Thursday, January 24, 2013

Great Server Story - Speaking out IS the right thing to do

This from Houston, TX via Today.

Waiter hailed as hero after standing up for boy with Down syndrome

by Lisa Flam, NBC News

A Houston waiter who refused to serve a customer last week did not lose his job. Instead, Michael Garcia is being celebrated for standing up for a little boy with Down syndrome, with people stopping to shake his hand at the restaurant where regulars are made to feel like part of the family.
Five-year-old Milo Castillo has lots of friends in preschool and loves to give hugs.
Courtesy Kim Castillo
Five-year-old Milo Castillo has lots of friends in preschool and loves to give hugs.

One of those regulars, Kim Castillo, was at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib in Houston last week when several waiters stopped by her table. Her 5-year-old son, Milo, who has Down syndrome and whose speech is a little delayed, was showing off his new words and talking about his birthday the week earlier.

A family sitting nearby asked to move away from  the Castillo family's table, and a man in the group made a disparaging remark about Milo.

“I heard the man say, ‘Special needs children need to be special somewhere else,’” Garcia told NBC affiliate KPRC-TV in. “My personal feelings took over, and I told him, ‘I’m not going to be able to serve you, Sir.’”

“‘How could you say that?’” Garcia said he asked the man before he left the restaurant with his party. “‘How could you say that about a beautiful 5-year-old angel?’”

Castillo, who noticed the family move but didn’t hear the remark, was grateful when she later found out what Garcia had done, even more so when she learned that the other family were regular customers as well.

“I was impressed that somebody would step out of their own comfort level and put their job on the line as well as to stand up for somebody else,” she said. “I know Michael did it from his heart, and from reacting to the situation. I don’t think he stopped and thought about what he was doing.”

Of the other family, she said, "It's sad that they're ignorant."

Click through for the full article.


Moose said...

I saw this when it was first reported a while ago, and the troll and ignorant comments just made me want to cry.

Most common were the people demanding that the guy be fired for refusing to serve the idjits, or commenting that most managers wouldn't back him up.

But then there were the people with their story of "That one time I had to deal with a 'special needs' child (and here, they usually use the offensive R word) I had to put up with [some sort of bad behavior]."

a) It's a kid. Kids will be kids.
b) Just because you experienced one bad behaving special needs kid doesn't mean they're all that way.
c) Just like with all children, bad parents wind up with badly behaved children.

This kid as just a normal little boy who happens to have Down syndrome.

I'm glad to hear the place didn't fire him, but with all the publicity if they had, you know the guy would have had another job within days.

Anonymous said...

I think we all know that had this incident taken place at one of Darden's restaurants, the waiter would have been fired for refusing to wait on this ignorant guest and his family. I applaud Michael Garcia for not being afraid to defend Milo Castillo's right to dine out with his family, and I applaud Laurenzo's for supporting Garcia's right to tell a cruel and ignorant guest, "I'm sorry, but I will not wait on you."

fair is fair said...

A loud table is a loud table. Special needs or not, if you are going to eat in a restaurant, please be respectful of the people around you.