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Pictured: the Adversary.
Pictured: the Adversary.

Late last week, our inbox was deluged with emails asking us to write about a story from the National Post in Canada, our fair neighbor to the North. The story pertained to a customer who won a $12,000 judgment against a steakhouse, supposedly for refusing to accommodate the customer’s germaphobia. The heavy implication was that our tipsters couldn’t wait until we started angrily shouting about it. Yeah … not so much, actually?

The story itself: an unnamed customer at Baton Rouge Steakhouse in Oakville, Ontario (Ontario is a province, which is like Canada’s version of a state, except none of them would be dumb enough to elect Tom Cotton), has received a pretty decent-sized judgment after he claimed he was mistreated by the restaurant. The customer, identified only by his initials “P.G.,” and his wife patronized the restaurant weekly for an unspecified but implied-to-be-significant amount of time with no issues. It wasn’t until September 2013, after the restaurant came under new ownership, that they started to have issues. P.G. apparently suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and germaphobia. He had a series of what he calls “very simple accommodations” including being sat away from other customers, cleaning the seats thoroughly before he sits down, serving his water without a lemon or straw, bringing his cutlery on a plate, and serving him his baked potato “how he liked” (articles are unclear how specifically he preferred his oven-roasted tuber, but given his other requests we are going to assume he required it be served by a left-handed clown who speaks only in limericks).

These are in no way “very simple accommodations.” These are, in fact, hugely annoying accommodations that would drive every server I know up a wall. That a court — the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, no less — chose to side with him to the tune of $12,000 also, on the face of it, seems somewhat absurd.

So then why aren’t we yelling about this? Because of how the restaurant allegedly handled the issue when things finally came to a head:

[The customer] said the manager eventually came out and told him he was “high maintenance” and the staff no longer wanted to serve him.

He claimed the manager uttered words to the effect: “Now I know why the police shoot crazy people like you.”

NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE. BIG OLE NOPE. NOT OK. In no way is this acceptable, and if this did actually happen, it is 100% grounds for a lawsuit. Were a restaurant to say something like this on the basis of race or sexual orientation, they would be rightfully sued and buried in the court of public opinion. But they say it to a guy with mental issues and somehow that’s okay? Nah. Not there with you at all, if that’s your stance. And if you’re going to claim PSTD, OCD, and germaphobia aren’t real conditions? Get the fuck out of my office.

Now, that being said, this does not mean every restaurant has a responsibility to cater to every customer’s needs. If a customer were to ask for something like these not-at-all simple accommodations, in a just society, the restaurant has every right in the world to say to the customer, “I’m sorry, sir, but we’re unable to meet your needs. Perhaps it would be best if you tried another restaurant.” Indeed, though the law seems to be against this point (in Canada, anyway — it’s unclear how this would apply to US law), the restaurant should have the right to make that statement even after meeting the customer’s needs for an extended period of time, if they so choose. But they don’t have the right to say horrible, hurtful shit while doing so, as they’re alleged to in this case.

At the same time, we have a hard time believing servers wouldn’t have been willing to jump through these hoops if P.G. and his wife were great customers. The rule in this, as in all things, is simple: the more hassle you cause for your server (like, to name another example, if you have very destructive children), the nicer you are and the better you tip to make up for it. This is especially true if you’re a regular somewhere. The vast majority of servers don’t mind having to do extra work or accommodate a table’s unusual needs if they know the table is going to take care of them — and if things like these are your requirements, you damn well need to be taking care of them. You’re making your server go above and beyond for you, and if they’re willing to do that for you, you should be willing to do the same for them. That’s what the social contract is all about.

To sum up: customers who require special accommodations should be nice to their servers, you still shouldn’t be a hateful asshole even if the customer isn’t nice to you, and this story isn’t nearly so cut-and-dried as that Texas lunatic trying to sue a restaurant over a $2.25 cup of soup, the end.

[National Post]

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  • Oneofthebobs

    “Words to the effect” are what you hear, not necessarily what was said.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      Well, I’m not exactly Mr-Sensitive-Politically-Correct-Guy, but I’d have to know somebody pretty damn well before I tested out their sense of humor with a joke about shooting them, however it was worded. So unless Mr OCD make it up completely, I can see why he was less than tickled.

      • Oneofthebobs

        Yes, but it is neither “Mr Sensitive” nor “politically correct” to question the facts.

  • limberrat

    Maybe I need to be an asshole to waitstaff more often so when they snap I can just file a lawsuit….

  • Shibusa

    If I had a nickel for every time someone told me I had OCD, I’d have thirty-nine dollars and twenty-five cents.

    • Duke

      I organize them but I don’t count things. Just OC, I guess.

