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Not Free Of Gluten But Free Of Sense

, , , , , | Working | December 31, 2021

Several members of my mum’s family are visiting our house for the day and my parents decide to get fish and chips. One of my aunts has celiac disease and, as such, my mum orders from one place that recently advertised having gluten-free items. My mum calls ahead, as well, to make sure they cook the gluten-free food in separate fryers. My parents go to pick up our relatives while I am sent to pay and pick up the food. I end up arriving a little early.

Me: “Hello, my mother placed an order under [Mother]. Sorry if I’m a little early.”

Server: “No problem. It’s just going to be a while for the gluten-free ones.”

I sit down and wait, playing on my phone. Eventually, he bags up all the other orders and places them under the heat lamp. I watch as he picks out a bag of chips and dumps them into the same fryer he got the other chips from.

Me: “Excuse me… Are those the gluten-free chips?”

Server: “Yes, they are, love.”

Me: “And isn’t that the same fryer as the one you got the other chips from?”

The serve talks slowly as if I’m dumb.

Server: “Don’t worry. I already took all the other chips out.”

Me: “But my mum said you told her over the phone that you use a separate fryer.”

Server: “This is separate. I took the other chips out.”

Me: “But it will still have residue from the regular chips and the oil will be the same!”

Server: *Chuckling* “So what? It’s not gonna do any harm.”

Me: “The person who it is for has celiac and she will get sick from it. So yes, it will cause harm!”

Server: “Look, love. It’s fine. Just don’t tell her. She won’t notice.”

Giving up arguing with him, I end up calling my mum. She just tells me we aren’t leaving my aunt out, so I should just leave. I hear the server yelling as I go. When I get home, my mum starts asking around to figure out what we are going to do about lunch instead. The phone rings and my mum picks it up. I only hear her side of the conversation.

Mum: “Hello.” *Pause* “Yes, my daughter did.” *Pause* “No, I don’t have any plans to pay for it.” *Pause* “You told me that you used a separate fryer for the gluten-free chips.” *Pause* “No, that isn’t good enough. My sister could have gotten really sick if she had eaten them.” *Pause* “Kindly Google celiac disease.” *Pause* “I don’t care if you have to throw it all out. You lied to me about cooking them separately and it is just luckily my daughter noticed.”

After that point, the guy on the other end just descended into screaming loudly and my mum kept trying to cut in until, eventually, she hung up.

We found another chippy that actually did gluten-free properly. The lying chippy kept trying to call us with threats if we didn’t pay for the food I didn’t pick up. Eventually, they gave up as we kept ignoring them. The place is still open, although I noticed they very quickly stopped offering gluten-free options.

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