Ball Square Cafe. A patron pouring cream. An unfortunate word from the owner. Then it escalates.
While the guy may have vision problems, he has problems with tact as well. The owner apologizes after the blogger said he didn't appreciate the comment, which clearly had no malice in it. Then the blogger ignores the guy when the owner apologizes and tries to make amends. To call people ignorant over such innocent comments is asinine. How much more uncomfortable could our blogger have made this situation? If you can't respond in humor, or if you don't want an apology, then why say anything? The owner may have went on too long, but he was far from the only one at fault here.
For someone who claims they hear comments like this all the time, you'd figure that he'd have found a better way to handle them over time.
I agree 100+%. I left a similar comment on the blogger's page - we'll see if he decides to approve it.
You don't have any disabilities, do you, especially invisible ones?
I left a comment to this effect on the original post, since there's no way to respond directly to those who can't be bothered to leave a name, but haven't you ever had the experience of someone making fun of you for something out of your control and then making the situation much worse with an overly-defensive apology?
Have you ever been with a blind friend who got yelled at by a stranger when your friend asked them to please not pet the working guide dog with the big "DO NOT PET ME" sign on it? Or with a friend with not-readily-apparent (i.e. not using a wheelchair or other assistive device) mobility problems who was challenged by a T employee when s/he asked for the elevator or escalator to be turned on? Or with a kid on the autism spectrum who gets scolded constantly by random adults for not following unwritten rules that other people can easily pick up on, but kid can't?
A one-time occurrence such as the one described or such as my examples (each of which I've witnessed, more than once) isn't such a big deal, I suspect. When these occurrences happen regularly, and when the "offenders" try to make it the "offendee's" problem, then I can't blame the offendees for getting tired of it.
Yes, I do have an invisible disability. I have lost more than half my hearing on my right side, which makes normal conversation in a place with any amount of background noise quite a problem. People take great offense when you think they are being ignored, which is the most common effect of my inability to hear someone when I am not looking. As someone who was performing in a band for years, my hearing loss took away some of the most fun things I used to do, playing and listening to music. This matters not the least in what I said about the original poster.
The restaurant owner, from what we have to go on, made a simple comment that appeared to have no malice in it. He also apologized when told of what he did wrong. The offended blogger then seems to have walked away without saying anything at all, then ignored the owner while he was still trying to talk to him. If we call the original comment, ignorant, which I think is a pretty strong word for what happened, then we must also call the blogger's reaction cold, dismissive, and rude. When you don't appear to accept someone's apology, you are being about as passive-aggressive as you could possibly be. Nobody likes that. Not after they made a mistake and tried to apologize for it. Blogger tried to make the guy feel like an a-hole, and when it worked, is mad the guy made more comments.
I also have an invisible disability and I recognize that I can be hypersensitive about it. That's why I try my best to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I also do my best to explain to people why I am behaving as I am -- especially if they ask me questions.
The examples given by Mollynotloggedin are 100% not the same as a restaurant owner asking a question -- perhaps out of simple curiousity, perhaps to start a conversation with a repeat customer, perhaps because he had seen the movie "Pi", where the scientist protagonist is continually fascinated with the swirling patterns made by the cream he pours into his coffee at a local cafe.
Who knows? The blogger would have known had he responded differently and started a friendly conversation with the owner of a restaurant he stated he liked.
Finally, I'm just amazed that being asked if you are a scientist is considered an insult. When did that happen?
This is daily ignorance. It happens all the time. Doesnt make it lessannoying but it happens all thetime. If I wrote about all the times this happened to me I'd be able to compose a blog on this premise alone.
"No, Board of Health. We got a call."
Struck me funny too that "scientist" was the insult in question. but it's the teasing the guy is objecting to, the fact that someone is drawing attention to his disability.
I agree with the OP that falling over yourself to defend a comment received in a way other than you intended is a BAD IDEA that, I think, betrays at the very least a failure of common sense. Suck it up, apologize, move on.
That said, I wish the OP had given the guy the benefit of the doubt to begin with--or, if he was fed up and pissed off that day, that he could recognize after the fact that he might have handled it differently instead of seeming to feel perfectly justified in having shamed the guy in hifalutin style. If you want to mess with the guy, put some life into it. Give him something to think about. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that pissy is never the best response.
This was the owner of the place. If he didn't go as far as possible to make sure his client was happy, he wouldn't have been doing his job. For the guy to just sit there like a lump and ignore him just exacerbated the situation. Places like this restaurant survive or fail often on word-of-mouth alone and if this guy goes away pissy over a little razzing then it could cut off a large group of people who he'd otherwise want to come eat there. So, of course he's going to bend over backwards to make up for it until he gets a response from the guy that he accepts his mea culpa.
Not acknowledging the guy's apologies is worse than the original light-hearted offense in the first place. He wasn't intending to be rude to begin with, but the diner had every intention of acting rudely in response.
Lucky for them there's SoundBites.
Oh, sure, Yasser gets a little stressed out on the weekend and yells at people who linger too long, but he is a really nice guy.
This guy who owns the new place sounds like he has a lot of trouble keeping his mouth shut in general.