    • limberrat

      I have CDO, its like OCD, but the letters correctly ordered.

      • Msgr_Moment

        Obsessive Compulsive Dyslexia.

    • TheBidenator

      Not to be a distraction but I think you might be OCD….

      • Msgr_Moment

        Thirty-nine dollars and thirty cents. When’s Wapner on?

        • TheBidenator

          Does Wapner have OCD too?

    • limberrat

      You have an odd number of nickels…I can’t work with odd numbers…

    • Please God tell me they are stacked in order of the year they were minted.

      • Shibusa

        Years ago, I cashiered for a guy who insisted that all the bills and coins face one way. And on busy days we’d have $20,000+ cash in the till!

        • Lascauxcaveman

          Makes it easier to deposit. The bank tellers want them all facing the same way when they count them at the counter.

          • Shibusa

            Yes but coins too? FFS…They were wrapped in those paper tubes!

          • Lascauxcaveman

            Sorry, I missed the part about the coins. No, that just just sounds like OCD bullshit.

          • xy

            supposedly in the old days counting machines would go all nutty on wrong facing bills, thus the need to have them face the correct way. now it doesn’t really matter.

          • Celeste Sanchez

            “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!cg870ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !cg870n:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsBridgeGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!cg870n….,

    • goonemeritus

      When my kid’s were young we would tell them they had a shoe tying disorder. We laughed and laughed about this until the youngest one told his grandmother he had an STD.

      • DemmeFatale

        That disorder also affected my kids.
        We blamed it on “too much velcro in early childhood.”

  • Duke

    I hear all kinds of things. Beside being a crazy and delusional nut munkey, I’m getting old and I just don’t hear things the way they’re said. Must have been that Foreigner concert in 1976.

    • Hutch

      Speak up, young man. And enunciate your words!

      No, I don’t know what time it is!

  • TheBidenator

    “none of them would be dumb enough to elect Tom Cotton”
    Dead Rob Ford and live Stephen Harper disagree, C.A.

    • Pickwicknext

      All too true. However, we have also elected two Trudeaus, (seriously, Justin’s dad was pretty fucking cool) & have a fully fuctional Supremem court. And gay marriage has been legal here for more than a decade

      • IknowRIGHT

        And you have pot, guns and very little mass murder. I don’t know if it is the weather, or if you all are just smarter, but damn, Murika could learn a few things.

        • Pickwicknext

          We’re all actually Trolls, so the cold makes our brains run better

          • OddMan

            It’s the Poutine, eh?

      • Whale Chowder

        Gay marriage for a decade? Good god, Toronto must be like a set from The Walking Dead! How do you survive?!

      • Vienna Woods

        Not to mention that the SC was mostly appointed by Harper, and yet they kept knocking down his precious laws.

    • IknowRIGHT

      Not even close Rob was a party bus on jet fuel Stephen Harper a prig, but Tom Cotton is a 1st class top notch ASSHOLE goals, that so many strive for.

      • TheBidenator

        The only reason you say that is because Canada is less important to the world than the US so his damage seems worse…Rob Ford would have been just as terrible here as Ted Cruz. Stephen Harper worse because even the Koch brothers cannot stand Ted, everyone hates him.

        • brittany

          I have a feeling you may appreciate my favourite Harper picture…I do not believe it is one of the ones he used to replace all the past PM’s portraits in the HoC lobby.

          • Amalga

            I snorted wine out my nose! Eeeeewwwww

    • r m reddicks

      At least DRF was funny.

  • SuspectedDemocrat

    Awarded $12,000 for germaphobia??? Do you know how many germs are on money? He’ll never take the settlement.

    • Villago Delenda Est
    • r m reddicks

      Money laundering.

      • Blank Ron

        Someone asked me to launder $50,000 for him, but man, those dimes chewed hell out of the dryer’s drum.

  • Suttree

    If the manager said that he needs to be fired. That being said if you are suffering that badly you might want to go to the restaurant at the absolute slowest time possible and your wife might like to assist you in your needed arraignments. I understand suffering from PTSD. I understand trying to get out of the house and trying to be normal. I just don’t see $12k in damages for that.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Not to undersell the truly urgent need for more seriousness with regards to mental health, but if I had germophobia, I’d probably prepare all my own meals and/or try to subsist on Bugles and Screaming Yellow Zonkers rather than risk a kitchen nightmare – especially if it involved a foodstuff prepared in an abattoir.

    • Duke

      Yeah, one sneeze in the kitchen and you’re gonna die!

    • timpundit

      Not if you found a place that catered nicely to your wishes. In fact probably having to stop going to that restaurant filled him with the anxiety the rest of us feel when we have a protologist appointment.

    • JustPixelz

      I try to subsist on Bugles and Screaming Yellow Zonkers, but for other reasons.

