There's no other way to say it, y'all got screwed in this pandemic bullcrap. First, you were considered an "essential worker" and were asked to put yourself in harm's way by working with the public during a worldwide pandemic. You dealt with angry Karens convinced that you were hiding a secret stash of TP in the backroom, and customers freaking out for hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, while everyone else got to stay home and post about how much they were bonding with their kids during quarantine.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, now you are expected to become The Mask Police. The "Make Me" people who wanted so badly for business to reopen so they could get a haircut, and not have to cook their own meals got what they wanted, but now when you ask them to wear a mask, it's "make me." So you, an employee of the gyro shop, the convenience store, a local small business, are forced to ask these stubborn customers to put on a mask or leave when they attempt to enter your place of employment. Seems kinda f***ed to me.

But what choice do you have? You have to pay the rent, local business owners have to pay the bills. The whole thing sucks. And I'm no saint, I'm not exactly in self quarantine right now. I'm going out and spending money at places that are forcing their staff to work with the public in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but I'm also not a dick about wearing a mask, and we're good tippers. Rule of thumb right now is 30%, don't be out here begging for things to open up and then tip 10%, or worse yet, not at all.

To those of you supporting keeping Montana open, be kind, be empathetic, wear a mask - we are all suffering through this in our own different ways. And, on a slightly related note, remember that Walmart is no longer open 24 hours a day. I'm told that people refuse to leave at the early closing time, despite being warning on the overhead speaker, and the police actually have to waste their time going over to clear the store out. People are flippin' cuckoo right now.

To our local servers, cashiers and anyone else being forced to be on Mask Patrol, we see you, we empathize with you, and you all are doing a wonderful job. I'm continually blown away by the patience and kindness you are showing customers during this very difficult and trying time. Let me know if you need a free bag of Hunter Bay coffee beans, it would be my pleasure to deliver to you and your co-workers, angel@alternativemissoula.com