Thursday, 15 July 2021 14:28

The Roaring Twenties Are Back – Use My 24-Hour Rule to Enjoy Them!

By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business

The Saratoga Race Course opened to fans for the first time since 2019 this week. The New York City Ballet returned to Saratoga too. Live Nation concerts are also attracting thousands of people to SPAC. Unlike last summer, the Saratoga Casino is open as well. Local bars and restaurants have shared that once Governor Cuomo lifted all restrictions, the crowds came roaring back as well.

The challenge is that every business and venue is likely going to struggle to fill all of their open jobs. There’s no easy solution to this job shortage. Everyone will need to adapt. No doubt that those who do work this summer will likely be working longer and harder than ever before.

This means the wait for a table, an appetizer, a drink, meal or dessert might take a little longer. The lines at the cash register or at the entrance or the gate might be longer. The time it might take to get registered at the hotel or to get a ride may be longer than usual. Don’t blame the employees or the owners who are working. Let’s be kind to them.

This summer, I hope everyone enjoys what I think we missed the most last year - - that is being together. Be patient, respectful and civil to the employees working to serve you. Treat these essential employees who are working as if they are your son, daughter or a best friend. Be nice. Be kind. 

When he was President of the Chamber, Joe Dalton would provide a written list of tips for those going to the track. One of them was to order two drinks as soon as you got to your table or box. Maybe you want to do this everywhere this summer. That way you won’t ever have to wait for that second drink. 

Make reservations whenever possible. Perhaps going out early or later in some instances will help. Look at the menu before you go. Select an appetizer that you can order right away. Now you’ll have some food to munch on as you decide what to eat for your meal. 

Before you go shopping at a local store or shop, check out their hours. Go early to beat the crowds. If you find yourself standing in a line to pay, use this time to post a positive review about the items you are buying. Be kind. Do something to help this business. 

Wherever you go, please tip big. For more than one year, there were restrictions on how many people could gather together in one place. This was true for salons, spas, restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, wineries, distilleries, and more. These restrictions meant there were less customers every day and night. That meant fewer tips. Let’s help tipped employees to recover too.

Just the other day, I found myself at a local restaurant wondering when someone might come over to take my order. I knew what I wanted. In my job, I don’t have a favorite restaurant. I have a favorite dish at every one of them. This means I’m almost always ready to order when I walk in the door. But on this day, I thought for a second. I paused and smiled. I took a deep breath. The person I was with and I decided to laugh it off and just talk. That’s what we all need to do this summer. Eventually, we had a great meal and enjoyed our time together.

Last year, we had to adapt. Everything was different. This year, things will be more “normal.” But, we need realistic expectations. Not everything will be exactly as it was. This is not the summer to expect instant gratification. There will be lines. There will be long waits. Preparing for this will hopefully help to minimize the frustration. 

When I do get angry, I tell my family, friends and co-workers that I often employ “my 24-hour rule.” The rule is simple. I wait 24-hours to decide if what I’m angry about is really that important. It is amazing to me how much this helps me to not say something I would regret. It has kept me out of so much trouble over the years. Maybe if you find yourself frustrated, angry, or just mad because the experience you are having is not what you expected, you can employ a similar strategy. Enjoy being together this summer. Have fun. And please, please, please, be patient.

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