Rejoice, fellow Californians, for restaurants that have been open for an entire year are now open a little more!
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom reopened the State of California, ending a majority of the COVID-19 safety restrictions that have been in place since March 2020. While the state is still undergoing its recovery process, many of the pastimes average citizens once enjoyed pre-pandemic are now available to the public once again. Things like: standing way too close to strangers for no discernable reason, open-mouth breathing on people in closed-spaces sans mask, and verbally abusing minimum wage restaurant workers!
While demeaning restaurant staff may not be your favorite pastime, many Californians have been itching for the chance to give waitstaff, who have no authority other than to enforce the rules their bosses make, a real piece of their minds. Surprisingly, restaurant workers throughout the state have been excited to return to this experience too!
The restaurant industry has seen a bit of a lull the past few months, with national trends suggesting that more and more people are unwilling to return to this work with the threat of COVID-19 still looming, only to be paid minimum wage, if that. Restaurant owners have had to get creative with how they lure their former employees back to work. Instead of increasing wages, one Sacramento restaurant owner claimed he would, “no longer be able to afford my third vacation home,” and thus was relying on the nostalgia of screaming Karens to make former employees miss what they once had.
“Working long hours for minimum wage and reduced tips was not something I planned to return to,” said Sacramento server Josh Rodriguez, “But then I remembered all the times somebody’s mom threatened me with physical violence for not giving them special treatment, and I remembered why I love this industry.”
Central Valley barista, Lucia Smith, also added that it’s just, “not the same,” when someone is screaming at you for getting their order wrong through a mask, six-foot-distance, and plexiglass panel. “I miss the raw authenticity of someone spewing their anger directly in my face,” Lucia concluded.
With plenty of disgruntled customers back to dining in restaurants in full force, it is important that we remember to give these workers our worst as they readjust to a freshly reopened California. They’ve had an entire year of minimal contact with customers, only able to receive hateful messages through electronic means. We must honor what they’ve been through and remind them why they came to love this industry in the first place!
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CNC Side Eye is strictly satirical. Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. Any coincidental use of names is not intentional.