Poor Tom and Jodi Utsman. They own a Christmas tree farm in the central Florida town of Eustis. They also sell pumpkins in October.
Orlando’s WOFL-Fox 35 TV news reported on the insufferable “harassment” this couple has been receiving due to their business’s mask policy.
“It really has been quite heartbreaking,” said owner Jodi Utsman.“It’s really upsetting,” her husband, Tom Utsman said.
So, what’s going on? Are people calling them leaving them nasty phone messages? Throwing rocks through their windows? Running them off the road? Yelling at them at the supermarket? Well, no. Not exactly…
The Utsmans are getting such pushback on their mask requirement, they posted on Facebook about it.
“Basically, we don’t want to hide our policy. We are not trying to hide our policy and we want everybody to know we are serious about our policy,” Jodi explained.
It sounds like your potential customers are just as serious about NOT being your customers why why they are NOT being your customers. And they are using the outlet YOU have provided them to let you know that.
The couple says their employees have been wearing masks on the farm since March. So when they decided to reopen a few weeks ago, they wanted customers to do so as well.
“We’re in the middle of a fake pandemic! We’re all miserable. We’re making ourselves miserable and goddammit we’re going to make you miserable, too! Because we’re all in this together!”
“When the guest buys their tickets online, they tick a box that says they’re going to mask when they come and we were all quite comfortable with that,” Jodi said.
There are also signs posted at the entrance and throughout the farm. But despite the clear rules, the couple says people have been breaking them.
“We never thought we would have a problem with people coming in and defying us on purpose,” Tom told FOX 35 News.
“You vill obey! Ve have signs! Ve have signs, you vill follow dem!”
“We have a very young staff and sometimes they have to ask grown people over and over again to put their mask on,” Jodi said.
That’s a pretty stupid position to be putting your workers in. Even the big box stores are telling their staff to NOT confront their customers who choose not to follow the face diaper mandates.
The Utsmans say they’ve had families leave and been trashed in reviews but they’re sticking to their mask policy loud and clear.
Good. I would do the same thing. I wouldn’t spend my money in a business that fancied itself a sole-remaining extraterritorial possession of East Germany.
“We are not asking anyone to change their beliefs on masking. We are just asking you to stay home if you are going to come on your property and not wear a mask,” Jodi said.
Do your banker and your accountant know you are deliberately trying to destroy your business by telling potential customers to get lost?
Eustis is in Lake County, one of the lucky counties in Florida where there is no “mask order.” So customers have every right to enter the business. Furthermore, a business has no right to put a customer’s health and safety in danger by requiring them to wear a device which inhibits the free intake of oxygen.
The Utsmans are either too stupid or too oblivious to know that their customers are sending them a message: “We know it’s a hoax, we know the mask is useless and we’re not going along with it.
The customers are saying, “Hell, no! We’re NOT wearing a face diaper in hot, humid, tropical Florida weather.”
It has been estimated that over 100,000 small business have either gone bankrupt or otherwise never coming back since the lockdown / shutdown / crackdown which started in March, 2020. The Utsmans should be thanking God almighty that their little farm is still in business.
Instead, they choose to impose a tyrannical, unhealthy and – most importantly – unnecessary “mask order” on their paying customers. Customers who just want to go out for a day of family fun and leave this nonsense at home.
They should have taken a hint from their Facebook messages, recognized that this was a hoax and used the opportunity to market themselves as “mask-free.” Instead, they decided to whine to whatever Orlando corporate media outlet would listen. And a soft-news J-school graduate at Fox 35 picked it up and headed out with a minicam.
The Utsmans have a Facebook presence. It’s a two-way street. If they are lousy businesspeople, they are going to get pushback. If they don’t like that, they should stay off of Facebook.
Frankly, if they are this tone-deaf to the demands of their customers, then they don’t deserve to be in business in the first place.
Developers looking for cheap land should keep an eye on this situation. There will be a Christmas tree farm coming up for sale shortly if the Utsmans keep this up.
DMCA: Editorial response