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What to do when a server hurts your feelings.

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I was at a restaurant today with my son, who is mildly autistic and has some issues with social situations, but is incredibly well behaved. The problem was my son "stimming" himself by taking his napkin, and ripping off pieces of it, and putting them in his bread plate.

The server came over, and rolled his eyes and walked away whispering an incredibly mean remark under his breath, but not so soft I could not hear it, and I know my son did, because he dropped his napkin and lowered his head.

I felt my heart sink in my chest, and immediately decided to leave, and only pay for what we already consumed, (our drinks) I slapped the exact amount for the drinks plus tax on the table. We left and went across the street, because my son was hungry and we were near the beach and wanted to stay and enjoy it.

i wanted so bad to stand up and demand an apology from the server, but I did not want to make a scene in front of my son.

I am still angry....

  1. I certainly understand how you must fee. Why not write a letter to the owner, pointing out the insensitivity and rudeness of the server. At the very least, it will probably make you feel a little better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Brooks

      as a former restaurant owner, I am incensed at the outrageous conduct of some servers.
      You should have gotten up, gone over to the cashier, ask for the manager, and ask him to call the server in question. Then, in front of the manager, read that servers beads.
      It's obvious to me that server didn't know your son was autistic, and I am guessing he doesn't even know the definition of the condition.
      The manager, if at all conscious (some are not) would have insisted that you sit at another table, and given you a free meal.
      Your son deserved better. In California our servers are trained for every condition and allergy that customers have. My profit only comes from the best service we can give our customers. If a mistake is made, we try to correct it. Unfortunately, some customers just leave without saying anything.
      good luck in the future.

    2. If you don't know the server's name, I'd go back (not to buy, just to spy) until you see him and find out his name. (Of course, you will have left your child at home.) I would then get the owner/manager and the server together and I'd rip him a new you-know-what. So unexcuseable I find myself mentally stammering. What a d**khead.

      1 Reply
      1. re: c oliver

        "d**khead" is putting it nicely. def. contact the manager. it's called the hospitality industry for a reason, and that's not it.

        autistic or not, as long as one isn't interfering with the enjoyment of others - who really cares. I've seen far worse from adults without an identifiable (what is the right word, situation? condition?)

      2. I think that going back and speaking to the server and the manager together is the right thing to do. The server needs to be made to feel uncomfortable and embarassed, just as your son was. Sometimes people can't understand until they're in the same position.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Jetgirly

          That is a good idea ONLY if it will make you feel better. If it only adds to your pain like - prolongs your anger - I would let it go.

          We live in a hateful and callous world sometimes.

          If you want to get it off your chest but not make a fuss, write a note to the manager to tell him what happened and how it made you feel about his place. Short and to the point.

          Meanwhile, stiff upper lip, loving warm smile and loving pets for your boy when he gets an ugly earful.

          Gosh that makes me mad. If I heard that I might have been tempted to tell him he was a supreme arse.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            Sal, while I agree a personal confrontation isn't necessary, addressing it is a good idea for the sake of others who may be subjected to the server's contempt and ultimately the server will be better able to maintain a job. (although I'm ready to jump on any bandwagon that's willing to speculate the server has deeper and wider issues than a bit of table mess and a fundamental misunderstanding of the business).

            1. re: hill food

              I agree with Sal. These things have a way of eating up the person who was affronted. It was a horrible thing that happened, no question. Sometimes things are so infuriating, its better to not address it and move on for your own peace of mind. Going to the resto will most certainly create more anger and frustration b/c you can rest assured things aren't going to shake down the way you would hope they would.

              To the OP, for your own piece of mind, move on and free yourself from it. JMHO.

              1. re: lynnlato

                Each person is different (and WOW I sure do love that about us!) It would eat me up if I DIDN'T confront the person. To each his own.

