A few days ago, I started to draft a blog post that I had been dreading so much that it was easy to procrastinate the task. (I am also a professional procrastinator so that probably helped, too.) It started, “I cannot wait to get to a point in the future where the blog centers around a topic other than masks and COVID-19.”
Part of what made the blog especially hard to write was the belief that anyone who reads The Wicked Sister’s posts likely cares about and respects my business enough to set aside their personal feelings long enough to throw on a mask. It also feels like I’m beating a dead horse.
The idea that yet another post about the Great Mask Crisis was necessary stemmed from many, many issues with guests over the last two weeks. In my almost six years at The Wicked Sister, I have never had my staff on the verge of tears on such a regular basis thanks to the entitled, selfish asshats who choose to take out their personal frustrations on us.
We have experienced guests arguing with us about the mask requirement, naked-faced guests literally RUNNING down the bar to their seats, and a particularly special gentleman calling me a “dumb bitch” because I refused to allow him to come in without a mask. To say our recent days have been fairly difficult is an understatement.
In a time when we have our hands full with the normal chaos of August restaurant life, it has been made all the more challenging as we navigate evolving health & safety protocols, food supply disruptions and angry individuals whom, after eight weeks, still don’t quite understand that businesses are only following the rules put upon us. Last week was the first time EVER that I dreaded going to work.
And then…The Wicked Sister received a gift. A dear customer made us a wall plaque and took the time to write an encouraging note. It was touching and so greatly appreciated by the entire Wicked Sister crew. A surprise act of kindness made me remember that we have always had difficult customers, and I have never let them bring me down. Why would I start now?
Why would I let the actions of a handful of people make me forget the many gifts we receive from all the customers who come through the door? From the gift of choosing to dine with The Wicked Sister to the gift of great conversation to the words of encouragement, we have received many gifts this year!
Today, I’m making the choice to focus on our wonderful guests. Today, I’m choosing to remind myself and The Wicked Sister crew that, as always, the good far outweighs the bad. We must believe that this too shall pass and look forward to the day when we no longer need to add Mask Police to our daily duties.
Until that day, we have a giant, yellow sign posted on the front door to help clarify the mask rules and expectations. I’d like to say the sign has helped us get back to doing our jobs of simply serving guests: To a certain degree, it has. Yet we still have guests that need reminding. I still say, “Sorry, we’re only following the rules,” or “We have to enforce this or risk hefty fines and license suspensions” so many times a day that I hear this COVID soundtrack in my sleep.
To the guests who respect The Wicked Sister enough to simply follow the rules that are in place, you will never know how much we appreciate you.
To the guests who need reminding, but accept the prodding with respect and civility, we appreciate you, too!
To the guests who simply don’t believe a State-wide mandate applies to you and want to argue with my crew, I hope you find yourself under a flock of seagulls with explosive diarrhea.
To the guests who think it’s OK to berate us or take out your frustrations on us, I hope you feel better treating another human being like crap; however, make no mistake about it, you are not a better person because you call us names or raise your voice.
This week, this “dumb bitch” plans on remembering that: The Wicked Sister has seen overwhelming encouragement and community support from guests who believe in our mission, Sticks & Stones will never permanently break us even when we feel broken and when we finally come through the $#!% show that has been 2020, we will be stronger and better for overcoming the challenges.
We’re also doing a little fall planning that includes some exciting new options for our menu -- A welcome sense of normalcy as our summer season comes to an end. (*Hint: Large Plates/Entrees and Smoked Cocktails are on the short list of items we are playing around with.) I’m eager to see the ideas that The Wicked Sister crew comes up with and go through the process of recipe development that ends with you, our guest, enjoying the hard work!
PS - Southwestern Egg Rolls are FINALLY back and we have Mac Attack Burgers on the feature board for as long as the Mac & Cheese lasts!