Happy November! We’re wrapping up the last two months of the year, if you can believe it! Below are a few notes I received recently that contain some good information regarding upcoming events, birthdays, and membership updates:
• The Downtown Kingsport Association will be hosting their monthly Shop and Hop event on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Local stores will be offering specials and treats for the event. For more information, visit https://www.downtownkingsport.org/downtown-events/.
• The Kingsport Diabetes Association will celebrate its 40th anniversary on November 6th. KDA began in 1981 and was established to educate and serve families with diabetes across the region. This month is also National Diabetes Month. For more information on KDA, visit www.kingsportdiabetes.org.
• Local McDonald’s restaurants in the Tri-Cities are looking to hire 400 new employees this fall. The local franchise offers part-time and full-time positions. For more information, visit www.McDonalds.com/careers or send “apply” by SMS to 38000 to launch an application by SMS.
• Tennessee’s economy continued to rebound in September as unemployment fell for the fourth consecutive month, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. September’s rate is 0.2 percentage points lower than August’s rate of 4.6%. Over the past year, Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 3.5 percentage points, from 7.9% to 4.4%.
I’ve mentioned the labor shortage a number of times in this column, but it’s pretty rare that we talk about the other side of this – the people who are still working and in many cases still working. harder.
Over the weekend I had lunch at Moto’s on Stone Drive in Kingsport. We waited a while for a clean table in the crowded Japanese restaurant and noticed the lack of workers. It was evident that almost every employee was doing more than their assigned tasks, cleaning tables, checking people up front, delivering food, etc. But I could tell by far that the most rushed employee was our waitress. I thought for sure that I must have missed another waiter or waitress walking past us taking the other half of the almost full restaurant, but I realized that she was serving the whole restaurant on her own – well, might I add.
What struck me the most was how nice she was to those asking for refills and take out boxes. I also noticed how good a waitress she was, despite the obvious lack of help. How many times have you been to a restaurant that doesn’t work with just one waitress and you still experience terrible service? As a customer, you always might not see all of what they’re dealing with, along with possible kitchen issues and other responsibilities. But this waitress didn’t let this obvious obstacle overwhelm her or impact her work.
My mom stopped her long enough to thank her for doing such a wonderful job and to make sure she got her tip. I at once hoped she got extra pay for all that extra work – and that the people she served gave her a good tip and offered understanding and patience when it took her a little longer to get back to the table.
This patience and understanding is not always normal, unfortunately.
We’ve all seen signs calling for patience as restaurants keep looking for good, reliable employees. Usually, the employees who show up are the ones who are left with a mountain of work. Signs asking customers to be patient are displayed at various restaurants, such as the one recently posted at a local Bojangles. The sign said, “We think our staff are pretty amazing. Please don’t kill their spirits by using negative or mean words. If you think you can do their job better, we are accepting applications! “
I applaud management for trying to protect the morale of their employees and recognize the work they do. But I hate that it takes a sign to hopefully stop people from throwing hateful comments at employees. I understand that eating the wrong food or standing in line for a long time is frustrating, but when those employees are as short as they are these days, they need a little grace. I have seen so much grace and understanding from customers in this area. I believe we live in a special place with pretty nice people, even though there are some outliers. I hope it continues. But I hope we can also continue to highlight those workers who put in extra time and effort.
Continue to tip your excellent waiters and waitresses a little more. Continue to tell the employee at the drive-thru that you appreciate their speed. Continue to recognize people who not only show up, but show up, do their best, and do it with kindness.
Have you had a positive experience in a local business through an employee of a restaurant, store, store or business? If so, email them to me at [email protected] and you may see it mentioned in a future edition of this column. We will also accept submissions via Facebook to https://www.facebook.com/timesnews/.