Many of us have to wear multiple hats in our daily life and Amanda Cartagine is one of those individuals. She is a valuable part of her community, the owner of a business and the mother to a special needs child. She also manages to be a boss and an all-around great person. Recently, Amanda found out that a customer was harassing one of her employees and she wanted to learn more.
The customer was disgruntled and if you have ever worked in customer service, you realize that the customer is NOT always right. When Amanda found out what had happened in her restaurant she was upset. How could somebody treat a member of her staff in such a way?
Amanda took it as a personal attack, not only on her employees but on her family. She didn’t want any of her employees to feel embarrassed about what they were doing so she decided to take fast action.
Since Amanda has a child with Down syndrome, she knows that there is some extra time that may be necessary to master a task when you have special needs. Once they are able to get the mastery over it, however, she realizes that there are no limits. She recently told a local news station that her son is the inspiration behind her decision to hire 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.”
She protects her employees and provides them with special care as if they were members of the family. That is why she was outraged when she heard about a customer harassing one of those hard-working employees.
Reports have brought out the details of the incident. The employee, who has not been named was asked to refill a lettuce bowl at the salad bar. He had not been trained to do so. Every staff member at the Pizza Inn is responsible for something specific and they don’t handle anything that is outside of that specific task.
The customer would not bend in this matter and he decided to move forward by attacking the employee. He then went about verbally attacking other employees and the manager. They did their best to ease 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.”
That isn’t where the story ends. The customer ended up storming out of the restaurant and as he did so, he screamed out that they should hang a ‘warning sign’ to let other people know about the disabled employees.
That is exactly what Amanda did:
Her sign read:
“We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire all of God’s children.”
It was the perfect way to protect both the mental and emotional health of her employees. Amanda always wants them to feel appreciated, even when times get tough. She left the local news station know that she felt the sign was a necessary step to take.
“These are like my kids, and it made me angry. I wanted to do something that was not rude, but got my point across.”
Before anybody walks into the Pizza Inn, they will know upfront about the incredible staff. If you happen to be in Greenville, South Carolina, be sure you stop by and say thank you to Amanda for all she does.
You can learn more about the sign and what Amanda does in this video: