Reason Falls On Deaf Ears

, , , , | Right | June 18, 2018

(I waitress in a fairy upscale restaurant. Two deaf women are dining; they are using ASL — American Sign Language — to have a conversation at their table. I am called over by an older couple.)

Woman: “Excuse me. Can you do something about that?!*points at deaf patrons*

Me: “Uh, I’m not sure I understand you, ma’am. What do you want me to do?”

Woman: “Ask those two women to leave, or call the cops!”

Me: “May I ask why you want me to ask them to leave?”

Woman: “Look at them over there, throwing gang signs at each other! They’re obviously planning some illegal activity.”

Me: “Ma’am, those women are probably deaf. They are using American Sign Language to communicate. I assure you that those hand movements are not ‘gang signs.’”

Woman: *narrows eyes accusingly* “Maybe they’re in your gang, huh? You can probably tell what they are saying. I want to speak to your manager!”

(I fetched my manager, who spoke with the woman. My manager also told her that the two ladies were signing to each other, and that it was in no way gang-related. The woman demanded to be seated away from the women, and to have her meal comped. While we were able to move her to the patio, we did not offer the free meal as we had done nothing wrong. The couple stayed and finished their meal, and she tried again to get a discount on her meal for the “awful customer service” while she was paying. She left, saying she was never coming back. Good riddance!)

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