Reading List: There’s A Special Spot In The Bad Place For Who Anyone Who Abuses Service Workers.
Sweethearts! We made it to Friday, which in itself is an accomplishment and I truly hope you pat yourself on the back for it. I have a packed weekend of yoga and dinner with friends and cleaning my apartment, and I hope you’re also looking forward to a couple of days away from your (work) screen. Also, if you’re looking for me tonight, I will of course be having popcorn for dinner and devouring The Suicide Squad on HBO Max because Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is on of the most enjoyable performances of recent memory.
So let’s figure out what to read this weekend, shall we?
Alex McElroy, Topo Chico Is Everywhere Now, and That’s Just Fine With Me (Bon Appetit) - When the author of my favorite book of 2021 (The Atmospherians) writes a gorgeous love letter to the most delicious sparkling water on the planet, this booze-sober fan of prose who instantly loves any restaurant that has said elixir of the gods on the menu reads the heck out of the piece.
Amanda Mull, American Shoppers Are A Nightmare (The Atlantic) - In my 37 years on this planet, I’ve noticed that most of my close relationships at some point worked in the service industry, whether that be waiting tables, making coffee, or bagging groceries. As someone who transitioned from barista in high school to retail in college to client service as her “grown-up” job, I find that I relate better to those who understand the very unique stresses of work built on the foundation of “the customer is always right” (read: you worked at Starbucks in college as opposed to an unpaid internship.) But as we hear and see more and more stories of customers gone wild, becoming abusive and violent towards service workers, I kinda wish it was socially acceptable to carry around an air horn and blow it in the face of anyone who pulls that shit—and yes, I am including anyone rude to a server on a first date, the ruddiest of red flags one ever could encounter. As Mull details, people can be absolute garbage. So be good to those who help you get through your day, and tip well, dammit, it’s a pandemic.
Sara Benincasa, I Worked at Woodstock ‘99 (Medium) - When Woodstock ’99 occurred, I was a teenager in that critical summer between junior high and high school. My junior high years had been chockfull of illness and bullying and eating disorders, and I took solace in the relationships I built outside of school, whether that was in the community theater productions that sucked up all of my extracurricular time or playing guitar in local coffee shops. At that time, my form of rebellion was sitting in a friend’s room—and not that you asked but yes, I had a crush on him but never had the guts to tell him—watching Monty Python VHS tapes or listening to Jimi Hendrix or Jefferson Airplane (and FYI, this was completely sober, it was literally just consuming that content #nerd). I wanted to live in the 1969 of Woodstock or Haight Ashbury, retreat to a mythical nostalgia of peace, love and community. I remember being so jealous of those who were going to Woodstock ’99, and when the violent stories of that festival started playing on CNN and showing up in Newsweek headlines, I think a little bit of my naive and gentle 15-year-old heart broke a bit. Benincasa’s perspective on it, as a volunteer in the crisis intervention team at that festival, breaks my heart a little bit more.
Molly Ball, What Mike Fanone Can't Forget (TIME) - This cover story of one MPD officer’s horrific experience during the Jan 6 insurrection is waiting on my Kindle to be read this weekend, but I know it’s going to be a hard one to get through.
Aki Ito, Employers are waging a war over work from home. WFH is winning. (Insider) - Louder, for the folks in the back: “As offices begin to reopen, it turns out there's a big gap between what workers want and what their employers want.”
That’s it, that’s all! Have an excellent and restful weekend, and don’t forget to drink some water, get out for a walk if you can, and be kind to yourself, won’t you?