This is a response to a post on Quora.
I was working in a upscale Canadian restaurant while 7 months pregnant. It was later in the evening and I was serving two older British tourists, both women in their late 60’s. They were polite for the most part. As I delivered their meal one of the ladies asked “when are you due?” And I answered honestly. The other lady asked “do you know what you’re having” and I replied with a smile “it’s a girl”. What she said next will stay with me forever because I still can’t believe that someone could be so rude. She said “well let’s hope she aspires to be something more than a waitress”. I was floored, speechless, utterly aghast. I walked away immediately and asked my manager to continue looking after that table because I couldn’t bear to approach it again after being insulted so badly. My manager walked up to the table, took their only-just-started plates off the table and told them to leave the restaurant immediately, that they weren’t welcome. I’ll also never forget the way he stood up for me that day.
Good on your manager. My son’s fifth-grade teacher was a real piece of work. One time when I was talking to her and I said it was my hope for him to do better than I had in life. She said, “yes, we certainly don’t want him ending up being a waitress like his mother.”
I said “lady, I’m leaving now before I do something you’ll regret.
I later found out that this woman was singling my son out as a bad example because he fidgeted in class. She would keep him behind when the other kids were sent to lunch, and when she finally allowed him to go, they weren’t serving anymore, so he went hungry. He never told me until the end of the school year.
My son has ADHD, and this woman and the principal tried to force me to put him on Ritalin. I wouldn’t do it so they expelled him from the school.
The story has a bit of a humorous ending. Many years later when my son was in his 20s, this woman came to his apartment campaigning for some local candidate or other. He recognized her but pretended not to. She finally said, “Don't you remember me, Michael? I was your fifth-grade teacher.”
He said “yep,” and shut the door.
My son is normally very polite, but he had nothing nice to say to this woman who had emotionally abused him during his fifth-grade year. I guess he was being polite nonetheless by not giving her the earful that she deserved.
I am blown away by the support that Leigh's manager showed. If only that sort of support wasn't exceptional. Sadly it is.ReplyDelete
Equally sadly I am not surprised at the treatment your son (and you) endured. And yes, he was being very polite by simply shutting the door in her face.
It's sad that even with this pandemic, I don't see people learning much about tolerance. Current hiring practices make it difficult for certain populations, including mothers of young children and people with disabilities to work, even though it's been shown that there are many jobs that could be done from home. It would also cut down on congestion from traffic and on air pollution to do this. Sadly, I know I'm pissing into the wind. People don't learn.Delete