By Denise Ortuno Neil

You’re out there in the thick of it, with the other countless shoppers purchasing a variety of goods for the holidays, dining at restaurants (because you’re just too spent to cook), and even traveling out of town to see loved ones. In all of this, it is easy to possibly overlook the numerous workers who make the holiday hustle and bustle happen. Unfortunately they can sometimes be the ones to absorb your long hard shopping days stress…but you must remember, that it is not their fault….and to be patient. It is their holiday season too.

For those of you have who have never worked in the retail or hospitality industries, it might be difficult to understand the essence of what this article is trying to convey. But for those who have, or do work in the industry, you know exactly what I’m talking about…and this is for you.

The Coachella Valley has been a hospitality hot spot since the early 1900’s, way back when Nellie Coffman had her Desert Inn and even before that when Wellwood Murray had The Palm Springs Hotel. This is a hospitality area…period. It is what we are known for around the world, that’s why we have something called a “Season”, something that most urban places don’t have. We are unique, and it is the workers who toil day in and day out who have helped make us that way, and of course the loyal visitors and residents who without their patronage, our desert would quite different indeed.

I personally have worked in the desert restaurant arena in the past…it being the reason my parents moved us from Orange County all of those years ago, to open one of their own. I grew up in it, and growing up in it meant working in it too, nights, weekends and yes, holidays.

Most customers were extra generous during the holiday season…appreciating the work that we did. I am grateful for the experience of understanding what it meant to work in the hospitality industry in the Coachella Valley. It is almost like a special club that you get to belong to. A behind the scenes, scene. It is a club that would benefit everyone to join, at least once in their life. The perspective of most people would change if they did.

So during this last bit of the 2014 holiday season, take a minute to slow down and appreciate those who keep the wheels of retail and hospitality moving. It would mean a great deal to them I’m sure….and make everyone’s holiday season a happy one.

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