Monday, December 28, 2009

Ugh.

So I kind of went back and forth on posting this. But I decided as long as I leave names out it should be OK!

Justin received a gift card to a chain of restaurants. We decided to venture out with Kendall to eat at one of them on Saturday evening. We were going a bit stir crazy and felt like a laid back dinner out that included Kendall would be nice. We lugged her wheelchair out of the car to go into the first one. The wait was extremely long, so we decided to go to another one not far away. (Both of which are in our "small" town. We like to keep business locally, but tend to eat at the "mom and pop" restaurants mostly instead of the chains. They know us, love us, and always ask about our family!)

Anyway, we arrived at our second choice. We were pleased to find that there wasn't a wait. I asked for a table for "two and a wheelchair" because I wanted to make sure there would be plenty of room for Kendall in her chair to pull up to the table and be included in our dinner (so what if she wasn't actually eating...she usually likes being out and about and taking in the scenes.)

It started pretty rocky, Kendall was arching and stiffening and beginning to fuss. We decided to order our meal to go because it looked like she wasn't going to make it.

Anyway...there was a family seated behind us, so Kendall had to be in the isle. Long story short...the waitress behind us told me we couldn't have our stroller in the isle. I ignored her. I was more focused on getting our stuff together and dodging the stares we received for a yelping baby. Justin agreed to stay behind, wait for our food, pay, and meet us in the car. Kendall likes to be on the go, and when she's in that mood, especially in a public restaurant, we oblige her.

So, no big deal. We were leaving. I was calm. The first waitress was a b. But I figured she was in the weeds and frustrated. I let it go. THEN, on our way out a tray was blocking us fitting Kendall through, so we waited patiently when ANOTHER waitress told me we weren't allowed strollers inside. I looked at her shocked, and said, "trust me, if we didn't need this special chair, we wouldn't be using it."

I headed for the door, wanting to duck out and run for the hills, but I reminded myself I have a new job. A job I didn't exactly sign up for, and don't get paid for, but a job nonetheless. So I told the hostess the table they sat us at wasn't wheelchair accessible. We were leaving, but not for that reason, just in the future, she and the manager might like to know and have another plan. She looked at me blankly. Then the hostess holding the door for us on our way out gave me a big attitude.

Honestly, I left feeling really bad. I was not at all embarrassed by Kendall. And goodness knows Justin and I have had our fair share of eating out with our jobs so it wasn't that either. I just left feeling for the first time in 20 months sad, disappointed, and angry. For the first time in Kendall's life, I felt that her special needs were inconveniencing people. All they wanted to do was get rid of us and ignore the situation. And that pisses me off.

I e-mailed the manager yesterday. He has yet to respond. I'm boycotting that stupid restaurant and their baby back ribs now.

Oh, and when we got home, we found our order was wrong. That pissed me off even more. I probably would have drown myself in a bottle of wine and lost myself in my silly Vampire book if it weren't for my husband. He told me "Look on the bright side of things. At least you have your next blog entry thought out. This shit practically writes itself."

And so it does.

22 comments:

Stephanie said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. I can't understand how a person wouldn't be going out of their way to make sure you all were comfortable and felt welcome. How awful. I have found that most people in the service industry should not be in the service industry.

Bronx Cataldo's said...

You were right to post about this. Its something that we need to get out there. A baby wheelchair looks alot like a stroller but its not.
Some people are just ignorant.

Jessica said...

Well....I'm curious as to which resturant it is. I'm going to boycott it too. People are so ignorant but that isn't an excuse and I know doesn't make you feel any better. Those jackasses REALLY missed out on seeing that sweet baby's smile that just melts your heart. You did alot better at keeping your cool than I would have and I would go higher up than just the store manager. I'd be finding corporate numbers!!!

Janis said...

O.M.G!!!!! I hate that whole "stroller" crap. Get over it people!!! I sure would love to know the name so i can avoid them too. Tweet this!

Jacqui said...

OMG. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. If I wasn't on the other side of the planet, i would boycott the restaurant too.

Cassie said...

Stupid baby back ribs. I don't like that restaurant anyway. Kudos to you for staying calm, I might have smacked some people around!

Jennybell said...

I'm guessing the reason the 1st one was busy and the 2nd wasn't was because others have had bad experiences.
We hit the local places too. The Mifflin Inn is in our area, it was once a stagecoach stop it's so old! I've known the owner since I was 3 and when we want to go out we go there because I know no one will bat an eye if Naomi pitches a fit!
You learn quick what places will get you in and out fast! Or for chains we hit Cracker Barrel because one of us can take the kids out to the gift shop if needed.

Rhea said...

I think that you should have listed the restaurant, especially since some of us have children with special needs. That is unbelievably rude! I feel so upset for you because it could happen to any of us. Kendall is the most blessed little girl to have such a strong Mom who will protect her! I know that I would do the same thing - that Manager better call you back and I would make him give you another gift card that you could use at a place where Kendall would be the guest of honour. She is so sweet and obviously they didn't even give her a chance! OK this is your blog, but I am so upset with them.