            2. re: Sal Vanilla

              I speak as a Special Education teacher who works mainly with later literacy students (kids in their teens who can't read) but also with students on the autism spectrum. Special Ed teachers are often asked to put themselves in situations where they are out of their comfort zone, have a learning disadvantage, etc. to better empathize with the students. I strongly feel that an adult who embarasses an autistic child would benefit from experiencing feelings similar to those felt by that embarassed child. It has got to be articulated, though. "I know you feel uncomfortable standing here and talking about this with your boss and I, but that feeling of discomfort is the same one that Little Bobby felt when you made those comments." This server is going to be out there, working with all different types of people, and would benefit from a reality check about the diverse population he is serving. In the long run, you're doing him a favour.

              1. re: Jetgirly

                Again, I'm not trying to defend the waiter but do we know he knew the OP's son was autistic? You can't tell someone is autistic just by looking at them, right? I don't think I could identify and autistic child just by appearance and maybe the waiter could not either. If my suspicion is correct then I would have been just best to explain to the waiter the situation and educate him in the behavior.

                I know it's not easy to be rational when someone insults your child but I believe the waiter made his remark out of ignorance not out of a sense of spite or to be mean. Explaining the situation would have done much to prevent him from saying something similar in the future.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  I think there are completely different issues going on here. I think you are right in that the waiter most likely did not know this child was autistic. That said there is no excuse for any patron ANY PATRON to have to endure that turd as a waiter. So. She can do several things. She can talk to the manager about the decidedly rank behavior or his waiter. She can educate the waiter about autism. She can humiliate him by telling him by letting him know that her child heard his crap comments and he, a child who has to endure a lot of hardship in life should be allowed to go to a restaurant with his mom and not be harangued by a snotty, inconsiderate boob. OR... she can ignore it, put on a nice face for her kid and move on or maybe use this as a learning lesson for her child "that man is stupid, ignorant and pathetic. We would never act like that toward anyone right?" I am not sure how autistic he is, but my half-brother (who is mildly autistic) benefited from constantly being given examples of what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior by the shock of how bad bad behavior feels (just like we all benefit BTW).

                  Anyway, just saying.

                  Also, calling out someone who acts like that as an adult rarely changes them. It might make you feel better to do it though.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    Whether or not the child is autistic is not the point. The fact that the server was rude is. No server worth their salt should EVER make a disparaging remark about a patron anywhere near where it might be overheard. Unprofessional, unfeeling, and stupid. The fact that this patron was autistic just magnifies the server's insensitivity.

                    As an owner/manager of a restaurant, or any other business that serves the public, I would certainly want to know if I had an employee who thought this type of behavior in the workplace was appropriate.

                  2. re: Jetgirly

                    The reality is that some people really don't care one way or another, and while this approach probably works with special ed teachers, I'm not really sure it would work with someone like the OP's server. A person who is so disrespectful/cruel as to make an offensive remark in earshot of a child, whether he appears disabled or not, is probably not going to be embarrassed by being called out in public.

                    I'm also not the type who thinks that the server needs to be educated better. The reality of the matter is that you can't really tell which patron has special needs, and a server should show respect to ALL patrons. I don't think parents with special needs children should have to go up to a server each time they go to a restaurant to explain that the child has special needs and may have some slight behavioral issues. I would have written a letter to the manager, who would have known the server well enough to discern whether he was just a complete jerk or clueless and address the problem in an appropriate manner.

                    1. re: queencru

                      I totally agree with you. You can call the waiter out on his behavior, but you can't make him empathize or even feel embarassed.

                      And it shouldn't matter whether the waiter knew the boy was autistic. In fact, even if the boy wasn't autistic, the waiter has no business making mean remarks to or about patrons within earshot.

              2. jfood is actually shaking with anger. HOW DARE HE?

                It is rare that jfood preaches scorched earth, but here is the one case where the server's total and complete disregard deserves only one thing...dismissal.

                This may not be popular, but jfood would find the manager, demand a meeting with the owner and demand immediate dismissal of mr yutz.

                3 Replies
                1. re: jfood

                  y'know, while this behavior is piss-off-worthy, I can't help but think the first step is education about manners, tolerance and understanding. an outright boot (while tempting and justifiable IMHO) would only address the immediate situation and not change the jerk's behavior. I once supervised a person with some similar issues and while it was a learning (and sometimes frustrating) experience on my part, he remains one of my favorite coworkers ever.

                  then they should can the asshat if it happens again.

                  a far better response would have been for the server to ask if an additional bread plate would be appreciated.

                  but maybe all would be better off this person worked in another industry.

