Open forum: The Forgotten Essential Employees

Restaurant Revitalization (Submitted photo)

We are the forgotten. In no means is this to take away from the first responders and our first line of defense against COVID-19 and all variants now and here to come.

We are the Restaurant Employees. We are the forgotten. We spend our day arguing with people to place their masks on before entering. We police them as much as we can to ensure that these customers comply.  There is only so much we can do.

But at the end of the day, the restaurants are punished, shut down for days or even weeks because we are trying to police what we cannot. In 2020 we were deemed “Essential Workers” but treated so much worse than any words that I can describe. We were deputized to police something that even the Government had no idea how to police.  But we pay the price.

I am a restaurant employee. I am a restaurant employee with an auto-immune disorder. I am a restaurant employee that has been vaccinated. I am a restaurant employee that on a given day must deal with possibly 400+ people. I must deal with the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

We try to do the best we can being deputized for a position that we did not ask for. We are asked to seat you at a table, we asked to wait on you and bring you your food. What we did not ask for during a global pandemic was asked to do the job of the government and make sure that you are complying.

We do not get the extra money that unemployed people do, but we take the brunt of harassment from customers and the government because we failed to see one person not wearing their mask.  We are the forgotten.

Joe Hanna, St. Croix

The Forgotten Essential Restaurant Employee