Welcome to Situation Normal, a weekly newsletter of funny slice of life stories. Be sure to subscribe for new stories every Sunday.
Now, a story about a barista and the people who make her job difficult.
“Sir, you have to wear a mask,” the barista says.
The man looks confused, so the barista repeats herself.
“Sir, you have to wear a mask.”
“Sir, you need to wear a mask, or you’ll have to leave.”
“Sir, I need you to wear a mask, or leave.”
The man leaves.
I haven’t been out much during the pandemic, but I’ve seen plenty of internet videos of people who refuse to wear masks. The videos that horrify me are the one where someone who refuses to wear a mask just doesn’t give a fuck. Apparently, they never got the word about how we’re living in a society here!
The videos that boggle my mind are the ones where someone who refuses to wear a mask shouts about their “freedom” and their “rights,” as if these important concepts are somehow infringed upon by a store policy that’s the pandemic equivalent to no shoes, no shirt, no service.
“How often does that happen?” I ask. “People coming in without masks.”
“Constantly,” the barista says.
“Do people argue with you?” I ask. “Like those videos I see on the internet.”
“Not really. The internet is… not real life, you know?”
“But people try to get away with it all the time,” the barista says. “They try to push it. You know, make excuses. Mobile orders are the worst. They say, but I’ll be quick. And I’m like, I don’t care, this is life and death, wear a mask. And they act all offended, like putting on a mask is this huge ordeal.”
“It’s dangerous. And insulting. And I think it’s getting worse with the vaccine. Don’t get me wrong, the vaccine is great. I’m vaccinated, thank god! But now we have people coming in without masks, and they’re like, but I’m vaccinated. And I’m like, first off, the rules still apply to you. And also, how do I know you’re vaccinated? What am I the vaccine police?”
“It sounds like you’re already the mask police,” I say.
“I hate it,” she says. “I wish I could go back to being a barista, making drinks and having cool conversations with my customers.”
I know that feeling too. Thirteen months into the pandemic and one thing I really miss is a meandering conversation with a barista. They’re like bartenders, only instead of telling them your problems over booze, they tell you everything you never needed to know over coffee. It’s a better trade, and depending on where they get their beans, sometimes a fair one too.
But the current conversation runs out of room to meander. Like clockwork, the man returns. He’s wearing a mask (thank goodness), but it only covers his mouth.
“Can you talk to him?” the barista asks her co-worker. “I’m all outta fucks right now.”
Thanks for reading! Back next Sunday with a new story. Meantime, sharing is caring, so PLEASE share Situation Normal with everyone you know 😎
And for those who like their laughs long-form, check out my hilarious new novel, NOT SAFE FOR WORK. As one Amazon reviewer recently wrote, “Get this book!” Hard to argue with that, folks.