Manager Approaches Mom After Customers Complain About Her Child – He Pays for Their Meal After She Asks Him This Question
Man pens letter to mother for memorable serving experience.
*Featured image contains photo by energepic.com
We don’t always know what someone else is going through, especially concerning parenting. These days, parents face many challenges, and each situation is unique and specific to their personal circumstances.
That means we should try never to judge, especially since we don’t always have all the information. Instead, we should try and lead with kindness, as one restaurant manager is reminding us all following his interaction with a woman and her child who has autism.
A Busy Night
Tony Posnanski had been working in the restaurant industry for 15 years when he encountered a woman and a child who would forever change his life. You see, back in 2014, Posnanski was having a particularly rough night at his restaurant.
The team was behind, and he needed to pitch in at various positions. So he was extra busy when a server asked him to speak with upset customers.
At the table, the patrons complained about a mother and her child close to them, saying the child was being extremely loud. It wasn’t the first time Posnanski had received a complaint about a loud kid, but this time, it was different.
As Posnanski approached, the mother knew what was about to happen. Before the manager could speak, she asked him a simple question instead:
“Do you know what it is like to have a child with autism?”
A Surprising Reaction
Posnanski later wrote an open letter to the nameless woman and her child in the contributor section of the Huffington Post. There, he recalled that she didn’t rudely ask the question. She was actually quite sincere.
“Your daughter could not have been more than five years old,” he wrote. “She was beautiful and looked scared that I was at the table. She looked like she thought she was in trouble.”
The question threw the manager, and instead of asking them to quiet down, he high-fived the little girl and told the mother he was covering their dinner.
“I know what I was supposed to say when I went to your table. I was supposed to politely tell you to please not have your daughter yell. I was supposed to offer to move you to another area. I was supposed to offend you by not offending you…” he wrote. “I did not do any of that.”
A Life Lesson
Posnanski could not stick around to see the woman’s reaction since he was needed back in the kitchen. He was also sure the table who had complained in the first place wasn’t happy with how he had handled the situation. Still, he walked away with a big life lesson.
“You asked me a question that I did not answer,” he wrote. “You asked me the question right away. You have been through this before in other restaurants. I did not want to be like other managers for one moment. I did not want to tell you what you always heard.”
He explained how he wanted to write the letter to thank the woman and her daughter for what they did for him.
“You have given me a great restaurant memory. One that I needed for the last 15 years,” he said. “You also taught me a valuable lesson. Sometimes doing the right thing does not make everyone happy — just the people who need it the most.”
Doing the Right Thing
Sometimes, doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily mean doing the easy thing.
It would have been easy for this restaurant manager to move the mom and her daughter or even compensate the complaining table. Instead, he showed compassion and understanding by paying for the mom’s meal, proving that she and her daughter matter as much as any other customer.
We never really know what someone else is going through, so we should always try our best not to jump to conclusions or act out when our emotions cloud our judgment.
At the end of the day, the only person whose behavior we are responsible for is our own. And while it might seem like a good idea to try and fix people, correct behaviors or even judge others for their actions, our job is to love. Sometimes, that can be hard, but kindness is always worth it.
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