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Don’t Enable The Disablers

| Working | August 21, 2013

(Every other Saturday, we have a huge group of adults come into the local bowling alley. All of them have Down’s Syndrome. Most of them come up to order with a helper, but there are a few who want to do this by themselves. Today we have a new employee and she is taking orders out front while I cook.)

Coworker: “OH MY GOD! [My Name] can you come out here?”

(I walk out from the to see what’s going on. There is one man at the counter.)

Coworker: “I can’t understand a thing this f****** retard is saying. This is stupid.”

Me: “[Coworker]!”

(The man at the counter starts crying and runs out of the lobby.)

Me: “What the h***? Don’t call the customers that!”

Coworker: “Why not? He’s retarded; he doesn’t even know what it means.”

Me: *sarcastically* “You’re right; that’s why he ran out of here in tears.”

(I leave the snack area and find the man, still in tears talking to his friends.)

Me: “Hey, I want to apologize for what my coworker said back there.”

Man: “She called me a bad name.”

Me: “She did, and that was wrong of her. Why don’t you tell me what you want, and I’ll go and make it for you.”

(He tries to tell me what he wants, but it’s hard to make out. I work with him, asking him a couple questions until I finally figure it out.)

Man: “I have money.”

Me: “Don’t worry about the money; today it’s free.”

(I walk back into the kitchen and make his food. My coworker is scoffing the whole time. When he comes to pick up his food, she tries to charge him but I stop her.)

Coworker: “You’re not supposed to give out free food.”

Me: “You’re not supposed to insult the customers. I’ll just take his payment out of your share of tips.”

Coworker: “Like h*** you will.”

Me: “Did you know that [Owner]’s youngest daughter was born with Down’s?”

(My coworker avoids me for the rest of the day, and at the end of her shift she doesn’t complain about me taking her tips to pay for his food. I talk with the manager and my coworker is taken off Saturdays from then on.)

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