Monday, August 3, 2009
Diner Part Deux
Last October, I wrote about an unexpected and wonderful experience my children and I had while having lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Well, it seems this particular restaurant is chock full of ‘experiences’ for us because something else happened this past Saturday.
We decided to have lunch at the River City Diner again. It was quite crowded but the server was agreeable to seating us in a quiet location away from the hustle and bustle of the lunch crowd. Ashley, understandably, does much better with meals when we keep the stimulation and distractions to a minimum, especially on this particular Saturday because she wasn’t feeling her best.
As the server approached our table to take our orders, Ashley hit the side of her head with her hand. It’s something she does when she is distressed, and although it doesn’t happen often, when it does happen it can be quite disconcerting. The server stopped in her tracks, a few yards from our table, and had a look of shock and horror on her face. She recovered quickly though, and came to the table to take our drink orders.
When the server returned with our drinks and to take our food orders, she immediately apologized for her earlier actions. She said that she had a nephew with Autism, and that she should have behaved better. She convinced me that she understood such behaviors, and she seemed genuinely contrite. I told her I appreciated her apology, and then just gave her our orders.
She was quite an attentive server, a young mother she told us, and a very typical diner sort of waitress. While the reaction initially annoyed me, the result, I believe, was positive. And, I’m hoping that some of the other customers seated nearby also were aware of the exchange, and perhaps had their minds opened a bit also.
What do you think? What would your reaction have been, and would you have handled things differently? I’m really interested in your comments, because as parents of children with special needs know, this sort of situation is common.