I just read an article written by my Service Industry Hero, The Bitchy Waiter. (Darron Cardosa) I stumbled upon him a few years ago on the Facebook, and he spoke to my soul. His life is quite different from mine, but we were both career restaurant people, and while he did his stint in New York City, and me in Appleton, we had enough similar, um, complaints about humanity. I just knew he was writing to me, letting me know that our souls were not crushed, just beat up a little by the industry we loved. Not exactly an abusive relationship, but dysfunctional and fabulous at the same time. It helps to know you aren’t alone, you know?
So he got to write a couple of things recently for Food & Wine, and in this particular article he wrote about the new year, sort of. He makes the point that just because we are in a new year, that things won’t just magically go back to “normal.” And then he mentions the things that restaurants in many states have had to do to adapt to the ‘Rona. Buying and installing plexiglass partitions, spending money on propane heaters for outdoor seating, and the propane. Lots of things that aren’t typical expenses. All of the sanitation procedures that got put in place and the expense of that. It all was money that was spent, and then in a lot of states, they got shut down anyway. Carryout only in some places. Some never to reopen, unfortunately.
He made a great point. 2021 isn’t going to have to do much to improve upon what 2020 was. The bar is set pretty low, all it has to do is suck even just a little less than 2020. With the vaccine thing getting going, maybe that will help. Maybe we can start to phase out masking. Hopefully some of that plexiglass can come down. There was just so much stumbling and figuring out what we could and couldn’t do, you didn’t always know what could possibly come next. About this time last year was when we were first learning about the virus, that it might be a thing. Yeah, just might be. It feels like the only conversation available on a bad first date now.
I wasn’t really looking for a New Year, New You moment. I am looking at survival as a more necessary topic these days. Hanging on has been the jam for so many months now that I have no intention of putting too much pressure on the 2021. It doesn’t seem fair. I am totally down with the idea of keeping that bar low enough to let 2021 have a chance. If we can keep it moving forward instead of standing still we will have already won. Don’t get me wrong, I am still all about moving forward, and improving. But we can pace ourselves this time. Give it a chance.
What I would ask is that you keep supporting those businesses you love. The restaurants and small shops. They have had to adapt and spend money on resources just to stay open, that we don’t always think about when we wander out and about. People always post these memes about closing the big stores for the next shutdown, if God forbid, it came to that. Give the little guys a chance. Well, we all know that ain’t gonna happen. Choose where you spend your money, and support who you can when you can. You will still need things those big stores have that the little guys can’t get. I have wanted to spend a lot of money at places that my friends own, and when I can, I do, but my situation isn’t as liquid as it used to be, I have to budget differently. Just support who you can. A little goes a long way for these businesses. Believe me, if their door is open, they will appreciate you so much.
If you are hoping for big things this year, go for it. You can’t get there wishing for it to come to you. I have some things to work on too, 2020 was rough, but I am still here. We can’t move forward looking back and bitching at the rearview mirror. I hate how much a lot of us lost this past year. But I am fond of saying that no one year is all bad or all good. There are 365 days in most years, one extra last. You cannot possibly have had 366 bad days in a row, so look for those good moments and improve upon them. Don’t look back, you are not there anymore. Happy New Year Friends!! We will be ok, that bar is low enough to crawl over if we need to.
*Follow The Bitchy Waiter if you would like a little insight on the inside of the Service Industry, and have the ability to not take it too personally if you are not a part of that industry. He is quite funny, and a bit insightful too. I am a big fan!