Didn't You Know That All Of The Cool Kids Are Kind To Their Neighbors?

Good morning, my loves! How was your weekend? I finished Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (so good!) and went on a two hour walk before the rain started on Saturday morning. Also, I roasted a ton of sweet potatoes and made caramelized onions, which is a weird combo of food to make but screw it, in quarantine every comfort food is game. What have you been doing to ensure your weekend feels separate from, you know, the rest of your life?

So I posted a version of the following rant on Twitter on Friday, but wanted to share with y’all here - don’t worry, there are links to internet reading afterwards, so scroll down if you’re merely looking for that sweet, sweet content. 

Hey folks, I keep 99 percent positive on this here website, but I’d like to take the next few moments to scream about something: jerks who mistreat the service workers who are keeping this country alive right now.

On Friday, I stopped by my local corner store this morning to get some basics. You see, I’m lucky to have Nick’s Super Market in SF a block away from my apartment, and they’ve got a selection of food and goods that rivals Whole Foods, so I stock up there when I can.

When I first moved back to San Francisco and was figuring out how to live on my own, the brothers and son who run Nick’s were kind reminders of why I live in a city. They started recognizing me after my second visit, saying hi, asking if I was new to the neighborhood. It meant so much to feel included in their community.

Since then, their friendliness and cheer, as well as their stellar product quality and fair prices—I guess a lot of the restaurants in Hayes Valley use them as a supply backstop when they run out—have drawn me in at least once a week for everything from cream for my coffee to nutritional yeast for my popcorn.

Needless to say, I adore them. So my heart broke on Friday when I went up to pay and heard how they’ve been treated by some of their customers.

Because like many markets, Nick’s has been besieged by the same challenges we’re seeing all over the country: demand surges for certain items and supply chain breakdowns, all while needing to take care of their own health and well-being. And they’ve faced these challenges with kindness and humor.

But today I found out that they’ve been on the receiving end of abuse regarding their truncated hours, which are prominently posted outside. Hours shortened so that they can work with distributors to restock their shelves with scare products like TP and flour. Hours shortened so they can clean their store to protect themselves and US, THEIR CUSTOMERS. And yet jerks are rattling their doors and yelling at them because it’s not quite as convenient.

So why am I ranting about this now? Because I would be SO much more frightened by all of this if I didn’t have Nick’s Super Market. Because they are kind and good people who are doing their best in biblical times to keep me fed and stocked up on emergency chocolate. Because I care for them and am ashamed that they are treated this way by San Franciscans.

We’re all going through our own special brands of hell right now. We are stressed and scared and uncertain, caught between a life we were comfortable (or at least familiar) with and an unknown future.

But that does NOT give ANYONE the right to be abusive to the service workers who are feeding, clothing and caring for us. Who unlike me can’t stay holed up in their apartment yelling about people being muted on Zoom. Who wake up every day facing the same dangers I do but go to work for the public anyways. 

So this is my plea to everyone, though I know my lovely Missive readers don’t need to hear this: PLEASE be kind. PLEASE be patient. PLEASE tip well, and PLEASE take a deep breath before you yell at someone who’s helping keep you alive. Because they are stuck in the same calamity you are in, and are struggling to persevere just like you are.

TO THE INTERNET!

You’re all lovely. Be kind to each other, and to yourselves.

xoxo Amy

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