A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 159

Santa’s Helpers reporting for store duty.

Friday, October 16

The year continues to produce developments that in any other time would be astounding, gobsmacking—but that nowadays one just tends to accept. 

Case in point: Stores are giving employees special holiday-season training for what to do if there are conflicts over mask-wearing.

In short, just what workers should say if customers fight against attempts to save their lives.

I read about this and at first thought, well, what else is new? Then I thought twice—whatttt?

I guess this kind of thing has happened before in hyper-individualistic, I-know-my-rights America. Flight attendants have had to deal with passengers who refuse to return to their seats even as the plane rolls and tosses in rough weather. Drivers refuse to put their kids in lifesaving booster seats. 

So what should a retail employee do if, despite signs instructing that you must wear a mask to enter this store, someone comes in sans mask and makes a scene about the matter? What if a mother with child confronts said nonmaskwearer and a screaming match ensues?

Counselors say to give the belligerent customer a choice: Would you like to step out of the line and speak with a manager, perhaps? 

Yeah, or maybe you’d like to step outside and talk it over with Thor here.

Who’d have imagined that the local Walmart would need muscled-up bouncers?

I mean, “Sorry, Kris Kringle, we’re gonna have to let you go. We’ve had some unexpected personnel expenses this year.”

Then, “Right this way, Sonny Barger.”

Oh, well. The social distancing wasn’t working too great in Santa’s Corner anyway. And little kids aren’t so much into Zoom, either.

In Britain, Great Grottos, which operates over 200 Christmas-themed displays in shopping and garden centers, announced a delay in the planned hiring of 500 Santas and elves.

As if unemployment weren’t already an issue. Father Christmas seems to have become a stepchild.

Dinner: Pasta with drop meatballs and a green salad.

Entertainment: We’ve exhausted all episodes of Borgen, so we’ll have to find something else. But there are still unseen episodes of Better Call Saul and All Creatures Great and Small.

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