"Will a menu be necessary?"

You know, I realized I’ve ranted a lot about disability related issues here on the Dope - I guess it’s my theme. I apologize if my tirades are getting a little repetitive, but I need a place to rant.

Last Saturday evening my parents, my brother, and I went to a restaurant called Roy’s. It’s a wonderful upscale place (this isn’t no Denny’s) with very good food. We go there at least three times a month. The seating lady showed us our table and passed out menus to my mother, my father, then my brother. When she got to me, she looked at my mom and asked her (referring to me) “Will a menu be necessary?” :eek: My mother responded “Yes!” and I should’ve said something too but I was too busy being bewildered. She then plunked a menu on the table then placed my napkin three feet in front of me instead of handing it to me like she’s supposed to. What the goddamn hell? I suppose I could have been a complete brain dead vegetable who’s incapable of communicating or eating, but then why would I be at a fucking restaurant, and why is it automatically assumed I’m a tomato? Just put a fucking menu in front of me you incompetent bitch, it’s no skin off your nose if I don’t end up using it. For fucks sake, what was going through her mind? For once I’d like to go out in public and not feel like an alien. One of these days when someone treats me like one I’m going to scream in Klingon and throw something at them, just for shits.

Sorry, not familiar with your situation, why would she even conceive of such a question?

Not that it would be justifiable, mind you, but, uh, is there any particular reason the waitress might have erroneously assumed you were, in fact, a member of the vegetable persuasion?

I mean, like leafy sprouts coming out of your head, or a decidedly reddish-orange tint to your skin, or a sticker on your forehead that says “100% Organic Tomato”?

Y’know, something subtle. :slight_smile:

Sometimes the waitress asks my wife and I that about our son. He’s only 6. Maybe you look younger than you are? (Could be a compliment! :))

–ok, yeah, the waitress was just a dumbass

I’m trying to remember – do you use a wheelchair? (Why did the person assume you were non compos mentis? Not that a wheelchair means any such thing, of course.)

I think a serious complaint to management is in order.

What, you mean some people haven’t heard of me or don’t remember my intimate details from my sparse postings here? Feh! ;j

Yeah, I use an electric wheelchair for a sort of muscular dystrophy type disorder.

Yep, have to agree, she was a fucking idiot.

So she thought you were retarded because you’re in a wheelchair?

You really should have said something yourself.

I frequently go out to eat with a friend who is blind. Though that is clear to the server by the time we get to the table (she has a white cane, and holds my arm to be guided to the table), they always give a menu to both of us. It wouldn’t really be needed, since I basically read the menu to her, but the server always gives her one. I can’t imagine doing otherwise.

P.S. What did you do or say at that point? While I wouldn’t recommend throwing things or screaming in Klingon, screaming (in English) might be a valid response. If you let this pass without complaining, how will that server ever learn any better?

It’s been years since a server looked away from her and at me and asked “and what will your blind friend have?”, but I’m sure the response she got right then has kept her from doing that again!

That’s disappointing that people say things like that sometimes.

----Slight hijack ahead----
One of my friends in marching band is in a wheelchair. When we travel, other bands ask us sometimes if he “marches” the shows with us or what the deal is. Little do they know, he is SO EFF’ing hardcore. Not only does he march the shows in his chair, he does everything including flying turns (any fast turn over 45 degrees), but when we mark time, he bounces the chair from wheel to wheel , in time and IN STEP( whoch is better than we can say about the freshmen). He is quite possibly one of the most dedicated members we have. No one expected him to be in the shows or figure out how to mark time, but he wanted to and made it happen.

Good grief! You should definately contact the establishment and let them know what happened, sounds like some training is in order!

hawksgirl, that is one cool story!

As for the OP, I wouldn’t recommend screaming, but a nastily polite letter to the management would be in order. Be sure you got the name of the waitress, so she can be “educated” in this matter.

I work in a cafe, as a baker(surprise!) in a library. We have a large print menu, if it should be needed, as we get quite a few older patrons, with vision problems, coming through. There’s lots of space for wheelchairs. And I’m considering commissioning a Braille menu as well, or an audio version. I do reading for the blind, during the summer school session, and I need to find out which might be more useful.

I remember a column written by the former “Dear Abby”. A letter writer had complained about the appearance of a disable person, in a wheelchair, at a restaurant, and because they weren’t able to be the neatest of diners, wondered why such people had to be out in public. I had never seen Abby unleash such vitriol as she did on that writer. Tore her a new one, she did, and after that I liked her a lot better.

Definitely, complain, firmly, very firmly, to the management. If they don’t respond satisfactorily, find out if the restaurant is owned by them, or if they themselves have a supervisor. Go up the chain of command until you DO get satisfaction, and be a really squeeky wheel.

Due to an injured knee, my wife tried to tour Disneyworld in a wheelchair. At almost every ride, the attendent would ask me “Can she get into the seat by herself?”

To which my wife replied “I’m not deaf.”

The next day she went back to using her cane.

A friend of mine was raised in South America. She speaks fluent English, but with such a heavy accent that her husband usally ends up doing the ordering for both of them in restaurants. Which led to this exchange.

“And she’ll have the baked potato.”

“Would she like butter on her potato?”

“Honey, would you like butter on your potato?”


“She says yes.”

What instrument does he play? I can’t imagine being able to control the chair and play at the same time.

He doesn’t play while he moves, but our shows aren’t constant motion. We usuall have about 5 moves in 3 songs during a show, so there is still a lot of playing and being still. He just props his sax onto his feet and gets moving.

Okay, that fucking rocks. When I was in high school (and college, even) we had SENIORS who couldn’t tell their damn left from their right, and had no idea how to dress a line (we called them the trumpet section - playing that high C - not written into the music - was more important than a straight line :rolleyes: ).

Carnick, I would have requested the manager right there - take care of the situation while it happens. She sounds like an idiot.


That would have been optimal, of course, but honestly, I would have been so flabbergasted at the rudeness that I am sure I would have just stared incredulously, then thought of something REALLY cutting to say on the way home.

Like maybe turn to the other adult at the table and say something cutting, as if she couldn’t hear you.

But even now I can’t think of exactly what.

When I went to Fukuoka in March, a friend and I dined at an outstanding curry restaurant. The menu was huge. As I flipped through it, I noticed why it was so big: thing was in about 12 languages and the last section was in Braille. I asked the owner why he had it that way. His response: “What, I’m not supposed to help give me money?”

What’d you say? The only thing I can think of is, “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask her?”

Lots of able-bodied people are just weirded-out by handicapped people. You would think this would be less of a problem as schools become more inclusive.

Give a nasty smile and say, “Just in case you find yourself wondering later, this is why you won’t be getting a tip this evening.”

Maybe “Ix-nay on the ip-ay for the upid-pay erver-say”? THe waitress would think it was babbling!