Story Starts Below
A man was waiting in line for almost 45 minutes when he finally reached the front of the line, but the waitress refused to take his order and she didn’t tell him why. The man had not patiently waited for almost an hour to be treated in such a way. He had never been treated with so much disrespect. It was clear that the woman didn’t know who she was dealing with or the power he held at his fingertips. That’s when he decided to claim back and make an appearance once again. This is what happened next.
Much-Needed Time Off
This specific day was considered a day off for Karl Baker. He was preparing for a relaxed and unwinding day after finishing his 12-hour shift. He had already mentally planned out his day. He was going to sleep in and then relax while watching TV.
Time for Lunch
Karl woke up with his dog by his side. It was already lunchtime and he was happy that his plan to sleep in had gone according to plan. He poured himself a cup of coffee and decided to go out for brunch.
Back of the Line
As Karl arrived at the restaurant, he was greeted with utter contempt. It had been quite a while since the man had been met with absolute indifference. His career choice generally prevented him from being treated so poorly. However, nobody at this restaurant knew who he was.
A Bad Choice
The line for the restaurant was long and his appetite was intensifying as each minute passed. Karl had always been teased for being a picky eater. He was incredibly selective, so when settling on a meal, he had high hopes that this food would be up to par.
A Long Wait
Karl assumed that the food must be good in this restaurant if the line was so long. He was starving by the time he reached the front of the line. However, he was meet with a situation that would leave anyone’s head spinning.
Not Having a Good Day
After reaching the front of the line, Karl politely greeted the cashier. However, he wasn’t greeted back with the same politeness. It looked like she was having a bad day. Nonetheless, Karl remained cheery, but the employee didn’t seem impressed.
Karl gave his order to the waitress, but he was surprised to hear that this meal was not available. He was disappointed but there were other meal options that he decided to try. However, the waitress replied stating that these options were also unavailable.
A Poor Attitude
It was now Karl who was annoyed. He had spent so much time in a line waiting to order food that was listed on the restaurant’s special offers chalkboard. He wouldn’t have remained in the line if he knew these meals weren’t available.
Needing to Leave
The waitress started rolling her eyes at the man when he tried to explain why he was upset. The restaurant’s misleading sign and the waitress’s bad attitude became too much for Karl. He had something to say but the rude waitress told him to leave before he could say anything.
Making a Scene
Karl stood his ground and asked to speak to the manager. Without replying to the man, the waitress yelled to the back of the kitchen for the manager. A lady appeared a few moments later and stated that he was holding up the people behind him.
The man could easily see where the worker’s actions originated from. He quickly dismissed the demeaning allegation that he was the reason for the insanely long line and tried to address the problem at hand. Her reaction was entirely unexpected.
As Karl continued speaking, a cook came to the register to alert the manager of something. As the cook did this, she pointed to Karl and stated that he better be pulled out the line because she wasn’t serving him. The manager laughed at this remark.
As Karl had expected, the manager didn’t have an interest in listening to his complaint. She proceeded to state that her establishment wouldn’t be serving men like him. Karl responded incredulously to her remark. What did she mean by ‘men like him?’
Enough is Enough
At this point, Karl had had enough. He wasn’t playing the nice guy any longer. He tried to explain that he intended to try and inform her about the establishment’s service for her own good. However, her next move was completely unexpected.
Looking Down on Him
The woman appeared to be cold-faced and arrogant. She stated that she didn’t need to describe what she meant to anyone and that she wanted him out of her establishment. Karl wasn’t used to people looking down on him or being treated like this.
Missing His Uniform
The manager didn’t have any idea who Karl was or what control he had presented at his fingertips. He understood that strolling around without a uniform on was an excellent way of knowing what people think. He felt mocked and mistreated and started taking notes.
He began searching around at the bystanders who were witnessing this act. Almost everyone in the restaurant was looking at him and his face started turning red. He couldn’t understand why an establishment believed they have the audacity to treat him like this.
Not Letting it Go Unpunished
Karl decided to leave the restaurant when he realized that there wasn’t anything more to discuss. He was furious, saddened, and humiliated by the staff’s actions. He wasn’t going to let this go unpunished. That’s when he got to planning.
