How could you be rude?
Brittany felt it rise inside her, she couldn’t hold back her anger anymore. Why would someone be so rude for no reason? She didn’t ask for anything.
She wished it had ended there, but after they got angry, she should get along with them and go about their business like it was nothing. It got worse when her boss wasn’t on her side either.
Brittany Spencer was a hardworking waitress with a lot of experience from the past two years. She thought she saw it all, but she would prove wrong.
Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, had seen people from all walks of life. An elderly couple came in through the front door today. Brittany went on autopilot and didn’t think anything was unusual.
As the elderly couple sat down in their seat, Brittany could see that they were unimpressed with something. She had a feeling that it would be difficult with them. Still, she put on her best smile, as she always did.
When the couple stared at the people in the restaurant, they both had dark faces, as if they didn’t want to be there anymore. Sure this wasn’t a fancy 5 star restaurant that required reservations. But in Brittany’s opinion the food was pretty good.
What was the problem?
Despite the expressions on their faces, Brittany made her first impressions of them count for nothing. She just had to charm her and brighten her day, whatever was bothering her would soon be gone … or so she thought.
But she didn’t know how things would go wrong in the end. She went to them and gave them both menus. They took the menus without a “hello”. The woman still wore a face of resentment that Brittany didn’t know could change.
When Brittany returned to the counter, she heard her laugh. Finally, she thought, they were happy. But when she turned around, she saw that her laugh was focused on someone who was sitting alone at a table in the corner of the restaurant.
What was the problem? The lonely customer was there regularly and was always very nice and nice. Brittany would soon find out why she was laughing.
Brittany went to another patron who was sitting next to the elderly couple. Unbeknownst to them, she could hear every word they said as she helped the other protection order.
After hearing a certain word, she focused on their conversation. But what words soon followed had made Brittany’s stomach twist in a knot. How could they have the boldness to say this in a public place?
The individual customer
When Brittany returned to her table to take her order, they looked up at her and the first words they had said to her since walking in were, “That customer over there, what do you think of her?”
They further asked Brittany if she agreed with her position on the matter. They even asked why the diner would let someone of its caliber into its doors? All Brittany could see were their judgmental faces.
Refusal of service
She looked them straight in the eye and said, “Sorry, but I can’t serve you. And I don’t agree with what you said “
But she knew turning down a customer was a big deal. She had to speak to the manager and ask if the table could be reassigned to someone else. It would be much more difficult for Brittany.
“Suck it up or go home”
Her manager’s face frowned. She could tell that he was out of the mood and basically said, “suck it up or go home.”
Brittany had two choices, but what was one decision anyway when one made her serve people who cared so little for people? How could you say that about a regular customer? She did the only thing she thought was right, she gathered her things and burst out the door. But she had no idea what was coming next.
The night Brittany stormed out of the diner, she decided to see what other people thought of the incident online.
She received many responses praising her actions. To say that she defended her belief and customers. Some people even spoke badly of the restaurant. Feeling validated, she fell on her bed and was ready to sleep.
Let go to speak
The next day management informed Brittany that she had been fired! She burst into her laptop in anger and went straight to Facebook.
She informed everyone about the disgusting development. The reactions were explosive. “But I will always choose my morals over money. Bye! ”She concluded. But the owners of the restaurant disagreed.
What the owner says
The co-owner of the restaurant stated that Brittany was fired for refusing to do the job she was hired to do.
Over all her years in the industry, she said she heard a lot of conversations that she disagreed with, but you just go ahead and do your job. However, their “neutral” posture did not calm the stormy water.
Bad blind eye
Brittany and others said that allowing hate speech in your company would turn a blind eye with no response – which they see as if they were saying the hateful things themselves.
But Brittany still thought she had made the right decision. As for the current situation and the ideals of the restaurant?
Brittany ended her viral Facebook post by saying, “Please leave a review on her Facebook page, Fat Joe’s Bar and Grill.” They received so much hatred that they had to temporarily close their Facebook page – but it’s back on.
They claim that the event did not affect their day-to-day business and they will proceed with the same moral approach. However, there was one key element that they conveniently left out that many people have overlooked.
Just order the food
Brittney was so professional that she simply asked to change tables – which is not a monumental request.
The chef’s reaction (“suck it up”) shows attitudes towards the comfort of his staff, but what about not being allowed to service customers who are trying to impose an opinion on someone who just wants to take their meal order? And what do owners Joe and Whitney Wallander say?
“Everyone has their opinion, everyone has a right to their opinion,” said Whitney, co-owner of Fat Joe’s, in an interview with CBS.
Whitney also says that she and her management team made the decision to send Brittany home for the day, but didn’t fire her for refusing to serve the clientele.
Naming and shaming
Ahead of the staff meeting that Sunday morning, other employees at the restaurant showed the Wallenders screenshots of the post Brittney had posted about the incident on Facebook.
Although the post wasn’t directly related to Fat Joes, Tad Wallender said that Brittany’s Facebook profile listed Fat Joes as her place of work. This, he said, bound the post office and the restaurant together. And they couldn’t have that.
Tad and Whitney didn’t take it well to be featured on Facebook. After all, every company has a good reputation.
Tad was concerned that the Brittany post had changed the dynamics of the whole situation and claimed that he was very unprofessional on the part of Brittany. When Brittany came to the staff meeting, she was fired immediately.
A “business decision”
“She decided she wanted to post something on Facebook about getting sent home,” said Whitney. “And we’ve just made the business decision that we can’t have employees who don’t make us look good as a company.”
“We should be able to get by as a community,” says Whitney. “Everyone has different opinions, and I think it’s important that we know how to live with people who have different opinions than we do.”
“We’re only here to serve food and drinks”
“We do not comment on any conversation that people have. We will not impose individual political beliefs, moral beliefs, and ideals on anyone. We’re only here to serve food and drinks, ”Tad told USA TODAY.
While restaurant owners feel justified in their actions, others argue that they should know better – especially in today’s political climate.
Discrimination has been in the political and media limelight in recent months, and campaigns aimed at raising awareness are working harder than ever. As a result, most internet users do not accept any form of bullying.
After Brittany’s contribution, Fat Joe’s Facebook page became a “political battleground,” Tad said, forcing him to remove it. Brittany’s post wasn’t something he wanted the restaurant to do. Then, just a day later, the company received over a dozen threatening emails.
According to the owners, Fat Joe always strives to be both neutral and respectful. According to them, both the patrons who made the rude remarks and the person they talked about are regulars at the restaurant.
And Tad said there has never been a problem between the two groups.
Who was wrong?
“If you feel you were being harassed, I apologize – that was never my intention,” says Brittany. I don’t want anyone to be harassed, but they need to know what they did was wrong. “
“Letting people say that transphobic things are not staying neutral,” Brittany said. “I didn’t make a scene. I didn’t ask for them to be kicked out. I didn’t want to take a table. “
The restaurant seems to double after all this game. Tad said the restaurant welcomes everyone, and that apparently includes disgusting customers who like to pester other guests.
“If you go into our front door and have our food or drink, watch TV, see live music, we will serve you as best as possible and make you happy according to your standards,” said Wallender.
Not on her watch
Brittany said she has no ill will against the owners of Fat Joe or the establishment, but she hopes the response they received online will serve as a learning experience and that they will not let hate speech go unchecked in the future.
“I hope this incident will open people’s eyes to see hatred like this happening in 2019, and idly posting and spreading hate is as bad as spreading it itself,” she said. Do you think she did the right thing?