A waiter at a steakhouse in Houston, Texas has won a lot of fans after refusing to serve a customer who made a cruel comment about a special needs child that he didn’t wish to be seated near.
The incident took place at Laurenzo’s, where Michael Garcia has been working for more than two years and enjoys a good rapport with many of his regular customers.
On Wednesday night he greeted two groups of regulars - Kim Castillo and her family, including five-year-old Milo who has Down syndrome, and another group who sat in the adjacent booth.
Not long after Garcia seated the second family they requested to be moved. Garcia duly obliged, until he heard the man say, 'Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.'
Garcia was thrown by the cruel remark and couldn't believe that the man had said it in front of his own children. Although worried that he might lose his job, Garcia felt he had to something.
‘It was very disturbing,’ he said. ‘My personal feelings just took over and I told this man, 'I'm sorry, I can't serve you.'"
That family quickly left, but not before Garcia told him: 'How could you say that? How could you say that about a beautiful five-year-old angel?'
Kim Castillo says she noticed the family leaving, but didn’t think anything else about it until one of Garcia’s co-workers told them what
Castillo said she was worried that Garcia might lose his job, but the restaurant stood behind his decision.
In fact Garcia has received a lot of praise for his actions after the story was featured on local TV and blogs. The restaurant’s Facebook page been inundated with people leaving comments of support for his brave stand about prejudice.
Gracious Garcia has also said that if the other family who made the ill-conceived remarks return, he will serve them just like anyone else.
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