Here’s a problem you don’t see often — Newport restaurants are struggling to fill summer jobs.
Usually these slots are gobbled up before May 1. But this year, lots of college kids and others who work as bus boys/girls, wait staff, dish washers, etc. are opting out.
And it’s going to have a ripple effect. Charlie Holder, who manages the Midtown Oyster Bar, said he has struggled to find workers.
Holder, who also serves on the City Council, said his restaurant turns down customers each day. That’s going to lead to a leaner-than-usual summer if it continues into the warmer months.
The Biden stimulus package was designed as a way to pump cash back into the economy. And for some, unemployment benefits extend through Labor Day. More than a few apparently plan to stimulate the cash registers at local beaches.
So, answer this one, Boomer. If you had the option as a 21-year-old, would you work long shifts on the restaurant floor or curl up by the shore with the latest Harlan Coben page-turner?
Far removed from our 20s, most of us would say, “Of course I’d work. These kids have no work ethic, harumph, harumph.” What would the 21-year-old me say? I’d like to think I’d work and use the stimulus money for college. I’d like to think …
Anyway, I know my mother would have made that decision for me … “Order up!” This lack of job applicants is just one more sign the pandemic remains, no matter how much we want to make it past tense.
ODDZNENDZ: I started watching the Oscars in high school. I’ve seen most of the ceremonies. And last week’s was brutal. Granted, COVID hampered the production, but some of this was painful … especially the trivia contest and the speed-of-light In Memoriam montage.
And snubbing the late Chadwick Boseman was the worst. Boseman was deserving, not because he died young, but because he was brilliant in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” going toe to toe with the great Viola Davis.
• R.I.P.: LeRoy White. I wrote a lot about this talented, musical, spiritual man two weeks ago. After serious health struggles, LeRoy is now at peace. But so many people will miss his warmth and decency, what ue called “bright moments.”
• Speaking of actors, Kate Winslet makes HBO’s “Mare of East Town” stand out. She plays a bitter veteran police detective in her down-and-out Pennsylvania hometown.
It’s a place where bad things happen to young women.
• A very belated R.I.P. for retired Fire Chief Paul Gagne. The first story I ever wrote for this newspaper involved Paul (have no idea what it was about). He was helpful (especially when he learned it was my first day), and I enjoyed running into him through the years.
• No matter what you think of Dan McKee, it’s nice to see a governor who seems excited about the job. As opposed to looking ahead to the next big opportunity, like …
• This column would be longer but I’m late for my hike with a goat.
Jim Gillis is a Daily News columnist. Send him email at firstname.lastname@example.org.