Observations from the road

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June 14, 2021 by jacklovelace

Just back from a 19 day road trip, long delayed. We traveled from Colorado to Texas to Missouri and then home.

Two observations come to mind easily.

One: The retail service industry is struggling for workers. We ate in nice restaurants, fast food, and in between.

Almost always you could see the staff struggling to stay on top of things. Managers running around covering for raw workers who were very young. It was almost never smooth.

The low point was when we decided to pick up a pizza, came at the appointed time, they hadn’t even started on it.

After another wait they finished two of the three pizzas but forgot the third. While the two got cold they made the third one. The manager was screaming at the cook staff, dropping f bombs. (I’m guessing no one got fired. He couldn’t afford to fire them)

And while there are multiple reasons for the worker shortage, testimony from some friends and family members found

some of them waiting until unemployment goes down to go back to work. In a state where it was to run out that week, we were told they would be in the job market now.

And one add-on observation. Prices are going up and it is noticeable. Part of me loves signs offering $15 an hour for those who will take on the tough and thankless fast food jobs. But I also know some people struggling to make ends meet will face inflation on the back en.

Two: Americans remain a civil people. We found people wearing masks, not wearing masks, coming and going on the road and in towns we stopped. I don’t think I ever opened my own door. And not once did I see intolerance from those wearing masks and those not wearing masks toward each other.

Also relying on friends and family, I am fully aware of how civil war rages in some families over politics and Covid response.

But there are a lot of decent people of all colors and ages who are polite and decent and courteous when encounters do come.

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