Guest opinion: How we speak to one another matters |

Guest opinion: How we speak to one another matters

Alex Divers

First, I want to share how proud and grateful I am of my fellow service industry members who show up every day in our community. I have nothing but compassion and admiration for these people. With the extra demands of COVID, safety mandates and rules, all of which are out of our control, you all continue to support the needs of this community.

Nowadays, it is easy to shout an opinion from behind a keyboard or even in person. But, remember, our interactions matter and how we speak to each other matters. As individuals and members of the community, we don’t always have to agree with everything that is happening. No one expects that of you. No one company or person can please everyone every time. Many people in the service industry, perhaps even some of you reading this, have been threatened, bullied or shamed online and even experienced it face to face. The old saying goes, sticks and stones may break my bones. What it doesn’t acknowledge is that threatening and bullying can also, over time, break people.

It has been a tough couple of years for all of us and I know it can be overwhelming. That said, too many of these daily interactions feel more and more like we’re kicking our own community in the shins. It isn’t helpful or constructive. Our community has been increasingly talking about mental health, which is great, but mental health doesn’t happen in a void.

I am a member of the service industry, and I do my best to support my fellow community members. I wear my mask, so you don’t have to remind me. I say thank you for everything that is done for me, even if it’s not quite what I expected. I don’t ask for extra unless it’s offered. Everyone is short-staffed. People have left jobs and no one has been able to replace them. The ones who are left are trying their hardest to fill gaps, working double shifts, not wanting to let their fellow community members down. Now, combine this with expressed frustration from guests, it’s not surprising no one wants to work in the industry.

Right now, everyone is just doing what they can do. They have no bandwidth for extra, despite how much we all want to go above and beyond to provide the wow factor. Summit County is a pretty great place. There is a reason people come here and, like it or not, we are all in the service industry.

What I’m asking is that when you speak to any person, speak to them how you would want to be spoken to. No more, no less. We are all part of the same ecosystem. The people of the service industry live and work in this community too. We are not lesser than. We are just like you: tired, overworked and trying our hardest to do our best with the resources we have.

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