Grif.Net

01/16/16 Weekend Grif.Net – Random Act of Kindness

01/16/16 Weekend Grif.Net – Random Act of Kindness

[True story by Anna Kaye MacLean]

 

I want to share the experience that my husband, 7 year old autistic =
sister and I had today at the Chili’s location in Midvale, UT. =

 

Arianna, my little sister, didn’t waste any time when our waitress, =
Lauren, greeted us at our table. Arianna promptly ordered her =
cheeseburger with pickles, French fries, and chocolate milk before =
Lauren could even take our drink order. Lauren smiled and told Arianna, =
"Okay! I’ll be right back with your chocolate milk!". =

 

When we got our food I was wondering why Arianna wouldn’t touch her =
cheeseburger, but was going to town on her French fries. I asked her, =
"Arianna are you going to eat your cheeseburger?" She calmly =
said, "No, I don’t want it." Cheeseburgers, or ‘Krabby =
Patties’ as we sometimes call them, are her FAVORITE! So this behavior =
was VERY strange.

 

So I asked her, "Why don’t you want it?". =

 

She replied, "It’s broken. I need another one that’s =
fixed." Then it dawned on me why she wasn’t eating it. It’s because =
it was cut in half. Being a child with autism, she has to have certain =
things in a particular order at all times. One slight change in her =
routine can change the course of the day instantly. =

 

When Lauren came back to check on us, I asked if we could order =
another cheeseburger and just add it to our check. She had a concerned =
look on her face so I explained that Arianna has autism, and that in her =
mind, because the cheeseburger was cut in half, she thinks its broken =
and can’t eat it. I told Lauren I knew it sounded silly, but if we could =
just order an additional one we will gladly pay for it because there was =
nothing wrong with the one that was originally brought out. =

 

Lauren was so sweet and just smiled and went along with Arianna, =
telling her "I brought you a broken cheeseburger?! You know what, =
I’ll have them cook you a new one!" I loved this because rather =
than just taking it from the table, she actually TOLD Arianna what she =
was doing. While this seems insignificant, by her telling Arianna what =
she was doing, we avoided a meltdown.

 

The manager, Bradley Cottermole, then came to our table, kneeled =
down, and said to Arianna, "I heard we gave you a broken =
cheeseburger! I am so sorry about that! We are making you a brand new =
one that isn’t broken, with pickles! I’ll bring you some French fries to =
munch on while you’re waiting, ok?"

 

A couple of minutes later, Lauren arrived back at our table with =
cheeseburger #2. Arianna said, "OH FANK YOU! You fixded my =
cheeseburger!" When Lauren walked away, Arianna just sat there for =
a second and looked at her new burger. She looked like so deep in =
thought….just staring at it….then she let out a big "OH I =
missed you!!" and started kissing the burger over and over =
again.

 

I took a picture and showed Lauren and said, "I think we =
glorified the cheeseburger too much!" She busted up laughing, and =
asked if she could go show her manager. She came back a minute later and =
said she showed everyone in the back kitchen area too, and that it made =
them all laugh and smile.

 

I was so touched by this experience. Especially since I know people =
who have been asked to leave restaurants when their child with autism is =
being disruptive. I expected a few different things with this scenario =
based on past experiences, but I did NOT expect such kind and =
compassionate mannerisms from Lauren and Bradley. Everyone, from the =
hostess to the chef, played a role in what most people would think isn’t =
a big deal.

 

But this entirely shaped how the rest of our day would go. I =
know…a cheeseburger cut in half literally could make or break our day. =
In this case thanks to the professionalism of the crew in Midvale, it =
made our day. And I’m sure Arianna brightened up at least one of the =
employees days with her silly little personality. Thank =
you.

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin

bob@grif.net www.grif.net

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =
Love!"