The Man in the Uniform
Karl put his attire on for his workday the following morning. He had many things to focus on, but he knew that confronting what happened yesterday was a priority. He was nervous but he promised to show up at the establishment.
Karl decided to stop by the restaurant on his journey back from a call-out. He pulled his cruiser into the parking lot and walked into the restaurant that had kicked him out the previous day. The entire establishment was alerted by his presence.
The staff at the restaurant were smiling at the man until something horrific took place. The waitress greeted him politely but her smile began to fade when she recognized Karl. It was time for him to face the rude manager.
Calling the Manager
The cashier called for the manager in the most tentative way possible. Karl stood patiently waiting for the woman to make an appearance. He stood in power with one hand leaning on his waist belt and the other holding his radio.
The story of how Karl was treated by the staff at this restaurant went viral. A spokeswoman from the restaurant didn’t attempt to deny the claims that were being made. She told the media that everything had gone down in the way that Karl had stated.
After learning more about the officer’s disturbing treatment, the representative from the restaurant told the media that everything had happened the way Karl had described. What was the restaurant going to do about these disrespectful employees? What would the appropriate consequences be?
The public had a lot to say about the event that took place. One reader stated that the officer should have sued for $150,000 like the gay couple who sued after an Oregon bakery refused to make them a wedding cake.
The authorities in charge of this matter had made attempts to speak to the policeman involved in the storyline. However, they haven’t spoken to Karl yet. Nonetheless, the restaurant is trying to look deeper into the situation to make the necessary measures.
The public had a lot to say about this story. Many people were outraged by the staff’s actions and the awful behavior that could easily be considered as a breach of customer rights. Nonetheless, it seemed everyone was on the same page. Karl was a victim of discrimination.
The restaurant was applauded by Representative Pete Feltham that was working at the Alexandria Police Union for its representative’s swift apology. Nonetheless, the damage had already been done. Pete also stated that Karl had handled the situation perfectly.
No Turning Back
None of the comments made by Pete Feltham worked to soothe the public anger over this ordeal. Thousands of comments were left on the restaurant’s social media pages. Many even argued that stealing from the restaurant would be acceptable. However, Karl made his stance clear.
Karl stated that he was never in favor of ‘cancel culture.’ In addition to this, he also didn’t support any criminal activity in the restaurant. He also wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t in support of boycotting the establishment. He wanted to take the high road.
Facing the Backlash
When responding to the massive amount of criticism from the public, the restaurant concentrated on its pledge. A week after the incident, the restaurant’s management made an official announcement. This stated that the staff’s actions and opinions were inexcusable and didn’t reflect the restaurant.
The report continued. It stated that the two employees in question undoubtedly behaved poorly and have been terminated because of their actions. This report also stated that the restaurant has the deepest respect for law enforcement officials and cherishes the relationship established with the local Alexandria Police Department.
Going the Extra Mile
The night manager of the establishment tracked Karl down. He wanted to offer him a proper apology for the horrific attitudes of the staff. The event had gained the attention of the Mayor of Alexandria, Allison Silberberg. She appreciated the apology made by the establishment.
The Reaction from the Police Department
The police chief said that his first reaction was pure anger. He went on to state that it’s challenging now with our relations with everyone and one police officer being mistreated only adds to the anger felt in the police department.
Being a Police Officer
The problem arises when you realize that concern only came when they noticed that it was a police officer who was being mistreated. Being a man who wanted to support the restaurant wasn’t good enough when Karl arrived without his uniform.
What Would Have Happened?
What would have happened if this was an ordinary man that was facing discrimination? Would this situation have blown up if he was a regular black man that got kicked out of a restaurant for nothing? Nevertheless, good came out of this event.
From Karl’s reaction, he used his power to ensure that consequences came to the employees who had mistreated him. This wasn’t something that was going away and drastic change needed to be made to the restaurant and the community as a whole.
In the End
At the end of the day, everyone eating in that restaurant saw what the staff was doing to Karl and didn’t stop it from occurring. Nobody grouped behind Karl until they knew that he was a police officer who had been mistreated.
Yes, police officers deserve respect. However, so do ordinary people who are not in positions of authority. Thus, treating Karl poorly without a uniform wasn’t acceptable but what if he didn’t have a uniform? What if he was a regular black man that wanted to eat at the restaurant?
