Dear last night’s waiter:
I’m gluten-free…but with all due respect, you’re an asshole. I understand you were busy last night. And i understand it was a Saturday night. And I understand that you want to turn as many tables as possible in the course of an evening (yes…I used to wait tables).
But what was my sin that caused you to cop such a major attitude?
Oh…that’s right. I made the grave mistake of telling you that I had celiac disease. And when you didn’t know what it was and I told you it was a severe gluten allergy, that was the beginning of the end. Note: I know celiac is not an allergy, but “severe allergy” is easier to understand than “an autoimmune disease where the villi get flattened due to the ingestion of wheat, barley and rye”, don’t you think?
So you had to make a few extra trips to the kitchen to talk to the chef. So you had to take my “special” order. What’s the big deal? Why the eye-rolls? Seriously, you were a total tool.
Believe me…I’m as understanding as they come when it comes to dealing with people with my condition. We celiacs hate having to explain to you what we can and can’t have twice as much as you hate having to hear it.
But how about showing a little courtesy? A little heart? A little professionalism? Your job is to take my order, serve my food and make sure I don’t get violently ill. And I don’t mean that in a degrading kind of way. I have all the empathy and respect for anybody in public service. Dealing with people all day/night can be a real drag. But for now, it’s the path you’ve chosen.
So do me and all of your future customers a favor. Educate yourself a bit. People with celiac disease are not on a diet. We’re not trying to lose weight. We’re not part of the new, hip eating fad. And we’re certainly not trying to be difficult. Spend a day with me and see what we celiacs go through on a daily basis. It can be pretty tough. So when we go out, we’re honestly not looking for special attention. We’re not looking to take up too much of your time. Just hear us out and keep us healthy.
And no, that’s doesn’t mean simply scraping the onion rings off my plate when I remind you I can’t have them. But thanks for the big effort just the same.
I like your restaurant. And I’m sure you’re a decent guy who was just having a bad night. We’ve all had them. And if you’re my waiter again, I’ll give you the complete benefit of the doubt. But if you give me the eye roll again, it ain’t gonna be pretty.
The Gluten Dude
P.S. Sorry for the crappy tip. I’ll get ya next time.