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wmramsel

Dealing With Cruddy People While Out.....

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A friend of mine, who's daughter age 6 was just diagnosed Celiac about a month ago, went to a local restaurant.  When she asked the manager while they were waiting about their gluten-free items and kitchen practices, etc, the manager rolled his eyes and told her that "gluten is the new peanut" and basically treated her as if she were "inflicting" this on her daughter.    She was so stunned by his behavior, she really didn't say much.  Thankfully, the rest of the staff was fantastic about it.  But it got me thinking....how would I have dealt with this?  I'm not one to quietly take crap from someone, but on the same hand, you don't want to make a huge scene.  So my question:

 

Have you ever been in a situation with people like that?  How did you handle it?  As a Celiac yourself?  As a parent of a Celiac child?

 

TIA!

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I wouldn't put someone on the spot to begin with. I call ahead. I check out menus online if available. If I were in this situation, I would have walked out. Things trickle down. If the manager was a jerk, I would kind of expect that attitude to be common.  Sounds like her daughter was lucky that the others were good about it. 

 

Also, I have found that what and how people say things can be colored by how I interpret them.  I am willing to admit that I am totally sensitive to comments that others may not be meaning that way.  

 

If this was a chain of any type, I would get in contact with the corporate offices as well.  There's also Allergy Eats where you can "report" on dining out with allergies/Celiac. It helps others know what's out there. Some places are way better than others.

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I probably would have left, I would hope I wouldn't make a scene but can't promise that, depends on the situation, my mood, how hungry my baby is! My son and I rarely eat out anymore. His attitude would have made me feel that he wasn't serious enough about it and wouldn't want to take the chance. My sons symptoms are more like an allergy he coughs has trouble breathing he also gets nose bleeds and C. He has emotional issues from it as well, it effects him so much that I just hate rolling the dice. I want to open a gluten-free Restaurant but scared it won't do well in my area.

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As far as restaurants go I ALWAYS call ahead and get their kitchen practices otherwise you leave yourself wide open for disappointment.

 

I have dealt with this attitude with Girl scouts leaders, parents and teachers.  There is little a person can actually do except explain in the most clear of ways the situation and hope for the best.

 

example :at an overnight girl scout camping event I was told my girl couldn't have 2 hotdogs cause the other girls only got one. The fact that they had rolls and mac n cheese came up but was squashed down by her ignorance. I could stand there and fight with the leader in front of the entire troop and other moms but that would put my girl in an embarrassing situation.  I quietly gave my girl my hot dog when she wasn't looking and dealt with it later, which has led to a 2 year war over food in the troop.   

 

example 2: A zoo camp counselor asked me many questions, got product names and grocer names to shop at and now supplies gluten-free food at the camp with very good kitchen practices.

 

Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. It really depends on the person you are dealing with. good luck

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I'm not sure how I would have handled it.  I probably would have been so surprised that he would say that to my face.  My hub probably would have told him calmly that I am doing this for real medical reasons and asked me if I wanted to leave. And we would leave.

 

What I would like to do - Tell the guy that I have celiac disease.  Then say in a very loud voice so other diners could hear "You think its OK to purposefully poison the people who eat here?  I'm going.  No one's food is safe with that attitude". 

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Thank you!  I definitely will have to start calling ahead.  Usually we go out on a whim when I don't want to cook.  We very rarely go out, so I really haven't had to deal with it much.  I wouldn't even think to ask about grill and separation practices.  Oy.

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I have never ordered food before inquiring about how that food will be prepared for me safely. At any point that I have felt uncomfortable I have left. If I had ever been treated as if asking as to whether or not my food could be prepared safely were some sort of imposition (especially by the manager!) I would not hesitate to cause a small scene. I am very much with Karen on this one. I would have explained patiently, but just loudly enough to be overheard by those around me, that I have a very serious medical condition and that I am appalled that he would be so demeaning as to tell me to my face that it isn't to be taken seriously. I would also not hesitate to point out that if they have no interest in preparing a safe meal for me that I hate to think what they are doing to the other patrons' food and gather my things and walk out.