A Change is Going to Come
From this story, we can see that we still have a long way to go. Nonetheless, the acts and consequences developed from this event prove that we’re getting somewhere. Hopefully, with more sympathy and consideration, we can make life a lot easier for those who face discrimination daily.
Not The Only Time
This story is not the first of an employee refusing to serve a customer. Often, employees find themselves unable to restrain their feelings, especially when politics are involved, even though they’re supposed to adhere to “the customer is always right” policy at most companies.
A similar incident took place at the Cook Out restaurant, which is located in Roxboro, North Carolina. At this establishment, it was army veteran and vet police officer who was wronged.
What Happened To Him
When the officer reached Cook Out, a chain restaurant, he had no idea what he was about to encounter. It should go without saying that people who do not act out or cause any issues at an establishment should be served as customers, but that’s not what happened here.
He tried to order some food, and he was stunned to find out that this would not be happening. The cashier who was supposed to take care of the transaction refused to serve him.
What’s Fair Is Fair
Of course, in the U.S., everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and has the freedom to express this opinion. However, it is not fair to refuse someone service just because you disagree with them. Unless they have wronged you or broken the law, you should provide the service you’re meant to provide.
The Chief Weighs In
Roxboro Police Chief David Hess shared in an interview with ABC Raleigh-Durham station WTVD: “We’re saddened that an employee denied service to a police officer. We promote unity. The public here knows that. And, unfortunately, this incident has created a divide but it is only because of a small action that could have been avoided.”
What Happened Next?
After the officer was refused service, the encounter went viral on social media. People called for Cook Out’s managers to rectify the situation, and senior level executives made the decision to terminate both the offending cashier as well as the restaurant manager.
What Did The Police Say?
Chief Hess admitted: “We did not contact corporate directly asking them to fire this employee. Cook Out took it upon themselves to take action.” While most people agreed that the cashier was justly terminated, many others were divided about the manager.
The manager working that shift, a mother of 4 who chose not to be identified, had been working at Cook Out for an entire decade before being let go. She said that she wished the employee would have called her into the situation. The former manager said she could have served the police officer instead or asked a different cashier to do so.
In Her Words
The former Cook Out manager told WTVD: “If a cashier doesn’t feel comfortable taking somebody else’s order, it’s not wrong for them to ask somebody else do it or contact the manager.”
What Was The Motive?
Many wondered just why the cashier refused to serve the police officer. It still isn’t clear why the employee did this, but she did speak to WTVD in order to respond to the situation overall.
The Cashier Speaks Out
The former cashier told the news reports that: “[The district manager] told me that I should have went outside and got the officer’s attention and, I guess, offered to take his order.”
The former manager shared that because she was not directly involved with the incident, she did not initially feel safe in going in and offering to take officer’s order instead, because she was not clear on what the ongoing situation was.
The former manager expressed her concerns with the fact that she must now find a new place of employment. She shared: “I’m mad. I’m pissed. I was hurt. I just got to find something else. I got bills, kids and Christmas is coming up.”
Following the two employees’ termination, neither the officer nor any employees from Cook Out have spoken out or issued a statement about the incident.
In Alexandria, Virginia, a very similar incident took place at a restaurant called Noodles & Company on Duke Street. A police officer in uniform decided to stop at the restaurant for dinner, but the cook on duty had other ideas.
Refusing To Cook
As the officer waited in line, the cook left the kitchen and told the cashier: “You’re going to have to take me off the line, I ain’t serving that.” The officer chose not to make a scene and decided to just leave the restaurant.
Taking Matters Seriously
Following the incident, Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook as well as the Alexandria Police Union met with the restaurant’s management. Officer Cook said: “These are very difficult times right now in our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger. Then you calm down a bit and say, let’s just find out what happened.”
The Restaurant’s Response
Noodles & Company shared with News4 that they do not “tolerate any form of discrimination” and they made sure to reach out to the officer that was refused service. Additionally, the managers have said that it is interviewing the employees involved and “will continue to look into the situation and will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of this review.”
Despite the unfortunate situation, Officer Cook said: “I must say we have tremendous support from the Alexandria business community, so this is an anomaly for one of my officers to walk into a business and run into this type of attitude…we believe that our officer’s experience was not representative of the company’s values or policies.”