Many Job Openings as Kalamazoo Restaurant Workers Threatened with Gun
An incident at a Kalamazoo restaurant may highlight one of the reasons there are so many job openings in the service industry.
Kalamazoo police responded to a Stadium Drive restaurant in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, July 15 after a customer threatened workers with a gun. The reason? According to employees of the establishment, the customer became angry with the service he received.
The incident began with an argument that quickly escalated. Police say an infant and toddler were present during the incident. Thankfully, there were no injuries. The suspect, identified as a 21-year-old Kalamazoo man, was arrested for assault and weapons charges.
Are unruly customers to blame for worker shortage?
There are numerous examples of customers behaving badly these days. That is not to say that there are not many examples of staff treating customers poorly as well. Job openings nonetheless are plentiful.
Restaurants, bars, and stores are being forced to limit hours of operation and worse yet, permanently close due to a lack of employees.
Many have pointed to the federally boosted unemployment benefits keeping would be job applicants from filling the numerous openings. Morgan Stanley economists say that a month after dozens of states ended the federal government’s $300 enhanced weekly benefit for the unemployed has done little to nothing to help the labor shortage.
Food workers recently spoke out on the Today over heated confrontations they continue to experience with customers angry over wait times due to staffing shortages and enforcement of coronavirus precautions. A restaurant in Massachusetts closed for 'A Day of Kindness' after angry customers berated servers and cooks to the point of tears. Some workers as young as 15.
It isn't any better for those who work in air travel. Airlines have reported about 3,000 cases of disruptive passengers since January 1, 2021, according to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
A Michigan security guard was shot and murdered simply for asking a customer to wear a mask in the store in May of 2020.
Are we expecting too much from those who make the least?
The job market remains in the job seeker's favor. Employers who are able to have boosted starting wages. Some fast food companies are offering pay starting at $15 an hour to try and entice applicants. There are still plenty whose pay is heavily dependant on tips. Tips from the same angry patrons who don't want to wait long for a table or order something else due to supply shortages. Things that are completely out of a server's control.