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Waiter refuses to serve customers who insulted special needs child

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A waiter at a restaurant near downtown took a stand for a special needs child. Now, support is flowing in from all over, thanking the waiter and the restaurant, Laurenzo's on Washington.

The waiter has been working at the restaurant for about two years, and the family members at the heart of the story have been regular customers about the same length of time. But it's what took place two days ago that has a lot of people talking.

Michael Garcia loves serving his customers. On Wednesday night he greeted two groups of regulars -- Kim Castillo and her family, and another group who sat in the adjacent booth.

"So we were sitting there and all of a sudden I noticed that the family across from us got up and moved to the back of the restaurant," Castillo said. "I thought, I wonder if they're moving because of us?"

The Castillo group included five-year-old Milo, who has Down syndrome. But neither Milo's mom Kim nor Garcia could have imagined why the other family moved.

Garcia recalled, "I didn't think much of it until I heard him say, 'Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.'"

After hearing that, Garcia just reacted.

"It was very disturbing," he said. "My personal feelings just took over and I told this man, 'I'm sorry, I can't serve you.'"

That family quickly left. But it wasn't until later in the evening that the Castillo family found out that their waiter had stood up for their son.

Kim Castillo said, "What went through my mind was that I was just so impressed and felt so good that somebody would stand up for another human being."

Garcia said, "It upset me because he's a five-year-old little boy. He's an angel. He's precious!"

Since then support has poured in, from the Internet and from regular customers.

Customer Bill Baker said, "I think he did the right thing -- there's the door."

And most of all, he earned the thanks of a grateful Castillo family.

Kim said, "He's good in our book!"

Garcia says if the other customers return, he will serve them just like anyone else. As for the Castillo family, they plan to remain loyal customers. 

Bravo to this man!!!

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Replies (11-20):
SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:32 PM
2 moms liked this

 We honor this family, they are long time customers. Hmmm what would you say if they weren't long time customers with a child with Downs Syndrome? 


Quoting Ziva65:

I would have had the employee explain that we honor this family, they are long time customers. We are sorry you felt the need to move. Please know that all of our customers are valuable. If you are uncomfortable here, you are free to leave.

As I said, I'd be direct, but more polite. We've encountered these situations many times, politely yet directly most often ends up with more compassion, and often an apology.


Quoting wickedfiress:


Quoting Ziva65:

What the waiter did took a lot of guts. He risked his job and the restaurants reputation.





Given that, he did what he felt was morally right. I think though there might have been a better way to handle the situation, but not ignore it either. We teach our employees to treat every customer respectfully,even when they are rude. While he was defending one customer, he wasn't kind to the others. Not so sure that's his job.

Saying "I'm sorry, I can't serve you." is rude? How? 




stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM
5 moms liked this

Good for him.  It's one thing to wait on rude and abrupt customers, but that is over the line.  Who are these people, anyway, who would act like that?  Small minded.  Ridiculous.

Years ago I worked in a very high end restaurant, and one group of customers made a rude comment about the waiter they had who was gay.  He was a very good server.  They complained to the manager that they were not going to be "served by a fag."  The manager told them they had better leave, then. I just about kissed that manager, although he was actually really uptight and persnickety, but I was really happy he stood up for his staff.

taniamorse85
by Bronze Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Good for him!

glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:48 PM
1 mom liked this

I do not think the rude bastards earned an explaination the way he handled it was perfect. Had I have done it would have been I am sorry we are not serving jackasses today the exit is over there!

SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM
2 moms liked this

 I love this. What people don't understand is although they have Downs Syndrome they understand and quite often in these situations their feelings do get hurt. Well you can point them the exit, I will hold the damn door.


Quoting glitterteaz:

I do not think the rude bastards earned an explaination the way he handled it was perfect. Had I have done it would have been I am sorry we are not serving jackasses today the exit is over there!



gammie
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:53 PM
1 mom liked this

Bravo!!!

Ziva65
by Gold Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM

 

 

Quoting SEEKEROFSHELLS:

 We honor this family, they are long time customers. Hmmm what would you say if they weren't long time customers with a child with Downs Syndrome? 

 

Quoting Ziva65:

I would have had the employee explain that we honor this family, they are long time customers. We are sorry you felt the need to move. Please know that all of our customers are valuable. If you are uncomfortable here, you are free to leave.

As I said, I'd be direct, but more polite. We've encountered these situations many times, politely yet directly most often ends up with more compassion, and often an apology.


Quoting wickedfiress:


Quoting Ziva65:

What the waiter did took a lot of guts. He risked his job and the restaurants reputation.





Given that, he did what he felt was morally right. I think though there might have been a better way to handle the situation, but not ignore it either. We teach our employees to treat every customer respectfully,even when they are rude. While he was defending one customer, he wasn't kind to the others. Not so sure that's his job.

Saying "I'm sorry, I can't serve you." is rude? How? 


 

 

That's what I got out of the article... you could say anything you want. This was just an example. We deal with people like this at our business all the time, often, when you kindly bring attention to their rude behavior and lack of manner or regard for others- they step up. I try to give them a chance.

I'm not saying what the kid did was wrong, but I would have handled it a bit differently.

ETA: I'm actually a real hard nose, and am used to rude customers. We also own a company, with strict anti-harrassment policies. I have found overall, it's just good business practice to draw bees with honey- honestly, if I said what I thought every time, I might as well not be in business at all. I also am an NP, again- really rude people, even similar things said about other patients...I guess I just see it as a good business practice, and professional to address it a bit more cordially.


 

 

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 1:38 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm glad the waitstaff has gotten so much positive publicity. Otherwise I might fear for his job security, depending on the manager/owner.
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toomanypoodles
by Ruby Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 3:08 AM

 He's an angel. He's precious!"

And that's it!

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Jan. 19, 2013 at 3:55 AM
1 mom liked this

 awww how can anyone be nasty to a downs baby....child...adult?!

Good for him...I wouldnt have been so nice, something like "ugly people NEED to be ugly someplace else"

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