Cjengo said...

Can you email me which resteraunt? I would like to avoid it as well. We went to a resteraunt the other day I could tell the waiter almost said something, but then realized it wasn't a stroller. GOD, people kill me. I mean really? Anyway, please let me know if even privatley. I would like to avoid ever being in that situation.

Cjengo said...

Pretty sure I know who it is by the way, but need to know the location, ha!

Candace said...

Jocalyn, We must have both been in an alternative world, at the same time! I had a very similar experience at a famous seafood rest., yesterday! I was so annoyed! We were passed over by the seating waitress four times, even though we were first on the list, all b/c she didn't know where to seat us! We waited for over 20 minutes, when there wasn't a person in line when we got there. Then they gave us plastic silverware to use with a 30+ dollar meal! They were extra nice and sat us in the very back at a round corner table and almost no room to pull Faith's chair into. SO nice of them!

Holly said...

We try not to eat at chain restaurants either. Especially that one. They just don't seem to be very accommodating. Like they cram as many tables in as they can.

Actually we try not to eat IN restaurants much :-( Caleigh doesn't do great and usually fusses.

The Stroller thing pisses me off. I think normal moms of normal kids feel like their kid is inconveniencing others when they are screaming in a restaurant too, but it feels totally different for us and all our accessories.

This morning I took Caleigh to the grocery store and put her tomato chair in the basket. I got a total of 8 comments about her being "asleep." If it's not one thing it's always another.

Sorry ya'll had a bad time. Keep calling the manager and get some free meals (to go) out of them!

Anonymous said...

Jocie, That was a great posting. It made me want to cry, and lol at the same time. You are so funny. I used to like dining at Chil's but I will not eat there again. They are a bunch of jerks. The management should be advised of this situation. Like someone said you should go to the Corp. Office with your concerns. Most people do not understand the difficulties all of you go through on a daily basis. We need to educate them that special needs childern are indeed special and should be given extra special attention by the un informed public. I can only speak for Kendall and what a wonderful child she is and I tell everyone I meet about ger great smile that absoultely melts my heart. You are a super Mom and Justin is a great Dad. Keep up the good work and don,t take any shit from no one. I love you Big Ed.

Cory said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that. After 5 years it happened to me too. I knew eventually it would but I was so caught off gaurd.
I parked in the handicapp space, put my placard in the window, got out of the car with my daughter and didn't even make it to the other side of my Jeep to get Robby out when a lady stopped in the middle of the Kmart parking lot, rolled down her window and yelled "Are you really Handicapped!" I had the most blank look on my face because I could not believe this lady.
My Madison put her hands on her hip and with attitude said "Well actually my brother is!" I was so proud of her for sticking up for her little brother but honestly every emotion came rushing in, first disbelief that someone could actually pose this question, secondly I was so proud of Madison for sticking up for us, then hurt and anger came rushing in. I cried the whole way home and most of the night. The next day I decided someday I want to advocate for people with disabilities! I will never forget it and how much it hurt but now when I get the stares I just ignore them. People will never get it unless they are in our shoes. So we as parents just have to hold our heads high and laugh because we have the most awesome kids! (Maybe those mean people are just jealous!) :)

People can be so mean. I am sorry you had to go through this and I will definently stay away from the Baby Back Rib place! (I'm allergic to it anyway haha).

gilda said...

This post really upset me how can some people be so inconsiderate.I really am sorry you guys had to go through all that.As for me I would avoid places like that also. And if people can not tell the difference between a stroller and wheelchair I guess I would not want them taking my order either.Some people need to slow down and put themselves in other peoples shoes.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that (like you don't have enough on your plate). People can be so mean and self centered. I can't believe anyone would have the nerve to say strollers are not allowed inside, that's ridiculous!!!! I think you handle it better than I would have. Keep your head up and we love you ALL!!!

Sara

Mo said...

We have to just feel sorry for those people (...err a-holes) who seem to have such a shallow existance and little understanding for the most special people in this world who just happen to be OUR KIDS.

TMI Tara said...

"Ugh," is right! Ugh!

This actually made me nauseous because I was so angry and hurt. I'm glad you wrote about it. It's good to get these things out and to help people be more aware. I'm glad you emailed the manager and I hope he actually does something about it to help he and his employees be more aware. I wish Kendall and everyone in a wheelchair never had to experience things like this, but sadly they do. I'm sure it happens often. It makes my heart sad.... But mostly sad for the people who are so ignorant.

Ugh.

Cjengo said...

I am Still mad, lol!

I may take Jude's chair up there roll it in and yell

"HEY STUPIDS, THIS IS A WHEELCHAIR!"

Katy said...

Consider them boycotted at our house too.

Pam said...

Greetings from California. Came by way of Baby Jude and I have never been a fan of CHILI's "neighborhood" Crap Bar and Grill. Just another reason to stay away from that pit! Kudos for not letting it hit the fan. I don't think I would have been that classy. Some heads would've rolled!

Tommy said...

The ribs there SUCK!!!!! Kendall was just savin' you from massive heartburn. Give the girl a high five for me.