Rude Diner Asks Boss to Hang a Sign About Her Special Needs Employees – She Agrees, but He Wasn’t Expecting It to Say This
This brilliant sign says it all.
When you work in the service industry, you deal with all kinds of difficult customers. And unfortunately, despite the old saying, the customer isn’t always right.
Thankfully not all employers go by that old adage anyhow and are willing to stand up for their staff when they’re mistreated. Such as the boss at the centre of this story.
A Customer Complaint
In Greenville, South Carolina, Amanda Cartagine owns a restaurant called Greenville Pizza Inn. There, she oversees a diverse team of employees that includes 63 percent of people with special needs. It’s important to her, and she tries her best to make everyone feel like they’re a part of her team.
One Sunday, though, she encountered an issue when a customer complained about the service. According to the publication, the man in question asked an employee with autism to refill the lettuce bowl at the salad bar, but he wouldn’t.
“My manager explained to him the situation privately, ‘That’s not his job. We’ve trained him to do this, and there are special circumstances,’ and the customer was still not happy,” Cartagine explained.
The Perfect Response
At that point, the customer suggested to Cartagine that she put a sign on the door to make customers aware of their staff’s special needs. The owner was upset and entertained the idea before putting up a different sign.
“We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire all of God’s children,” she wrote.
Later, she explained her decision to WYFF, revealing she doesn’t really care if that customer returns, and she hopes the sign inspires people to be more open-minded in general. “If he is not OK with that, then I’m OK with him not coming back,” she added. “That’s a dollar that I don’t need.”
According to the mother of one of Greenville Pizza Inn’s employees, who has Down syndrome, having a steady job and paycheck means the world to her son.
“He loved the fact that he has money in the bank, and he can actually go buy his favorite video game,” Angie Mosley said. “We parents with special needs (children) are always faced with breaking down barriers, stigmas, teaching other people that our children are more like them than different.”
Respecting Our Differences
This story hit home for so many people because it reminds us how important it is to respect one another and be kind no matter our differences. A customer shouldn’t need a sign to know to lead with kindness, compassion, and empathy when speaking to another human being about a salad bar.
At the same time, how many employers would stand up for their employees in this kind of situation, not only with the customer himself but with the sign that she then posted in the window?
By offering people with special needs a chance to work at her restaurant, this pizza shop owner is breaking down stigmas and establishing what kind of clientele she wants to attract.
It’s a nice reminder to all of us that we should never judge a book by its cover. Always get to know someone before determining what they can and cannot do. And in the meantime, give people a shot. Whether you’re working with them, hiring them, collaborating with them, or looking to make a new friend, you may find that people from all different walks of life can continue to surprise you the more you get to know who they really are deep down.