Amanda Cartagine is many things. She’s a business owner, valuable part of the community, mother to a special needs child, boss and so much more. So when Amanda learned that a customer harassed one of her employees, she asked to know more about the incident.
In the case of a disgruntled person, the saying usually goes “the customer is always right.” But when Amanda heard what happened inside her restaurant she was absolutely disgusted. How could someone act like that to her staff?
There was no way Amanda could allow the stranger to make her work family feel embarrassed about who they were deep down. She needed to take action – and fast.
As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, Amanda knows that those with special needs just require a little extra time to master a task. But once they do, the possibilities are limitless! She told WYFF News that her son is the inspiration behind hiring such a large population of disabled men and women to work in her restaurant
“We parents with special needs (children) are always faced with breaking down barriers, stigmas, teaching other people that our children are more like them, than different… If you have the patience to let them take their time and learn at their pace, when the light bulb comes on, they are unstoppable.”
Amanda protects her employees and cares for them as if they were family – and news of a customer harassing one of her hardest-working employees filled her with rage.
According to reports, the customer asked the unnamed employee to refill a lettuce bowl in the salad area, which was something that the boy wasn’t trained to do. This is because each staff member at Pizza Inn has a specific responsibility and they are only asked to manage their task.
The customer refused to understand Amanda’s unique (but wonderful) way of business and proceeded to attack the employee, the manager and others in the establishment. She explained how they tried to soothe his frustrations:
“My manager explained to him the situation privately, ‘That’s not his job. We’ve trained him to do this and there are special circumstances,’ and the customer was still not happy.”
Sadly, the man’s rage didn’t end there. Before storming out, he screamed that Pizza Inn should hang a sign “warning” other people about the restaurant’s disabled employees.
So, Amanda did exactly that…
Amanda’s sign read:
“We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire all of God’s children.”
This sign was the perfect way to protect her employees emotional and mental health. She wanted them to feel appreciated, even when the world was much crueler of a place than it needed to be. Amanda told WYFF News that she felt like the sign was the best course of action.
“These are like my kids, and it made me angry. I wanted to do something that was not rude, but got my point across.”
Now anyone who dines at Pizza Inn will fully understand what incredible staff they have in-house. If you’re in Greenville, South Carolina, be sure to stop by and thank Amanda for her kind soul!
Learn more about Amanda’s awesome sign below. Way to rise above the hate!