margarita alone when I’m just aching for some social interaction with my work family.
Get my dinner in a box.
Walk half a block to the employee parking lot. Holy shit my feet hurt. Open car door, pull out can of Lysol. Spray myself from head to toe. Sanitize hands. Use disinfectant wipes on steering wheel, door, all surfaces I touch. I still feel gross. One more spray with Lysol… Start car. Take off mask. Holy crap that feels amazing…
Get home. My dinner is cold. My feet hurt. I have to do this again tomorrow. Pray nobody infects me. Pray nobody infects my roommate who also works with me. For the love of God, if you go out to eat please, please, please pull up your mask for the few minutes that your server is at your table. Why are you not already doing this??
And, oh my God, tip your server like that burrito you are eating may cost them their life.
& Thanking everyone one of you Neanderthals who tip five percent and refuse to wear a mask, thus confirming that the evolution of the sensitive, thinking ape still has a long, long way to go (if you don’t kill us all off in the process), I’m outta here.