                  </hrumph>

                  1. re: jfood

                    Thank you for that jfood. This child is the most well behaved child you would ever meet. He has never lied, or said a swear,

                    he may not be able to tie his shoes, or ride a bike, or write (but he can type) But he is the sweetest kid you ever met.

                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                      and is always welcome to break bread w jfood.

                  2. Fortunately, I have never been in a similar situation, at least not that I can recall.

                    Now, there have been a few sommeiliers, who wanted to go "head-to-head," but I have brought them to their knees in a hurry. In a few of these instances, it stared out quietly in whispered tones, until they escalated the event to include my guests. At that point, I played to "the back of the house," as I can do. In these few instances, we just took our business elsewhere. In one, we had two more candidate dinners scheduled, and the tab for the first of the three was about US$4000, including food, wine and gratuities. That restaurant lost about US$8K in a big hurry.

                    In another instance, a local restaurant lost an upcoming board dinner. The tab at another restaurant was US$8.5K. It took a direct apology from the owner and a plea to return, before we'd even consider it.

                    Now, some servers and maybe a few sommeliers might say things in the "back," but few ever make note of their feelings in my presence. Should they, it'd better be in hushed tones and in my ear, so none of my guests are privy to any of it.

                    I am so sorry for your experience. Just because I cannot personnaly relate to it, does not mean that I don't feel your pain. No patron should be made to feel bad, or feel badly about anything, like you describe.

                    Vote with your wallet, and also with your presence on CH. Diners need to know the good guys from the bad guys.

                    So sorry,

                    Hunt

                    1. I commend you for not wanting to make a scene for the sake of your son; my mom would have been screaming at the top of her lungs! I feel strongly that you should return to the restaurant and speak to the management in person. This is not an issue that should be ignored and that sends a much louder message than just a letter. I am sure that having an autistic son you will have to go through many more battles. I cannot even imagine what that must be like for you. However, I am sure that by being able to handle situations like these and learning the best way for you to do so will definitely help for the long term. Also, hopefully this will help the waiter wake up and realize what an **s he is.

                      1. I don't think a confrontation with the server will do much for anybody. Anyone so dense as to make such a remark within a child's hearing will be too dense to feel any remorse, confrontation or no confrontation. I would call the restaurant and talk to the manager, explain what happened and how you handled it. My guess is that the place probably doesn't have a staff of thirty servers, so there's probably a good chance the manager will know who the server was based on a history of the guy's behavior. If the manager isn't concerned and upset by the incident, and is NOT the owner, then you might try talking to the owner. I think the waiter's behavior is outrageous! But I also think that in today's world, you may not meet with a lot of concern from the restaurant. I certainly hope I'm wrong.

                        Meanwhile, it might be fun to imagine staying, ordering really hot stew, and when the waiter serves it, push it off onto his feet! Sometimes "therapeutic imagining" is a stress absolving exercise. I'm really sorry this happened to your son, and to you.

                        1. Wow. I can certainly understand how you feel. It would take every ounce of my being to lock my lip shut. There is no excuse, it's not like its a rare syndrome.

                          I am raising an autistic child of 3 1/2, he is at the low end, but he does that napkin tearing thing too. Mostly he has the sensory issues with sound. He is terrified of balloons. But about the napkin, he does that also. Anyway.

                          We do take him to restaurants and the first thing we do is plan to eat before it gets busy, and then we grab the server and explain that he is autistic and ask for the corner. We really never know if he might do something that will be unacceptable to others. Right now he probably appears as just a naughty toddler. As he gets older, we'll be encountering more intoreance.

                          Autism isn't so rare, because any server I've told, they always nod and say the nicest things and offer up any booth or table we want where he would be comfortable. I don't want to spoil him, and let me tell you, he has quickly learned to use his autism to his advantage and so, we still practice good manners. Yet I know his impulses.

