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What It's Like to Have a Child With Autism at a Restaurant

This Chili's Manager's Note to a Mom Will Make You Reevaluate What "Doing the Right Thing" Means

This happened at a Chilis in Orange City, Florida FYI. I was a manager for eight years and this was my proudest moment.

Posted by Tony Posnanski on Monday, March 14, 2016

When one of the tables in the restaurant Tony Posnanski manages asked him to ask another table to quiet down, they pointed to where a mother and her daughter — who was making loud noises — were sitting. We've all heard this story before, and you can likely guess how it ends, but you'd be wrong — rather than ask the mother to keep her child quiet, Posnanski told them he hoped they were having an awesome meal, gave the young girl a high-five, and told them their meal was on the house.

The reason Posnanski decided to post to Facebook to recount this brief moment during a busy night is because the mother sitting at table nine totally surprised him:

I know what I was supposed to say when I went to your table. I was supposed to politely tell you to please not have your daughter yell. I was supposed to offer to move you to another area. I was supposed to offend you by not offending you. . . . I got to your table and you looked at me. You wanted the first word. You said, "Do you know what it is like to have a child with Autism?"

With those words — asked sincerely and without accusation — Posnanski knew that this mom had been in this situation before in other restaurants. He didn't want to be like every other manager in that moment and ended up being taught a valuable lesson: "Sometimes doing the right thing does not make everyone happy; just the people who need it the most."

Read his full post about the encounter above.

Image Source: Shutterstock
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