Manners Matter: ‘Merely Trying to Make a Living’

Dear Mary Pat,

We own a restaurant here in Door County. We’ve been overwhelmed by the local support since the shutdown in March and the reopening at the end of May. So many of our local customers supported us with take-out orders and gift certificate purchases. 

And because we love our community and know that others were hurting through job losses, we donated a lot of food. We took on loans to be able to continue paying our staff. My husband and I, and many of our employees, made grocery and prescription deliveries as volunteers. We poured our hearts out because we live here and have made our living here for many decades.

You can imagine our disappointment then to keep reading that restaurants and other seasonal businesses are “greedy” for wanting to stay open. I would like to point out that it is not greed; we are merely trying to make a living, just like everyone else in the country. 

We have spent thousands of dollars on protective equipment for our staff and to make our customers as safe as possible. We reduced our seating capacity by more than 50 percent. And yet we are still accused of being greedy.

I’d like to remind everyone that words matter, and you should think before you speak or write. I’m happy that some of my friends have the ability to work remotely, but as restaurant owners, we don’t have that option. We are very aware of the risk of this virus and are doing everything we can to limit exposure. The last thing on our minds is making a big profit. 


Not Greedy, Just Surviving

Town Withheld

Dear Not Greedy, Just Surviving,

What happened to “We’re all in this together,” right? Now it seems like everyone is turning on one another. I dread opening my Facebook app these days because things are becoming so toxic – so much judgment and vitriol, and I’m not even talking about the upcoming election. 

I’d like to encourage everyone to check themselves before posting. Let’s go over some of the basics again, please:

• If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

• If you wouldn’t say something directly to someone’s face, don’t say it behind the person’s back or online.

• Don’t judge – you may not know the full story.

• Don’t make assumptions. 

• Be kind.

• Love your neighbor.

• Words can sometimes hurt just as much as sticks and stones.

• You can agree to disagree without being mean.

• Mind your own business.

• Focus on your behavior and the things that are in your control.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

Miss Pat was educated at the Finnish Finishing School for Fine Ladies. Eloquent in edifying etiquette, she is fluent in seven languages, including the language of love. Mary Pat has generously extended her counsel to you and will answer any and all inquiries. Email Mary Pat at [email protected].