                          I really don't know if it would get you anywhere to demand an apology. You might want to just call and let the manager know some sensitivity training might be in order. I can say this in hindsight I just don't know what I might of done at the time. But what you did sounds right.

                          I just seem to have better luck if they know in advance.

                          1 Reply
                          1. As someone who works with children who have disabilities, including autism, I see this as just one more opportuninty to educate the uninformed and model good problem solving for your son (who will encounter many experiences in his life where his behaviour is not understood). "Excuse me but I just wanted to let you know that although it looks like my son is creating a mess what he is doing is engaging in a safe and nondisruptive way of managing his anxiety and discomfort in unfamiliar surroundings, your restaurant. It also helps him stay calm so he and your other diners can enjoy their meals. He has some special needs and instead of getting impatient and thinking he's a badly behaved child, I thought you should know. We'll make sure we don't leave an extra mess for you. If you prefer, we'd be happy to speak to the manager about this....."

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: tuttebene

                              I love your approach. It's productive and respectful of your child. I work in a vocational training program with adults with disabilities, mental retardation, and/or mental illness. The lack of understanding out there is astounding.
                              I would definitely go back and speak with the manager. I might point out that while your son's behavior at the restaurant hurt no one, the same cannot be said of the paid employee's. Not looking for heads to roll but for a chance to leave that place better informed and more sensitized to the needs of folks with disabilities.

                              A pet peeve of mine is the way people use the words retard and retarded as derogatory terms and I believe the acceptance of that is a big problem. I'm amazed at how many people do it.

                              Tonight our town will put on a fireworks display. I know some of our clients will go to the show and I'm worried about the hurtful things they will face as they try to enjoy an exciting event in their town. Some won't go at all because sometimes it's just too much to take and not worth it.

                              gryphonskeeper, I am really sorry about what happened. I'm also very glad your son has you on his side. Sounds like you handled things beautifully even while being so upset inside.

                                1. re: tuttebene

                                  I understand everyone's outrage in this thread but I really think this has been the best post on this thread. The waiter was most likely just ignorant and in his mind he was just seeing a child behaving "badly" and creating a mess he was going to have to clean. I'm not certain I'd recognize "stimming" in an autistic child (in fact I had to look up the term) and I'm willing to bet the waiter couldn't recognize the behavior either. His comment was out of line but I think it would have been best to explain to him what was happening and if he was still being a jerk then speak to his manager.

                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                    Good point, KT. I guess one additional step would have been the right way to go. But being blinded by hurt and anger this time, she probably didn't think about it. A good idea for the future

                                    Edit: But I still think that his reaction to that child or any customer was outrageous so maybe I'd take that middle step and then do earth-scorching!

                                  2. re: tuttebene

                                    tuttebene: I really really like this approach. Personally, I think saying this to an AH server head on would be more impactful (and perhaps embarassing) to him than getting confrontational. It's been my experience that AH's like confrontation. When someone points out to them in a civilized, adult way, without recrimination, just how much of an AH they are, it really stops them dead in their tracks. And it doesn't leave any room whatsoever for them to replay the tape of that conversation in their head later and come out the winner.

                                    Maybe those are words than can be memorized & rehearsed so that they come out readily when situations like this occur. The world is full of AH's, unfortunately.

                                  3. And if the worst thing a child does is shred a napking --- I'm assuming it was paper :) --- then good grief --- get an effin' life! Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm still furious about this. Maybe I'll gather a group of us and go yell at him ourselves :)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      jfood has calmed down a little, but still is shaking a bit.

                                    2. First, I should note that I, having been raised in a family where we were all victims of bullies without and within, normally believe in calling out bullying on the spot. While this was a form of bullying, I commend you for having modulated perfectly how to ameliorate the violation of your son's safety by leaving as directly as you did. A scene on the spot might have been a gratifying release for you, but it might not have done good for your son. Giving children a sense that their parents will safeguard them is a tightrope between excessive passivity and excessive aggression. So, kudos to you.

                                      Second, I think your best approach is to discuss this with the manager, in person (if you can, during the first half hour of lunch or dinner time, so you can have the manager's attention). The manager needs to be aware of this.

