Josh Mandel last week did what he's been doing ever since he launched his campaign to fail up into the U.S. Senate: He visited an Ohio business and tweeted a picture with an employee, teasing out some detail from the moment into a grand proclamation on AMERICA.
This time, however, it wasn't about some dude in East Cleveland running a barbershop business out of his house, or a waitress' thoughts on the threats of ransomware, or the quaint diner card game run by some grandmas. It was about what a brewery waitress coming into work despite being sick said about the state of labor.
"Even though Brianne was sick today, she came to work because she knew they were short servers," Mandel boasted. "These are the type of American workers that make our country strong."
The problems with the tweet — a server going to work while sick to interact with customers, the whole COVID thing, the idea of low-paid, tipped staffers in America being forced to work while ill because they lack paid sick-time, the market upheaval that has allowed workers to decide for themselves whether they want to return to grueling work in the pandemic that often comes with measly wages and no benefits — weren't lost on anyone except Josh.
Within hours, Inside the Five's various social media platforms were deluged with negative feedback. How could they let a sick person come to work? What's this say about their public health protocols? Is this how they treat workers?
Inside the Five quickly deleted its Twitter and Facebook pages, which had thousands of followers and almost universal positive reviews up until this weekend, while figuring out what the hell just happened.
“Honestly, I had no idea who he was prior to today,” Inside the Five co-owner Chris Morris told WTVG in Toledo. “Apparently, he took a photo with an employee and posted whatever his political agenda is on his social media. It is our policy for employees to inform all management before coming to work. As soon as we found out, we sent our employee home."
It was all one could ask for after being thrown to the internet wolves by Mandel.
Which was the wrong decision, according to Mandel, who doubled down and turned the backlash into braindead MAGA fodder.
“Hey @InsideTheFive, instead of giving into the woke mob, how bout having your employee’s back and giving her a raise. While so many people are getting paid to sit home and do nothing, Brianne muscled through feeling under the weather and came to WORK," tweeted Mandel, who himself is intimately familiar with being paid to sit home and do nothing, what with serving on various boards in recent years for extravagant salaries.
Inside the Five hasn't yet restored any of their social media accounts, but seems to be relatively level-headed about the shitstorm created by Mandel, a man whose own former colleagues have called “inadequate as a human being.”
“Anytime we’re shown in a bad light, it’s upsetting to us, but we’ll get through this,” Morris told the Toledo TV station.
This story was originally published by CityBeat sister paper the Cleveland Scene.
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