When you work in food service, especially in places like Portland and Peaks Island, you don’t get holidays off. Some of us worked the hardest weekend of the season; many of us worked closing/opening shifts, doubles and stacked shifts.

Please be kind to your bartender, waitstaff, hosts and chefs. We’re tired, and we have complicated lives, small businesses, dreams and families outside of the restaurant.

We love our jobs and we love serving others. We also love reciprocity in the form of tips, fair wages, affordable housing, health insurance, paid sick days, vacation time and retirement plans – most of which we are all too often not afforded in the industry.

Keep this in mind the next time you dine out: We’re doing the best we can, I promise. Be nice, tip well and be patient. The entire industry is short staffed right now, from dishwashers to chefs and waitstaff. We’re picking up the slack to keep these establishments running as seamlessly as we can.

Today is my first day off this week, and I’ll be moving into a new apartment. I’m thankful to have found an affordable, clean and safe space to live. Honestly, in Portland, Peaks Island and other popular places to visit, this is the exception, not the norm.

Many of us share housing with multiple other people, make long commutes, scrape to make rent and depend on staff meals to get us through.

We are artists, musicians, parents, teachers, business owners, loving community members and humans, too.

Bethany Glatz

Peaks Island

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