 

I have a hell of a background in customer service, covering restaurants, retail and call centers and know exactly what to say to push buttons. This embarrasses the crap out of my husband. It also means that as a general rule that once someone has stooped to treating me poorly as a customer that I take off my gloves and either get my way (and then some) or make sure to leave a blustering, red faced manager in my wake for my trouble. Because I remain nothing but civil during this, I also am able to take my recourse to social media and corporate levels without looking like a total you know what. And I always do. (For the record, this happens rarely... not even once a year.)

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I too ALWAYS call ahead. As stated in the post above - I would have caused one hell of a scene myself. My entire career has been in customer service to I take exception to being treated badly and I let them know it, and in some cases I also let the district manager and corporate offices know it as well.

 

When I dine out I don't typically mention Celiac because of the lack of knowledge of staff. I tend to say gluten allergy and threaten that they could send me to the E/R. Food service staff take the word allergy VERY seriously.

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I have never ordered food before inquiring about how that food will be prepared for me safely. At any point that I have felt uncomfortable I have left. If I had ever been treated as if asking as to whether or not my food could be prepared safely were some sort of imposition (especially by the manager!) I would not hesitate to cause a small scene. I am very much with Karen on this one. I would have explained patiently, but just loudly enough to be overheard by those around me, that I have a very serious medical condition and that I am appalled that he would be so demeaning as to tell me to my face that it isn't to be taken seriously. I would also not hesitate to point out that if they have no interest in preparing a safe meal for me that I hate to think what they are doing to the other patrons' food and gather my things and walk out.

 

I have a hell of a background in customer service, covering restaurants, retail and call centers and know exactly what to say to push buttons. This embarrasses the crap out of my husband. It also means that as a general rule that once someone has stooped to treating me poorly as a customer that I take off my gloves and either get my way (and then some) or make sure to leave a blustering, red faced manager in my wake for my trouble. Because I remain nothing but civil during this, I also am able to take my recourse to social media and corporate levels without looking like a total you know what. And I always do. (For the record, this happens rarely... not even once a year.)

applause-smiley-emoticon.gif

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As far as restaurants go I ALWAYS call ahead and get their kitchen practices otherwise you leave yourself wide open for disappointment.

 

I have dealt with this attitude with Girl scouts leaders, parents and teachers.  There is little a person can actually do except explain in the most clear of ways the situation and hope for the best.

 

example :at an overnight girl scout camping event I was told my girl couldn't have 2 hotdogs cause the other girls only got one. The fact that they had rolls and mac n cheese came up but was squashed down by her ignorance. I could stand there and fight with the leader in front of the entire troop and other moms but that would put my girl in an embarrassing situation.  I quietly gave my girl my hot dog when she wasn't looking and dealt with it later, which has led to a 2 year war over food in the troop.   

 

example 2: A zoo camp counselor asked me many questions, got product names and grocer names to shop at and now supplies gluten-free food at the camp with very good kitchen practices.

 

Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. It really depends on the person you are dealing with. good luck

 

 

Wow!  I am stunned about your Girl Scout comments.  My daughter, a Cadette, is working on her Amaze Journey which is supposed to be teaching girls about getting along and tolerance for religion, diets, whatever!  Your daughter should not have to suffer or change troops because of  ignorant leaders even if they are volunteers.   Staying with her friends is important and it's ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS!   I suggest you can nicely get support from your service unit and/or council.  Leaders are required to take courses that cover more than camping or CPR!  I'm currently just the treasurer and don't go on all the overnight events anymore, but the mom with the daughter who has milk and egg allergies (severe) has complete confidence that we won't harm her child!  Don't let your child camp without you until this is resolved.  

 

My heart goes out to you!  

 

P.S.  I have celiac disease and allergies.  Plus, we have one girl who's allergic to eggs and milk and another who's vegetarian.  We accommodate them all!  

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