Food staffing short­age ar­ti­cle chron­i­cles real-world re­al­i­ties

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - Jan­ice Sch­lau Mary Kless Lan­caster He­laine San­ders, LMSW, JD East Amherst

As a restau­ra­teur I need to com­ment on the April 6 front page piece “From chefs to servers, staff is in short sup­ply” by food edi­tor Andrew Z. Galarneau. This struck a chord with me. It’s a dilemma not just for fledg­ling en­trepreneurs but sea­soned owner-op­er­a­tors as well.

In 2006 I opened my res­tau­rant in the vil­lage of Wil­liamsville where I dis­cov­ered staffing was my most im­per­a­tive con­cern even af­ter ex­ten­sive ad­ver­tis­ing and pur­su­ing con­nec­tions in the busi­ness.

A prep cook, grad­u­ate from Paul Smith’s Col­lege and a lo­cal kitchen as­sis­tant re­cruited from a prom­i­nent eatery both turned out to be dis­as­trous hires. Then, des­per­ately I hired any­one who pro­vided even re­motely ac­quired hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence, as sev­eral weeks prior to open­ing I was sorely mi­nus a pro­fes­sional staff.

From there on in the busi­ness be­came fam­ily run. I prepped all day, met with beer, wine and pro­vi­sions dis­trib­u­tors, made desserts, served ta­bles up, down and out­side then closed at mid­night. My hus­band drove in daily from his job in Rochester to ar­rive promptly at 6 p.m. de­spite traf­fic sna­fus, manned the stove, plated din­ners and washed dishes. By con­trast to the re­volv­ing door of em­ploy­ees, a young spe­cial needs art in­struc­tor from Al­len­town ap­plied for work.

She pre­pared sal­ads, served soups, desserts and drinks, cleaned-off ta­bles and res­ur­rected my per­spec­tive. One day she sug­gested we par­tic­i­pate in “Res­tau­rant Week” which we re­luc­tantly agreed to. The sales and ex­po­sure to our unique Ger­man and Pol­ish menu were so suc­cess­ful we cut her a per­cent­age of our prof­its.

The per­ti­nent in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by The News food edi­tor was not only pre­cisely stated but also pro­vided warn­ings, I feel, for those fool­ishly toy­ing with the ro­man­tic no­tion of open­ing a res­tau­rant. Trust me, no one shares your un­proven and costly dreams. Demo­cratic lead­ers.

New York is now ruled by the gover­nor’s Demo­cratic party which voted to in­crease the salaries of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Di­rect sup­port pro­fes­sion­als need in­creases in wages and fund­ing to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies. Fa­cil­i­ties that em­ploy di­rect sup­port pro­fes­sion­als need fund­ing.

Di­rect sup­port pro­fes­sion­als serve those who can­not phys­i­cally or emo­tion­ally help them­selves. Shame on pub­lic ser­vants who ac­cept gen­er­ous salary in­creases. Con­tact your leg­is­la­tors to do the right thing. Re­peal the raises and re­place fund­ing to di­rect sup­port pro­fes­sion­als and their fa­cil­i­ties.

Let’s look at our his­tory for im­peach­ment lessons

Ques­tions about im­peach­ment, in­dict­ment, both, or nei­ther are on the ta­ble now. His­tory may be a guide, es­pe­cially if it in­volves not only a com­par­i­son to the Nixon Ad­min­is­tra­tion but also what took place a cen­tury be­fore when Andrew John­son was pres­i­dent.

Fol­low­ing Abra­ham Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion, John­son be­came pres­i­dent at the close of the Civil War. As Lin­coln’s vice pres­i­dent, he was orig­i­nally for read­mit­ting the South­ern states. How­ever, his po­si­tion switched dur­ing Re­con­struc­tion to a pol­icy of white supremacy, an­ger­ing Rad­i­cal Repub­li­cans who wanted even harsher treat­ment of Con­fed­er­acy than Lin­coln.

The Rad­i­cal Repub­li­cans sought to pro­tect the Sec­re­tary of War, Ed­win Stan­ton, by pass­ing the Ten­ure in Of­fice Act, re­quir­ing Se­nate con­sent if a Cab­i­net mem­ber was re­moved by John­son. When John­son fired Stan­ton, John­son was im­peached. The Se­nate failed to convict him by one vote.

When the his­tor­i­cal cir­cum­stances are con­sid­ered, my con­clu­sion is that John­son was im­peached and al­most con­victed for be­ing a racist. If Congress can do that, there’s no need for an in­dict­ment to im­peach a pres­i­dent. Im­peach­ment is a po­lit­i­cal ques­tion, with the leg­isla­tive branch mak­ing the de­ci­sion.

Le­gal schol­ars ar­gue im­peach­ment, with­out a crim­i­nal in­dict­ment, would re­sult in more im­peach­ments. The im­peach­ment of John­son was highly po­lit­i­cal. How­ever, no pres­i­dent was im­peached be­tween John­son and Bill Clin­ton.

Pres­i­dent Trump could be im­peached right now for his un­con­sti­tu­tional treat­ment of fam­i­lies on the south­ern border; no in­dict­ment is nec­es­sary.

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