In today’s world, where conflict and disrespect seem to be all around us, it can be easy to lose hope. However, amidst all the darkness, acts of kindness never fail to make a positive impact and create a ripple effect that inspires others to do the same.
One such act of kindness came from Amanda Cartagine, the owner of Pizza Inn, who stood up for her staff when they were disrespected by a customer.
Amanda treats her staff like family, and as their “matriarch,” she feels it is her role to protect them, especially when customers are rude and disrespectful. One such incident occurred when a customer complained about one of the staff members with special needs, Ryan Mosley.
The customer had asked Ryan to refill the salad bowl, but he did not comply. When the customer called the manager to complain, he was informed that Ryan has Down Syndrome and was trained for a different role in the restaurant.
The customer demanded that the restaurant should put up a sign to warn customers about staff members with special needs. Upon learning about this incident, Amanda was angry and decided to take action.
However, instead of retaliating negatively, she came up with a positive solution to get her message across. She placed a sign by the restaurant’s door that read, “We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire ALL of God’s children.”
Amanda’s decision to stand up for her staff and make a bold statement against discrimination was admirable. She believes in treating her staff like her children and ensuring that they reach their full potential, regardless of any limitations they may have.
In fact, 63% of her kitchen staff have special needs, and Amanda encourages them to learn and grow at their own pace. She told WYFF News 4, “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.”
Ryan’s mother, Angie Mosley, expressed disappointment when she heard about the customer’s complaint, but she was relieved to know that Amanda had stood up for her son. Ryan loves having a job and earning money from his paycheck, which he plans to use to buy video games.
As parents of children with special needs, Angie and her husband face numerous challenges in helping people understand that their children are capable of achieving great things. Every barrier they break is an achievement, and Ryan getting a job at Pizza Inn was a significant accomplishment.
Amanda’s decision to put her staff’s well-being ahead of profits by refusing to cater to the customer’s discriminatory demands was a bold move, and she does not regret it. She believes that the message she conveyed through the sign outside her restaurant was more important than losing one customer.
As she puts it, “If he is not OK with that, then I’m OK with him not coming back. That’s a dollar that I don’t need.” Amanda’s actions are a reminder that kindness always wins, no matter how many rude people try to ruin that.