Warning: rant ahead. It takes a lot to get me fired up and post an open letter or rant on my blog, but the incident at Marcy’s Diner in Portland, ME, this weekend has be fired up. So wrong on so many levels. I’d have a few words for the owner personally if I were just a few hours closer.
Dear Marcy’s Diner, You Are Wrong
It is never okay to be rude to customers, and it is most certainly never acceptable to yell at a child—any child—and definitely not one under the age of 2 years old.
Maybe your parent’s didn’t raise you well. Maybe your parents dropped you on your head as a baby. Possibly you were raised in an orphanage in Eastern Europe and you suffer from one of those disorders brought on by lack of human touch. Regardless of the reason, yelling at a crying toddler in your place of business isn’t acceptable. It’s even less acceptable when said toddler is fussy because your service sucks and they had to wait for food.
It’s possible I don’t have all of the information, but I don’t think so. I’ve read the news stories, your side, and the mother’s side. I’ve also read all of the rude, crass, and outright obnoxious stuff you post on your Facebook page. As a restaurant patron, business owner, social media manager, and former restaurant manger, I’m appalled. My ass would have been fired for posting any of what you post and acting as you have. The fact that you are the owner? Inexcusable.
Regardless of how the child behaved (also, she's a CHILD), you had no business yelling at the child and behaving the way you did. Who really had the tantrum here? Throwing boxes at the dad and yelling at a toddler?
You’re a beeyotch. I waitressed for years and never saw anyone working for a restaurant or owning a restaurant behave that way. What a callous crotch. If you don't like kids, don't allow them in your DINER (I notice you run a diner, not a Michelin star restaurant), but for the love of all, don't act like a spoiled brat because you had a bad morning or bad life and don’t like people.
And your Facebook posts? Clearly you’re an unreasonable cow who was raised poorly. Every post is vulgar and crude.
What about kids with Autism? Asperger’s Syndrome or another spectrum disorder? Tourette’s Syndrome? Do you treat them like that too? Because I’m pretty sure that’s actually illegal, not just assholely. As a parent of a child with a minor sensory processing disorder and some emotional regulation disorder, I wouldn’t have been so forgiving if you’d pulled some crap like that and I’d been your patron.
You have the right to call the police to handle a situation if you don’t like my behavior and you’ve politely asked me to leave and I don’t. You do not have the right to yell at me or my child, and you certainly don’t have the right to throw things at me or my spouse. That is called assault and battery.
The other thing is that there are other posts on the your Facebook business page wall from patrons that day that said the girl cried for just a few minutes. She was antsy, but not crying for anywhere near as long as you made it out to be.
If you hate running a restaurant in a tourist town, why don’t you do something else, like run a bar? That doesn’t require seeing children? Or run a high-end restaurant? Or right, it takes you 40 minutes to make three pancakes, so that might be a bit much for your cooking skills. My bad.
I've been to Portland, ME. There aren't a ton of options for breakfast/brunch food on a summer day at peak tourist season (it's busy!), and that family probably would have had that wait anywhere. I’ve also worked in a restaurant and managed a restaurant in—wait for it—a tourist town. We worked with families to get food on the table for the little kids just to avoid meltdowns because we all know kids can’t wait 40 minutes to have their food arrive. It takes just a few minutes to cook a few pancakes up or get a few eggs scrambled (literally, just a few minutes people!) And seriously, if the bitch knew how to manage her kitchen staff and a busy restaurant, and not be a witch, it wouldn't have gotten to that point.
I’ve taken my kids out since the day they were born. I have four of them. They get antsy. I don’t sit and let them cry, but they do make noise. They are kids. And in a loud diner environment if they aren’t disrupting everyone, I don’t make them stand in the corner with duct tape on their mouths so no one can hear them, either. Kids make noise. Screaming isn’t acceptable, and neither is disrupting the entire restaurant, but I honestly don’t think that is what happened in this case based on the comments of other customers. I'm not an entitled parent that thinks my kids can do no wrong (believe me, ask my friends). Kids have a time and place and they need to behave in restaurants, but based on the comments of other restaurant goers that day and Darla's own ‘tude, I 99% certain Darla is simply a giant rude, unempathetic cow (sorry cows, that’s kind of mean to you.) Either way, even if the parents were being giant asshats, Darla's behavior had no excuse. Period.