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How’d Day 1 of the Vax Mandate Go for Local Service Workers?

Spoiler: Things seemed fairly normal.

12:45 PM CST on January 20, 2022

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Fair State Brewing Cooperative has required proof of vaccination since Dec. 10, well before the mandate.

Yesterday ushered in a new era of tyrannical oppression or common-sense safety, depending on your political persuasion.

Minneapolis and St. Paul both flipped the switch on vaccination mandates for bars, restaurants, venues, movie theaters... ya know, indoor places. (Fox 9 has a nice vax mandate primer here.) For those working in the trenches of the service industry, that meant asking guests to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that's at least 72 hours fresh. And that's no small ask, considering the endless pandemic has broken so many of our once-civilized brains.

So, how'd Wednesday go for our service-industry friends? As luck would have it, the Facebook group Service Industry MSP, which includes over 16,000 members, received that exact prompt. Thankfully, the anecdotal evidence suggests there wasn't anti-vax bedlam in the bars, though it was a sub-zero school night. Then again, maybe high guest compliance is unsurprising in a metro area that's over 75% vaccinated.

Here's a sampling of what our heroic bartenders, servers, hosts, etc. encountered yesterday on the job...

"Work at a coffee shop, we have a sign up," Jeremiah Cornehl writes. "Most people just show us. I did just have a woman come in, look at the sign and say 'I’m a pure blood, sorry' and leave. I’m still fucking dying of laughter."

"We weren’t that bad, actually," Mimi Danicic writes. "Folks kinda knew the drill and weren’t bothered by it. BUT it felt like a bad omen when the very first couple that came in weren’t vaccinated and had to leave (without incident)!"

"I only had one guy who had a problem with it," Cheryl Anne Johnson writes. "He told me it was illegal and he was going to call the police on me and have me arrested."

"My first guest got angry and demanded to see mine," Amy Green writes. "Oh and he had his... he just had to be a prick about it."

"Wasn't bad," Cahner Cihak writes. "Almost every guest had theirs ready for us. A few we had to turn away (I wasn't happy about losing that money) but they were understanding thankfully. I can't imagine we will continue to have the same luck going forward."

"It was extremely slow for us," Vanessa Mitchell Cannon writes. "I am curious if the weather is a facto too, so will look at the week overall

"I had several people come to us instead of our other location because they were against the mandate," Ryan Anlauf writes. "So I got more business."

"We are out in the burbs and have seen reservations go through the roof starting today," David J. Marzorati Jr. writes. "Guests call making sure we don't have a mandate and then book. Tonight went from 200 to 350."

"It was very slow, but overall compliance was fine," Vanessa Guerra writes. "No arguments. One (self-identified) unvaccinated person ordered takeout and I asked her to wait in her car/I'd bring it out curbside, and she was fine with it. If she'd refused, I was planning to ask her to wait in a designated spot and keep her mask on. Our customers are generally cool."

"Got a few phone calls, no one really gave us problems," Maya Schmitt writes. "I had one lady come in, see the sign and go 'oh I don’t have either one of those.' And just walk away. I’m a little worried because they’re putting it in the hands of our VERY YOUNG hosts at night to ask people for their cards."

Craving more mandate content? Revisit Em's thoughtful exploration from last month on that very subject.

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