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Intolerant To Lactose Intolerance, Part 2

| Working | February 11, 2016

(I go out to eat with a friend at an Italian place. I am mildly lactose intolerant.)

Me: “Can I have veggie panini, but without the mozzarella?”

Waitress: “It comes with the cheese.”

Me: “Yes, I realize that. I cannot have large amounts of cheese.”

Waitress: “But it comes with the cheese.”

Me: “The menu says everything is made to order.”

Waitress: “Yeah?”

Me: “So… just ask them to leave off the cheese, please? I don’t want to be ill.”

Waitress: “It’s just cheese. It’s fresh.”

Me: “I get that. I also know that I cannot have it. I am allergic. Can you please ask them to leave it off?”

Waitress: “Okay, but it’s supposed to come with it.”

(We get our food a few minutes later.)

Me: ‘Miss, uh, this is full of cheese.”

Waitress: “Yeah.”

Me: “I asked for no cheese when I ordered it. I am allergic. I cannot have it.”

Waitress: “It’s just cheese.”

Me: “Yes. It’s just cheese. However, I am lactose intolerant. I cannot have cheese. It makes me ill. Can you please have them remake this?”

Waitress: “But it comes with cheese!”

Friend: “Listen, miss, I have no idea what the problem is here, but when things are made to order, it’s entirely possibly to swap out certain ingredients. She is not asking you to change the bread or the veggies and make a miracle happen. She just wants you to respect her allergy and simply ask the cooks to make the sandwich without the cheese. It’s not difficult.”

Waitress: “Oh, please! Everyone knows that allergy is a myth! She can eat it if she wants to!”

Friend: “Lactose intolerance is not a myth, a fad, or anything like that. It’s an actual problem. It’s an allergy to lactose, which is in dairy. Now, she asked you to do something incredibly simple. Can you please take the correct order so she can eat?”

Waitress: “You are so rude!” *storms off and points us out to her manager*

Manager: “Excuse me, is there an issue?”

Me: “Yes, actually. I tried ordering this without cheese, as I am allergic. She fought with me over it and then said she would do it. She brought me this which, as you can see here, has cheese. She then refused to have them remake it and essentially told me that I am a liar, since she doesn’t think lactose intolerance is real.”

Manager: *turns to his employee* “Is this true?”

Waitress: “It’s just cheese!”

Manager: *to her* “Are you kidding me?” *to us* “I am so sorry. I will have that properly remade and both of your meals will be on the house. I can promise that if you ever return here, she will definitely not be waiting on you – or anyone – at this location.”

(The cheese-free panini was fantastic, even though it took about an hour to get it!)

This story is part of our Food Allergies roundup!

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