Concentrating On COVID: Change It Up!

As we continue down the path of this pandemic, I am locally seeing the effects of those in the workforce either returning to school or choosing not to work. It is deeply affecting me as I am experiencing lesser dining options or having a more delayed response for deliveries. As such, I am having to change my game up to ensure that I am being content in the community.

It isn’t like we didn’t know this was coming. Smaller companies can only do so much to not only offer a competitive wage for their hard-working talent or even attempt to keep their doors open to maintain the standards of cleanliness necessary to be open to the public in these trying times. There are people who apply for these well-compensating positions in the customer service workforce. While they are compensated well for their efforts, what they receive from the customer is oftentimes not as compensable as it should be in an already shrinking workforce and limited talent pool.

As a result of the above factors, when people such as ourselves head out to one of these fine establishments, it will not be the same that we are used to. It will be busier, more crowded and there will be a longer wait. These oftentimes very hard-working individuals are putting their best by keeping up the best that they can with very little mutual assistance because of having a heavier workload than normally expected. You can only push a person so much to their breaking point. We as a community have a part to do when we are visiting these establishments. Just be kind.

I seen a story in one of the newspapers that I read routinely that many of these locations are hiring 14- and 15-year-olds because they are a important facet of the workforce that will show up to work (because their parents have to transport them likely.)  Yes, they can only work limited hours during the week when school is in session, but any help is worth a shot. Therefore, you don’t know what each one of these employees are facing each time you go out to an establishment and want to get in and out in a hurry. They may be a new hire and not know the special way you want something or whether or not it can be done the certain way you want it. Please be patient and think, what if that was you or your child (if you have one) having to face a complete stranger and take an order and sit in anxiety hoping the back of house crew gets it right. Because something is wrong is not a valid reason to take it out on these hard-working individuals. They sometimes have to put a lot of energy in just being present and in the moment so that you can have something to eat or food on your table.

 I am continuing to see establishments close in my community and the surrounding towns because the management of these establishments cannot fill the necessary quota to stay open. There are places that In the public view that seem like they are doing well, but because of demands of the pandemic or the excessive labor shortage cannot meet the demands necessary to keep up, We shouldn’t blame them for closing their doors as it was one of the last things that they probably wanted to do.

With that in mind, be courteous and kind when ordering a service or going to a establishment these days. We as autistics struggle enough when change, however the last thing we want to do is make a spectacle out ourselves when something doesn’t go our way or isn’t done to our liking. The key point is to be kind and treat others as you want to be treated. You must think what the other parties are dealing with in these trying times and that sometimes our choices will become limited as a result of these challenging times we are facing. It is never too late to change up your food palate or the way you do things because what you are used to in your routine may not always be available to you in the way you need it to be. Therefore, make other plans in the event that what you have planned isn’t available to you.  These places are not doing this to be mean, if they could they would be there for you but they are struggling and you need to do what works for you by adapting and learning to go somewhere else that accommodates your needs if necessary.

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