                                      Third, I don't think you should reach out to the shame the waiter directly, as I don't think it is likely to prove fruitful or gratifying (but I could be wrong, to be sure). It's like trying shame a dog when it eliminated in the house hours before. Still, if the manager suggests a court martial in his presence, you are free to consider it an opportunity to be taken or foregone.

                                      1. Callous behavior like this from a server is, indeed, inexcusable. In gryphon's situation I might have been tempted to say "Excuse me? What did you say? I didn't quite catch that..." Going back to the manager would be fruitless -- the server would deny everything.

                                        My question is ... was this the first time you had visited this restaurant? Are you a regular, and this was the first time you had brought your son? Do you usually take him to other places that know you both and treat you well?

                                        If reporting this to the manager helps you resolve this within yourself, then do so. Its quite likely, however, that the manager will brush it off or offer a minimal apology, which will merely prolong your anger. Take this as an opportunity to show your son that the world and the people in it can sometimes be an intolerant place, and that server is an example of someone who just does NOT understand your son's issues. I am in NO WAY forgiving that moron's behavior. Just saying that if you don't at least attempt to correct these folks on the spot, they'll do it again to someone else, and it will probably happen to you again too. Im sorry.... rudeness is everywhere. I've learned that life is too short to carry the burden of anger around with you.

                                        1. GK -

                                          I was a teacher in a SDC for high-functioning autistic kids. I saw and heard many things during that time.

                                          First, I want to offer my congratulations to you on not losing it right then and there with that Luser. I've witnessed other parents take thoughtless, callous, comments from others immediately to task -- and while it addressed the issue with that one person and provides them a look into another world -- it tends to backfire. In this instance, the patrons about your table would probably not have heard what he said and only seen you "over-reacting."

                                          I'm sure you addressed it with your son immediately and used it as a learning experience. The fact that he was able to quietly and unobtrusively stim without other outward signs is very good!

                                          As others have said, contact TPTB. I would also write three letters: to the owner, the BBB, and my newspaper's consumer advocate reporter. In each letter, I'd remain professional and state exactly what I'd experienced and provide a simple response I expected from my letter -- training for said yutz.

                                          I'd then return with your son -- to that restaurant -- so he knows he has just as much right to be there as any other patron.

                                          Good luck! Hopefully things work out.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: The Ranger

                                            Thank God there are level headed, experienced people like you Ranger. Sitting here, I can see how right you are about handling this type of gut wrenching experience... as I wipe away tears of anger and sadness. I confess I may have reacted differently. Way to go, dad. You acted out of a deep love for your son. I wish that server could read this thread.

                                            1. re: fresnohotspot

                                              Thank you but "level-headed" and me tend to be mutually exclusive. ;)

                                          2. i must have a death wish for jumping into this thread. i stand a very good chance of getting the mother of all smackdowns.

                                            was the server out of line and unprofessional, yes, no doubt about it. does he deserve to get sacked or struck down by heavenly lightning, as some folks have suggested? yeeesh.

                                            i think we should take a deep breath and at least consider that this server fellow may not have 1) any/much experience with autistic kids 2) an advanced degree in special education. he may have not recognized the stim behavior for what it was, and assumed that yet another kid may be creating a mess/problem for him to deal with, while the parent sits by, tolerating the behavior.

                                            perhaps for this particular clueless/hapless server, who for all we know has a master's in physics or medieval poetry, the last few tables with children involved four-year olds throwing food at patrons in other booths, kids running around the restaurant and underfoot while carrying a tray of sizzle-plates or martini glasses and tripping the server, vomit left on table while the family of 8 skedaddled without bothering to adjust the tip, or any of the other child-behaviors catalogued in this recent thread, and others:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/627343

                                            it sounds silly, but people who are not used to other people's kids can sometimes emerge a bit frustrated/shell-shocked after a day of dealing with them/cleaning up after them, especially if it isn't what they planned on doing that day. this server may have felt a bit put-upon to see (again, from server's perspective) another child engaging in a messy/destructive behavior-- perhaps being "too old" to engage in that behavior, to boot, while the parent did nothing. does it excuse whatever the guy said? of course not, but he may really not have realized that 1) Gryphon is a special-needs child, and 2) GK was planning to pick up after her child and tip well for service, instead of leaving him with a colossal mess and tipping shoddily, the way a lot of parents with ill-behaved children tend to do.

