RESTAURANT WARS

Since the election I’ve seen a dozen or so posts about boycotting restaurants because they’re cutting hours to avoid paying their employees insurance/medical coverage under Obamacare.

I have one word to describe these ads, and feel free to refute me — you know how I love a good discussion — but the word is Bull Shit. With capital letters.

Over the years, I’ve known dozens of people in the restaurant business — some owners, some servers, some salaried office workers.

Among my national accounts and customers while with McBee Systems were Daylight Donuts, Papa John’s (Yup, that Papa Johns, they’re out of Oklahoma City), Subway Restaurants, The Wooden Barrel in Stillwater, several Sonic locations, The Glitter Dome, Bahama Breeze, Pearl’s/Doc’s (all of Paul Sicle’s restaurants)…..I’m forgetting some.

The reality is that the majority of restaurant workers CHOOSE not to work more than 30 hours per week, even though in some cases they have the hours available. Because of that, they wouldn’t be eligible for insurance anyway.

And even if they were, most restaurants of all kinds do not cover insurance on their employees. Period. It’s the nature of the industry, and is accepted by those who work in it. They either have a spouse with coverage or go on a low-income program like Medicaid.

The exception to this would be office employees who may or may not be covered depending upon whether there were enough salaried employees to fit into a system. With a company like Sonic, their office is large enough that they get coverage. With the franchises, the owner usually is the “office staff” or he may have two-three people manning the fort (femaling the fort, actually) with maybe a sales person to scout out new franchises. The owner may or may not be able to find an insurance plan that will fit so few employees. But those who work in the restaurants, even at the salaried management level, do not expect benefits.

These are just more scare tactics put out to enrage the public. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of untruths flying through the air, riling people up who don’t take the time to do their research, and as the ad about the girl who met a “French Model” online and he turns out to be a lumpy guy who shows up and says, “BonJour,” believe that anything they see on the internet is true.

I had hoped that after the election, people would get civil. But there’s still a vehemence I’ve never seen before — and I’ve been through some pretty heated elections. This one was so very ugly, and I honestly don’t understand why, unless the whole thing was because a good part of our nation simply didn’t want a black president. Which I don’t get either. Maybe my dad was wrong to teach me that each person should be judged on their own merits. In this case, we had a candidate that worked overtime at ticking off women, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and three of our allies in 2 days (plus a country that doesn’t even exist anymore) and later came out to alienate Italy. I voted against him, as much as I voted for Obama. I pride myself in being an Independent who studies each individual candidate, their voting record, their personal history, their business history, and vote accordingly. I’ve voted for Tom Coburn, (R-OK) more than once, but he did a couple of things toward the end of this election process that had me thinking about whether I’d vote for him in this election if I were still in Oklahoma. In the long run, I think he’s done more good than bad, and is willing to stand up against his party when it’s appropriate.

I think the one message we got from this election was that America as a whole is tired of obstructionist politics — voting against a bill just because the President wants it, regardless of how much good it would do the American People — the Dream Act, The Jobs Act, The Veterans Job Act (which was already funded), and so many others.  The honeymoon lasted about 2 days, they Bohner was back to business as usual.  The President was willing to work with the last Congress — made more concessions than the other side had probably expected, but the bottom line is that he, like Clinton, understood we need to put some tax responsibility on the wealthiest in the nation rather than tapping out the poor and middle class. Even millionaires/billionaires have come out saying they earned it, and they have no trouble paying taxes to the country that gave them the opportunity to gain their wealth.  I hope they understand that if it doesn’t take a turn in the next two years, we have another election…..and a lot of us are watching. And will vote accordingly. Let them take their toys and go home.

We need more moderates. Wasn’t it Cain who said we need a third party that is MORE conservative? This one would have had women wearing chastity belts before two years were out, and would probably have taken our right to vote.

But I digress.  The next time you’re in a restaurant, ask the server how many hours she works. Is it by choice? Does she ever expect to be eligible for medical care with the hours she chooses to work? Then, start looking at the scare-tactic ads for what they’re worth. Absolutely nothing.

Let’s move on. Start thinking about what’s best for our country and how we can all best serve Her. Is it by calling a Congressman to tell him/her you’re watching and want an end to the obstructionist policies we’ve had for the last 2 years? They’ve got what they want. Obama is now a one-term president. He can’t run again. Now, with that agenda out of the way, let’s get some harmony going.

I think a great way of fixing that problem would be to seat our representatives in alphabetical order — not by state, not by party, good old third-grade alphabetical order. Young reps would be seated by old. Minorities would be seated by whites. Women with men who want to limit their rights. What would that gain? During all those BS fillibusters, they’d talk. And learn something about each other. And realize they/we all have more in common than we choose to believe. We all want a good education for our children, a strong infrastruction, for those who want a job to be able to have one, our states to be solvent, to reduce that national debt and balance the budget, for small businesses to thrive, for our Veterans to come home and be able to find a place to live and a job waiting for them, and a well made piece of Apple Pie. And we want our Congress to get to work and stop playing games.

That’s my rant for today. Go eat at Applebee’s. They have a great weight-watchers approved dish of skirt steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and really good mixed vegetables that are cooked perfectly — I ask for a double helping of the veggies and no mashed potatoes. Paired with a great mojito, it’s a perfect meal. For less than $20. And ask your barmaid or server how many hours they work a week, if they would like to work more, and if they ever expect to get insurance from their employer.

Then, it’s your turn to put snarky remarks after the erroneous ads.

Until then, thanks for putting up with my much-less-frequent blogs. Hopefully there will be more news later. And also until then, stay safe out there.