Photo of Samantha Axelrod by David Lebow (@lbow.3)
COVID 19 has brought waves of uncertainty throughout many communities. Historic London Town would like to take this time to record the voices of some in our community who have been deeply affected. In this series, we interviewed educators and restaurant workers within the community to gain their insight on how they have been affected by this global event.
Because our c.1760 William Brown House originally began as a tavern, we wanted to hear from people connected to the restaurant and bar industry today. So, we reached out to Samantha Axelrod, who is a Server/Hostess at Tsunami, and asked her the following:
What do you love about your job?
Every day that I go to work I'm surrounded by co-workers who have become family. I get to learn new things about food and drinks every day. Both of my jobs also doubled as music venues, so I am lucky to be surrounded by music and art most of the time. In addition to being surrounded by music and other things I enjoy; I also could network and meet all kinds of people from many different walks of life.
What is the biggest challenge of your job?
It can be easy to become frustrated working in the service industry. Sometimes things don't run perfectly, I'll become flustered by a difficult customer or a challenge will make itself present that I haven't experienced before. Most of the time these challenges are easy to navigate through, but very rarely I'll come across something that ruins the entire night and it causes a domino effect which will ultimately spiral out of control. Realizing that I can't please everyone all the time is something that I struggle with.
What is the hardest part of the COVID-19 situation?
Before the pandemic I had two jobs which required a lot of time and attention. That all came to a screeching halt on the 16th of March. Before this whole thing took place, I was financially comfortable. Sure, some weeks were easier and more lucrative than others, but I still had a steady and reliable source of income. Now I don't. Scrambling to try and figure out how I'm going to afford rent, bills and nourishment has been a daunting task. For lack of a better term, it stinks. I'm also not used to having this much free time and that in itself has been overwhelming.
When this all ends what are you most looking forward to?
Honestly? Being triple sat on a busy night, being weeded [busy], making some money and enjoying my shift drink at the end of the night with some co-workers. I definitely took that for granted in the past.
What can people do to help your community?
Buy a gift card from a local business to keep our stores and restaurants open when the time comes to go back out into the real world.
Spread kindness and optimism to those who are down on their luck and without jobs or means of comfort. Reach out to those who you know are falling on very difficult times right now.
Send some money to your hair stylist, dog walker, or whoever does a service for you frequently and get an IOU for the future service.
There are also several online "virtual tip jars" circulating right now for Baltimore, Annapolis and other towns/cities where you have the option of sending funds to those in the service industry who have temporarily lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Every dollar counts and for most of us our tips were our livelihood. Thank you!
Interested in helping with the virtual tip jar?
You can go to the Annapolis Tip Jar here. It’s a Google Drive document put together by Annapolis area bartenders, servers, and service industry workers. Look for your favorite establishment or service industry worker (Samantha is on here!). Or just choose someone at random! Each person has listed their Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp name. You can send a “tip” to any one on this list. As they write, “it doesn’t have to be much, but it will mean to the world to them!”
You can follow Samantha on Instagram: @slothtransitsam