      • Msgr_Moment

        They baked in Yonkers?

        • SuspectedDemocrat

          French Funyun Soup, while supplies last.

          • r m reddicks

            With Cheetos on top. But seriously there was a restaurant in suburban Louisville, Ky that served French Onion Soup with Cheetos on top.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            The Junk Food Jury has issued a ruling: Cheetos may stand in for croutons at the discretion of the chef. Case dismissed.

          • r m reddicks

            If anybody knows the area I recall it was Bill Bolands Restaurant in Buechel (Louisville suburb). 60’s and 70’s and possibly earlier.

    • As someone with a vibrant collection of mental illnesses that have to co-exist, I figure that the compulsive desire to keep coming back to this one place trumps the germophobia. Just a guess based on my own experiences juggling the voices in my head, though.

      • Lascauxcaveman

        I have a semi-serious question for you: are the medications intended to make the extra voices go away, or just make them get along better?

        • Get along better, at least to the point where I can at least pretend to be a functional adult.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            The reason I was asking is my wife and I just just the other night watched the episode of “Fringe” where the schizophrenic guy isn’t really schizophrenic at all;

            (SEASON 4 SPOILER ALERT!)

            he’s just actually telepathically hearing voices of his genetic half-brothers born of a single sperm donor. It was interesting and thought-provoking in a twins-seperated kinda way.

          • I’d have to see that!

            But just to clarify, I’m speaking metaphorically. I don’t have literal voices in my head (not yet, anyway).

  • Did he get his $2.50* cup of Free Soup?

    *Or what ever they use for money up there, which I’m sure is just as nice.

    • dslindc

      Maple leaves and little jugs of syrup, I think!

      • sincarne

        Our money is indestructable, and features robots and spaceships. You *wish* your money was as cool as ours.

        • dslindc

          Or at least that wingnuts didn’t lose their shit over finally putting someone other than a white man on it.

        • Lascauxcaveman

          As a US/Canada bordertown merchant, I agree that CDN money looks pretty pretty awesome. It just ain’t worth shit, is all.

          • sincarne

            Meh. It’s been worth more than the USD before (and not that long ago). It will be again.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            Yeah, I know. I’ll sit on all those pretty bills until my next trip north. Or just deposit them if the Loonie takes a big jump upward.

          • sincarne

            Take solace that your books will always be cheaper than ours. Mysteriously the “Price in Canada” goes up when the greenback soars, but never down when the loonie does.

    • Msgr_Moment

      They’re called Walloons.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Oh lordy — there’s plenty of doing-it-wrong to go around here. OCD guy should not expect a restaurant under new management to know exactly how he wants things, and the owner was just being a prick.

    • Toomush_Infer

      Why wasn’t there a counter-suit?..

      • Pickwicknext

        It’s not an actual lawsuit, it’s more a mediated dispute

        • Toomush_Infer

          Like?:

          “You’re a asshole!”

          “Yeah, well you’re a bigger asshole!”…..

          • Pickwicknext

            Probably, but with more “eh”

          • proudgrampa

            Eh?

          • Whale Chowder

            “…buddy!”

      • Paul

        No way that guy would sit at the counter. People could sit right next to him then.

    • Mimihaha

      New management wouldn’t know but the servers should.

  • jviscont1

    $12k will buy a lot of hypoallergenic poutine now that he will be dining at home.

  • dslindc

    But when will they take back Ted Cruz?

    • Suttree

      And what will we get as a settlement!?

      • Toomush_Infer

        That would be settlement enough…

        • Suttree

          But I have needz! There was that redhead from Ottawa at band camp.

          • Toomush_Infer

            That redhead had other ideas…

          • Hutch

            Was she a flutist (if you know what I mean)?

          • Suttree

            Oh yeah! Brown chicken, brown cow!

      • TheBidenator

        Oh I wouldn’t play that card…we can already sue you for billions and billions in damages from when the cackscuker shut down our government for his own vanity. You should just take him back and create a monument to send us saying “we’re sorry”, Canada.

        • Suttree

          I’m a ‘merkin TB. I want to know how the Canuckistanians are going to relieve our pain for inflicting that oozing pustule upon us.

          • TheBidenator

            oh, haha….well I think paying us about 75 billion dollars, building a moment with Ted Cruz’s face crossed out saying “we’re sorry” and officially acknowledging fault for everything he did should be good for starters…

    • Pickwicknext

      Never. You elected him, you’re keeping him

      • TheBidenator

        Bullshit we are….you take him back Canada or we’ll include Trump with him. Trump’s family came from Scotland which is part of the UK and the crown still controls Canada. Don’t start with us or you’ll get O’Reilly and Hannity in a care package…

        • Lascauxcaveman

          Dang, Pickwick. Now you’ve got the Bidenator pissed off. You’d best settle fast as possible or things could get pretty ugly for Canada City.

