Yesterday we had an unfortunate situation at a local restaurant that left us extremely upset. Here is my response to the rude behavior we witnessed. I did leave out the name of the person. ETA- I am going to name the restaurant as I would hate for someone to think it was a different place. Fortune Asian is the name of the restaurant this happened at.
Dear Waitress Who Growled At My Son,
As you know we have been in the restaurant where you work many times over the last year or more. We enjoy the food and it is near our home, but with each time we have gone you have made it more obvious how much you do not like for us to choose your restaurant to dine in.
At first I thought you were having a bad day, very quiet, or maybe just had a lot going on in your life that would make you look with dread each time you seated us at a table. Yes, I did notice the eyerolls you would give us when we ordered too. Looking back I wonder what kept us going back except that the food was very consistently good and reasonably priced. I was a waitress years ago and I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt which is why we kept returning. Yet, I still always hoped that someone else would wait on our table and every once in awhile someone else would. They were always courteous, polite, and made us feel welcome.
It has been over a month since we have dined there and we decided to return because our son wanted to go there. The look on your face when you saw us come in the door should have been enough. Yes, I noticed. My husband went to the restroom and my son tried to strike up a conversation with you. I heard it. You growled at him, gave him and I the stink eye and walked off. Initially I thought I was hearing things as why would an adult “growl”. I asked my daughter and she said that yes, you growled at her brother.
Once my husband returned to the table and I briefly explained your rudeness he agreed we should leave. On the way out the door I told you, “We will never come back here.” Your response? You smiled, shook your head and said, “okay”.
After talking with a couple of friends I still want to give you the benefit of the doubt as maybe you did not realize my son has special needs. Despite the fact that my son has always been polite and well behaved in your restaurant he does talk a lot. A LOT. He also asks a lot of questions and at times they are pretty off the wall. The question he asked you was not offensive and it wasn’t even really rude...it was just off the wall. He asked you if the other man working there was your son.
I know for a fact from other times dining there that your children often work there with you. He was not trying to be rude he was trying to strike up a conversation and he knew the one time he asked if the two children that were there were yours...you actually spoke to him.
I will be the first to say that my son can be challenging to be around. Maybe you should know though that he has autism and that he also has a disability called Prader-Willi Syndrome. Without going into too many unnecessary details a few of the ways these two challenges affect my son is with excessive talking, being socially appropriate, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and impulse control. (those are just a few of the many challenges he has to deal with daily, just a drop in the bucket) He tries so hard...and he has come a long way in his 14+ years.
One way that we try and teach our son is by bringing him out in the community and helping him learn how to act appropriately, and what is socially acceptable around people. With all honesty I can say he has never been a bother at the restaurant you work at except with sometimes being a little too loud and obviously by annoying you somehow.
I’ve explained my son’s challenges with his sometimes out of the ordinary behavior so you know why he is the way he is. I should also say that in any other restaurant we have been to in Hendersonville (and we have many favorites) he and our family have been treated with nothing but respect. In fact, he becomes a favorite of waitresses and customers, despite his many challenges he is the most charming person you will ever meet. Unfortunately, due to your rudeness (I would love to hear the excuse you have for your rudeness by the way) you will never get to know this. You are truly the one missing out on his pure and sweet awesomeness.
Did my son notice your rudeness? No. He did notice how upset his mama was after leaving your restaurant while I explained to my husband how you behaved. We were not mad at him for what he said but after he overheard what we were talking about the experience and kept saying, “I’m sorry!, I’m sorry!” He had nothing to be sorry for yet he stated to us “sometimes I feel stupid”. This is not something I have heard him say but a couple of times.
I came home and looked at your website to see who the managers or owners of the restaurant you worked at were as I wanted to contact them. What I discovered was that YOU are the owner. Shame on you! Good food does not make a restaurant...it needs equal amounts of kindness and being hospitable and you are sorely missing both of those traits.
I will be reviewing your restaurant at many different places including our blogs and Facebook. My husband and I will be passing this information along to many friends and families with special needs children. To growl at any child in your restaurant much less a child with special needs is pitiful. Fortunately there are many other restaurants in town that welcome our business and welcome our son.