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Guest host Chana Joffe-Walt talks to a carpenter whose job output went from fixing doors to something more urgent in the last year. (9 minutes)

Act Two: The $25 Tip

The pandemic forced restaurant server Shelly Ortiz to put on her “Covid Goggles.” What she saw through them made her reevaluate her ideas of what’s important.

Act Three: Teacher Number Four

In Maine, early childhood educator Miss Jordyn Rossignol had several members of her workforce quit. But none hit her quite as hard as Shania.

Act Four: 12 Million Thank You Meals

What does “thank you” actually look like? And who gets one? For Flato Alexander and other essential workers, all sorts of symbols that hadn’t bothered them much before suddenly became unbearable.


Producer Chana Joffe-Walt fills in for Ira Glass this week. We hear from a person you don’t normally hear from in these kinds of stories — the partner of a man who has been accused of sexual harassment.

Act Two: Hotline Bleak

Comedian Chris Gethard has a new podcast called Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, where people can call in to talk to him about anything for an hour. Our editor, Joel Lovell, tells us about his favorite episode thus far — featuring a man who calls in desperately seeking Chris’ guidance.