It feels like any business you walk into around Missoula right now has a sign that says they're hiring. The same thing goes for any place that serves food. Kohl's, Lowe's, Taco Bell, Walmart, Rosauers.....you name the place and they're looking for employees.

Where are all the workers?

I picked up my groceries at a store last week and talked to the person that pulled the order. He said they can't find people to fill positions and the store is letting people work unlimited overtime hours just to keep enough staff on the schedule. I also drove past a restaurant in town the other day and they were closed at 4 PM. I was pretty positive that to not be open at that time of day they must have closed permanently and I just didn't know about it. But I called the next day and they told me they're so short on staff that they have to alter their hours daily.

What a pain!

With most places, I don't think I've really noticed the effects of businesses being short on people. But the one spot where I've really felt some frustration is at fast-food places around town. A lot of them have their lobbies closed and are only taking orders through the drive-thru. I get it. Not having enough people means there's only enough to work the windows and prep the food. Well not only does it mean longer lines to order, but it also makes for a hassle if your order gets messed up. I've been burned a couple of times now with getting the wrong order and not having a way to fix the problem in a quick manner. I know, a portion of the blame falls on me for not confirming my order is correct before I pull away from the window. I should know by now that I have to check what's in the bag but I guess I give the benefit of the doubt when I shouldn't sometimes.

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Fool me once.....

Last month I did a weekend run and grabbed a lunch order for the family. After collecting my order and pulling away I realized a few items were missing. The line for the drive-thru was over fifteen cars so there was no way I was getting back in line to report that I was shorted something. I tried going into the lobby but the doors were locked and the place was dark. I pounded on the doors for a minute before giving up and moving on. I tried calling but nobody answered the phone. When I got home I had to do the walk of shame into the house with an incomplete order.

You would think I would learn

Yesterday I stopped for lunch at a different place and made the same mistake of grabbing my food and not checking it. I ordered a meal with an extra item on the side and a certain dipping sauce. After inspecting the bag I found two of the five items were missing. But again, there was a big line and a closed lobby so there was no way I was spending that long in the drive-thru line to have two items replaced. I settled for uttering some vulgarities out loud to make myself feel better and told myself that would be the last time I don't check the bag!

Let's lobby to unlock the lobbies!

I'm just venting here. I don't know what the fix is. Well, the obvious would be a button that places could put on their locked doors that say "press this button if your order is F'd up and you don't want to wait in a long line of cars just to have it fixed." But until then we'll just have to hope businesses can get people to fill the open positions and we can get our fast-food lobbies open like they were meant to be. Remember to check those bags before you drive away!

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