I was working at Buffalo Wild Wings for about three weeks before it closed down in March because of the pandemic. I was upset because I finally got a decent paying job that seemed like a lot of fun. I originally joined because I needed a job and it was close to my house so I figured it would be the perfect place to earn some money for gas and insurance, but I had no idea how long I would be out of work and how long I would be without one of my main reasons I haven’t gone crazy.
Towards the end of a shift back in the summer, I went to the bathroom to do a quick check to make sure nothing looked out of place and everything was stocked and clean. I looked down at my phone to see my Grandma calling me. I talked for a few minutes to find out some terrible news. I ran out of the restroom crying my tear ducts dry. I couldn’t breathe. I began to yell and have a panic attack. I basically fell to the floor.
My co-workers rushed over to see what the problem was. We quickly realize I am mentally and physically unable to drive home. So my manager kindly offers to take me home.
I got into his car and the whole ride home he talked to me about what is going on and even more. They were there for me when they honestly didn’t have to be. They could’ve just said I could go home and told me to show up at my shift the next day. But, I was blessed to have such meaningful people in my life who I met out of the blue.
In early September, we finally had a somewhat normal work schedule. As I walked into my afternoon shift, I was greeted by a friend of mine. She’s my age, one of my closer co-workers. I receive the biggest hug of my life. Somehow this made my whole day, let alone my whole week.
Everyone I encountered on my way back to the kitchen greeted me with such love and happiness which all overshadowed the rough night I had.
I walked into the kitchen to put my purse down and clocked in. I typed in my numbers and grabbed a Pepsi with light ice. The cold drink pressed against my skin makes me shiver.
I was scheduled to go on a food run that night, so most of my time was spent in the back talking to kitchen workers, expo and the dishwasher. Every single person was having a conversation with someone in the room. Nobody was left out. I loved being surrounded by diversity. People in their 30s to teenagers, both male and female all working together. And the best part is, I’ve had a deep conversation with each of them.
I have gotten to learn about their pasts and what led them to Buffalo Wild Wings. Some people just need extra cash, while others rely solely on their food service jobs and work paycheck to paycheck, cooking other people’s over-priced food.
The loud rap music, yet very jolting, makes the whole room energized and filled with love. You hear the occasional foul words but you just have to sit there and laugh.
The pandemic had caused me to be isolated from my friends, family and others I care about… so having them there for me was a big stress relief.
Working at Buffalo Wild Wings has kept my mind active, and pushed me to get up in the morning. Knowing I had and still have a safe place during this dreadful time was really reassuring to me. It gave me more of a purpose than doing schoolwork or sleeping my day away. So without this establishment do you think I would survive this virus?