Restaurants Adjusting to the New Normal
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to your answer to "Just Want the Same Service," who was frustrated at the slow service she received in a restaurant.
As someone who worked as a server for 30 years and who has friends who still work in the industry, I am appalled at the attitudes of people toward hospitality servers. It's like people have been sitting for a year-and-a-half, storing up rudeness and entitlement. Who raised these people?
Restaurants have been struggling to stay open for the last 18 months. This is not some breaking news! So, now that things are opening back up, everyone in the hospitality industry is trying to figure out how to do things in this brave NEW world. Do staff wear masks, or don't they? Do we require masks for diners? Should we have separated sections for maskers and nonmaskers? What do we do when someone wants to be a jerk about our rules?
And then there is staffing. Server's minimum wage right now is far below what many can make in factory, office, online or even retail work. That means restaurants are unfairly competing against businesses that can pay far more for employees. So, restaurants are struggling to find good employees, who then have to be trained, all the while dealing with customers who think it's still 2018 and they can act like 12-year-olds and get away with it. Who would want to work in that kind of environment, where grown adults don't even know how to act anymore?
My recommendation to anyone venturing out into this new world we live in is to have patience. It's no longer just about you. It is about all of us. If people can't be understanding and respectful of those serving, then perhaps they should continue to order out and take it home.
Your advice would have been great in 2018. In 2021, your advice should be to have patience and understanding or to stay home. Servers have enough to deal with. -- Restaurant Veteran
Dear Restaurant Veteran: Thank you for your letter. You offer insights into what people in the restaurant industry have had to deal with since the beginning of the pandemic.
Restaurants were hit very hard during the lockdowns, and you are correct that it is important to have compassion and patience for people who are just trying to do their best while serving a public that is excited to get back to normal and that can, at times, be unfairly demanding.
Dear Annie: I'm a retired registered nurse practitioner who has helped people with body odors. Among other things available, such as deodorant body washes, absorbent powders, garment pads, cotton clothing and moderating diet, there are prescription deodorants that work very well.
Some people have "extra" sweat glands, while others have glands that put in overtime.
Talk to your provider for assistance in obtaining these products. Insurance covers most of these items. -- Nurse Practitioner
Dear Nurse Practitioner: I always love to hear from professionals. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.