                                            i know that everyone in this thread wants Gryphon to feel welcomed and accepted everywhere he goes, and i share that sentiment. It should be everyone's goal to treat Gryphon as a very "normal" kid. that said, Gryphon is a special needs child, and he won't behave exactly like a "normal" kid. he's going to have some behaviors that may be misinterpreted, at various times, by casual observers. i've said in other threads that servers are not psychic; servers need information about their customers' needs: dietary restrictions, allergies, preferences, special needs child, bad day at the office, whatever. i don't think it's out of line to give the server a heads-up that s/he has a special needs child at the table, just as you'd give a teacher or coach or anyone else who will work directly with the child that same heads up. i am not trying to put any blame at all on GK for not doing this, just trying to point out that if the server had a better idea about what he was observing, he may have had a radically different attitude and approach towards this situation. --again, should servers always be professional and polite, *yes*, did this guy screw up, *yes*.

                                            i was prompted to post this because the thread reminded me of a time when dh walked his elderly grandma to her parked car and they arrived to find that it and another car had been hit and badly damaged by a third car, which looked totalled. looking at the wreakage all over the street (the accident happened in the middle of broad sunny daylight on a street where lots of kids pass by), i said a heck of a lot of mean and nasty things about the driver of the third car, who i assumed had to be doing 2/3 things while under the influence of at least 4 substances. i felt my family and "safe" neighborhood had been threatened by some monstrous a-hole, and i called him every nasty word i could think of, it took like 20 minutes ;-P but thankfully, i said everything in private, because as it turns out the fellow driving the third car had cerebral palsy and had made the gas-is-brake mistake while attempting to park. when i found out the situation of this other person, of course i felt like an a-hole myself, and i was able to let go of pretty much all of the anger & outrage i felt about the situation.

                                            so anyway maybe the waiter was a completely unmitigated pig, who would have said what he did no matter what. more likely a little info would have stopped the 'tude before anything happened to hurt Gryphon's feelings. i don't think it's fair to call for the server's head, though, when he probably still has no clue what the situation was. GK took care of biz and got Gryphon out of there pronto, & i hope they had a great time at the beach. i feel badly that this happened to them, but i don't think revenge/vindictiveness is the right way to go. what if the server realized his mistake and felt horribly about it, the way i did after the car accident? of course that's just my own position, not having been there and not having heard what he said. sometimes there is no excuse whatsoever.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                              You won't get a smackdown from me, sk. I think perhaps a lot of us are calming down and I hope GK is feeling better also. (Alot of righteous indignation can be so cleansing, can't it?) I still think I'd go back alone and have a chat with at least the server and see the reaction. She'll be able to tell alot by that. Or maybe the rolling pin approach :) Like you, not knowing exactly what was said does make a difference. And any of us who don't already know not to judge so quickly can read this and have a little smackdown on ourselves even if just for the last dirty look we gave a child, not knowing the circumstances.

                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                None from jfood either and he was extremely vocal on his desire. And after working on the garden, taking little jfood to the airport, some good salsa, he still feels as strongly if he made a derogatory remark. Jfood doubts it was "sloppy kid" either.

                                                There is no place in a business run by jfood for any of this. It is not a person that will ever receive a paycheck fromJfood.

                                                As his HS principal would say "Get your hat, get your coat, you're going home."

                                              2. HI and sorry you had such a crappy experience. I can understand just wanting to leave. I hope you do at minimum write a letter and I hope it doesn't happen again.

                                                1. You excuse yourself to your child, go over and grab the jerk by his earlobe, and drag him to wherever the manager is. Berate him up one side and down the other. If the manager doesn't fire the dope on the spot, leave and never return. The server's behavior was totally outside civilized norms, and you should explain that to your son. In an egregious circumstance such as this, you're the lioness watching out for your cub. Take no prisoners.

