Suraj Laxhman

Restaurant Manager

Before I sound like a douchebag and compare what our industry is going through, hats off to all front line personnel From healthcare, to Cisco officers, to Barbers, to food and beverage warriors and to anyone out there toiling to make ever day that much more bearable in one way or another for another human being. Being in one of the hardest hit industries, it puts into perspective a lot of things people take for granted. Food is a language spoken by all without any barriers. And being in that industry exposes you the the nicest people you will ever meet, and some of the nastiest people out there. I love my job. Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to go there extra mile to make sure my guests get the best possible experience. But without human interaction, it becomes a challenge. And that’s what Covid 19 has destroyed, essentially. The lack of touch, the lack of conversations, the lack of hitting someone in the back because their joke is just dumbass stupid. The little things. Just like many, many people out there right now, I’ve taken a pay cut. But that doesn’t stop us from giving you the best we can. Nasty videos appearing online on F&B staff being treated like downright sewer, it’s extremely disheartening, maddening and frustrating. Helpless, too. Never did I stop to think how I would react if it were to happen to me. And then it did. I’ve been asked, explicitly, on the phone by a guest. “ How hard is your job, seriously”. That threw me way off. I felt that helplessness all over again and I found myself just sitting in silence, not knowing how to reply or what would be the right thing to say. Being asked “is this a joke?” when it’s pouring outside, with delivery riders scrambling for shelter, finding all wayd possible to shelter the food more than themselves: resulting in a delay of delivery. Not once did they person stop to ask “will the driver have any difficulty?” or say “it’s okay, I understand the weather is not good right now”. Nope. Instead they ask me if I’m telling them a joke because apparently I’ve become a stand up Comedian because of the rain. So, #dearCovid19, thank you for opening my eyes to the “real” world in a sense. That not all rainbows and butterflies. That being said. This virus has actually allowed me to spend more time at home, something that has been a challenge before. When I get up for work, everyone is out of the house. When I get back, everyone’s asleep. Trying to balance family life, personal life, friends all became a challenge. But I got used to it. Comes with the job, right? But with this (stupid ass) Virus, I’ve found myself home at times when I can have a simple conversation, or dinner, with the family and everything felt surreal. A simple dinner with the family became such a rare commodity for me before, but now it’s here, and a part of me isn’t looking forward to going back to that life. My partner lives 4 hours away, in KL, and I haven’t seen her in months. It really drives an uncomfortable wedge into the relationship, but making it work has been such a motivation, for the both of us, to make sure we survive this virus, and not let it get to us, coming in between of whatever plans we have. So although this virus has destroyed normal semblance of life as we all have come to get comfortable with, let us also remember that this virus has brought out the best in us. So thank you, but fuck you too, Corona.