Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Report from the Smoking War

Yesterday my wife, (The Fair Penelope) celebrated our sixth year as two become one. (If you haven't tried it, I recommend marriage.) We stopped for sandwiches, i.e. burgers and fries at a small place on Rice & Arlington in St. Paul, The Coffee Cup. Their bio on the menu says, "Proudly serving food in St. Paul for 50 years. First on old 7th street downtown, and at this spot since 1967." (Or words to that effect.)

The words on their door as we went in said, "New Hours, 5:30 AM to 3:00 PM", seven days a week. At the register inside, "We have changed our hours due to the smoking ban."

Really, already...? How can a ban not yet in effect change schedules, put people out of work, disrupt cash flow? Surely they, (the 4-3'ers) didn't mean for this to happen? They have such high intentions after all. Great pavers, high intentions.

Leaving I asked about the change. "Yes, we've cut six hours off the schedule."

"Because of the smoking ban?" I asked. "Every week?"

"Yes. Because of the smoking ban. And no, six hours every day."

Six hours every day in the restaurant business is a full shift. At the very best, all the waitresses lost a piece of income. At the worst, someone lost all their shifts. But hey, they'll make it up on kid's meals, right?

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