Today 11/27/21, we had our weekly coffee social at our usual safe Cafe in Port Credit. We were to meet new members from Downtown Toronto and the commute for both groups was about 30-35mins. It was an investment for both parties, although not as extreme as others had made last week. I like to prepare for most eventualities, and thank goodness we had a back up plan. As we approached the shop, my better half and I noticed newer signs and more prominent displays of the usual propaganda. I was not too bothered about it as we had ventured there just last week. We proceeded inside maskless and procured our tables. We started to order at the counter like every other time over the course of the past 12 months and everything seemed normal. When it came time for me to pay, the young employee asked me for ID and proof of vaccination. I calmly responded, "excuse me I was just here last week and have been coming here for the past year with no issues." She said and I quote, "Yeah we got a complaint so we were told we have to ask now". I said to her, "so you want me to leave now after I just ordered?" she sat there for a good minute as the line up of people waiting on their orders looked on. She realized the situation she was in and her eyes shifted left and right across the room gauging people's silence and awkwardness. She finally broke her silence "I really do not want to do this, but its my job."
When I come across a confrontational situation like this it's important to not overreact or get emotionally invested. I learned this over the course of many a work related incident and numerous life experiences that unfolded badly when I couldn't contain myself. Most people are afraid of confrontation and not everyone is built to handle it. I was in the right spot at the right time. I make it a point when this happens to let the employee or manager know what exactly they are doing to me so that they can digest the gravity of the situation and not just just brush it off. I responded to the young adult behind the till "So after a year of supporting you and this business, today you've decided to segregate your customers ?" She stood silent and the waiting area was silent. "I'll ask again, do you want me to leave?" "Sorry" she said. I told her we brought a lot of business and new customers to this Cafe and now I will never step foot inside here again.
As I walked back to our table where our spouses were talking I told them what transpired and that we had to go. In doing so the table of "ladies" behind us looked on and one particular woman had the look of superiority about her. Almost oozing out the phrase "those people" from her glares. We didn't even bother to confront them as it would be pointless and playing into their twisted sense of morality. On the bright side we enacted Plan B and went on to have a wonderful chat and sample some free warm apple cider sans mask and no papers to present....
I want to thank the couple for bearing with us, and enduring a rather unusual first meet.
As always, take care of yourself and each other.
We have deleted the Cafe and added a new business in its place.
The new entrant to the wall of shame