                                                  1. UPDATE: I wrote a snailmail letter to the restaurant addressed to both the manager and the owner. I left no return address, and no name. I just explained what happened and I explained the reason why I left no return information is because I do not want any contact, or apology, I will not return because my son will never feel comfortable in that restaurant again, He may be autistic but he has an incredible memory. I told them the time, date, and where in the restaurant we were seated, as well as a physical description of the server and what he said. I explained that because of my sons condition we chose to sit in a small corner seat and at an off peak time and explained I thought this was a very family friendly restaurant. I let them know my son was quiet as a churchmouse, as always and was just ripping pieces off a napkin. I do not want to see anyone fired, but I would like to see them told that people with special needs who are just sitting quietly are much better patrons that screaming kids running amock and that calling them a derogatory name is not only hurtful, but it is shameful!
                                                    My son has never once EVER made any type of scene in any public situation because I work my arse off to make sure he feels comfortable. His/her server took that from me, and really upset my son,.an 11 yr old child who has never lied, said a swear, or raised his hand or voice in anger and hurting this little soul is something this server will have to live with,

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                      What a beautiful boy. Your situation really touched me and I'm so sorry it happened. I love how you've handled it. Your son obviously shares your good nature and manners, you sound like a lovely family.

                                                      I wish AHs like this server had tatooed foreheads so we could see them coming. Oh, that reminds me of that Irish "prayer", let me look it up. Here it is:

                                                      “Let those that love us, love us. And those that don't, may God turn their hearts. And, if He cannot turn their hearts, May He turn their ankles so we may know them by their limping!”

                                                      I think our pal alka can take care of the ankles...

                                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                        derogatory name-calling is a completely different story indeed. you did the right thing.

                                                        1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                          I think you did the right thing. It's good that you got if off your chest. I'm the same way, I can let things go but only after I've had my say! The server shouldn't be making ugly remarks at all-I don't care if it's a crying baby, a kid ripping up a napkin, or a table of quintuplets!

                                                          I waited tables for many years in my 20's and served amputees, couples who were partially deaf, kids with helmets on, Tourette's-you name it. I treated them all like human beings because that's how I was raised-no explanation needed. I know serving is a hard, stressful job and I remember those days of wanting to pull my hair out. I just think the nasty comments are totally out of line.
                                                          I'm so sorry that you and your son had to go through that. Happy 4th!

                                                          1. re: Luvfriedokra

                                                            Luv, I think that echoes how I come out on this: the situation of autism is beside the point just made it that much more needlessly hurtful, and even if he was an eccentric who enjoys shredding napkins it should not have been commented on within earshot (or anywhere).

                                                            clipping nails, flossing teeth at the table, those would be quite different things and would beg a discrete direction/suggestion towards the restroom.

                                                            short of annoying others, what small-minded person really cares how a customer chooses to enjoy their time at the table? it has to be cleaned up anyway and the napkin's not coming out of the servers pay. kiddo wasn't making spitballs.

                                                          2. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                            It's unfortunate that this likely won't be the last time you encounter this type of behavior, but I think you handled it well with the note, especially the part about not including your information - you clearly aren't after some kind of discount or suck-up call from the manager, you want the person to know what the server did and that it's wrong and hurtful. Good for you.

                                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                              Once I found out your son's age, my anger came roaring back! So this was not some three y.o. whose every behavior can be criticized one way or another. For an 11 y.o. to display an atypical behavior, hello, SDH (server dick head)! I think we're back to jfood's earth-scorching attitude. I too think you handled it well And I hope the support you get here at least makes you know you have kindred spirits here.

                                                              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                Cheers to you, gryphonskeeper for your well-written letter with no return address and no need for an apology. You handled a highly inappropriate (and cruel!) situation with dignity and tact--and offered an opportunity to EDUCATE folks in this restaurant about how people (ALL people) should be treated--with RESPECT.

                                                                And both cheers and cheer up to Gryphon. He didn't deserve such treatment, but how lucky he is to have a wonderful mom like you. Take care and enjoy the holiday weekend!

                                                              2. Hi Everyone, We've had some helpful replies in this thread, but it has begun to be repetitive. We'll lock it now. Thanks.