          #blamecanada

        • brittany

          We already have our own Trump wannabe, Kevin O’leary, who’s planning on running for the Conservative leadership…he says if he loses, he’ll run for the Liberal leadership instead (he’s convinced they’ll be ousting Trudeau before the next election).

      • r m reddicks

        Should we try Cuba?

      • proudgrampa

        People get the government they deserve, but we would really like for you to take him back. How about putting him on an iceberg in the Northwest Territories? Please, pretty please?

    • brittany

      You raised him, he’s you responsibility now!

  • TheBidenator

    I disagree, I think if a restaurant has already accepted and accommodated a customer of special needs previouslyparticularly a regular customer unless those needs change and require so much attention they distract from being able to provide service to other customers you’ve gotta provide service. I know servers are overworked but it essentially is pulling the rug out from under someone- if it’s merely annoying to serve them, clench your little teeth together and get your ass over and serve this person. That’s part of being in the service industry and if you don’t like it, find another job. If you accept a customer you must accommodate them…..

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Except if they have the ghey. Then all bets are off.

      • Toomush_Infer

        Well, duh: germophobic….

  • anwisok

    Hmmmmm . . . I’d rather not be told that the manager used “words to the effect.” I want to know what words he actually USED before I decide on which side to come down.

    • Biff52

      This. Far too many implications for anyone to make a call.

    • sincarne

      It was a long, long time ago that I took journalism classes, but what I recall is that this is a legal dodge. It’s basically “This is a quote, but there may be a word or too out of place, and we want to avoid a defamation suit.” Generally you can take it as “that’s what was said, unless the other party is vigorously denying it.”

  • Tommmcatt

    Think about this having gone the other way:

    The man comes in and makes some admittedly difficult requests, and explains the reason for the requests. Instead of refusing service, the restaurant decides to accommodate this man, who then has a great time and returns again and again to spend his money. The upside? The employees get to feel good about having been generous and kind, and the man feels a little less like a freak and more like a normal person with issues just like everyone else. the downside? Yes, you have to bring this dude a fork on a plate or whatever.

    I simply don’t understand why people can’t be kind, even when it requires a little extra effort.

    • anwisok

      Think about it DID go the way you described, for several (or more) visits.

      • Tommmcatt

        Except they told him not to come back.

        • anwisok

          Yes. This is true. They decided, after accommodating him on more than one occasion, that the accommodations he required were not ones they could continue making. So? They should be able to do that. They are only expected (at least in the US) to make reasonable accommodations. If his needs went beyond “reasonable,” they don’t have to fulfill them. IMHO,IANAL

          IF they declined to serve him in a professional, civil manner, they should be in the clear. If the manager actually used the language described, I am glad they lost the suit, and disappointed the award wasn’t larger.

          • Tommmcatt

            I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have the right to do that, I just think the bigger an more gracious thing would have been not to. People are difficult sometimes, but I really do find that they are worth an effort if you are inclined to make it.

          • anwisok

            I agree with you, honestly. But . . . new ownership, new policies.

          • jviscont1

            As a former server, my graciousness to regulars was dictated by their tip line dictates.

          • r m reddicks

            It had come under new ownership. Who knows the how’s and why’s and what’s comparing the old and new?

    • Lance Thrustwell

      Agreed in principle. However, we don’t know if this guy was apologetic and/or explained that he had a mental illness. He may have been acting like a peremptory dick about the whole thing. Who knows?

      EDIT: Oh wait, he’d been a regular there. Well, probably not then.

      • dead_elvis, inc.

        Read Pinkham’s OTM or old Kitchenette pieces. PLENTY of regulars seem to enjoy being dicks. Being a regular isn’t indicative of customer behavior (despite it being counter-intuitive to most of us to act like a jackass to the people who handle your food).

    • Biff52

      You’ve been gone a long time, TC!

      • Tommmcatt

        I’ve been working on my ventriloquist act.

  • Msgr_Moment

    Late last week, our inbox was deluged with emails asking us to write about a story from the National Post in Canada, our fair neighbor to the North.

    Now you’re just making shit up. That’s like saying there’s anything beyond the four corners of the Earth.

    • Pickwicknext

      There be dragons

      • Skadi

        And wendigos.

        • brittany

          And Ogopogo.

          • Henri205

            And curling.

          • brittany

            There’s nothing to fear from curling. The village elders stash booze in their broomsticks!

          • Henri205

            No wonder my co-workers in Saskatchewan were so enthusiastic about it. Makes sense now.

      • Left Coast Tom

        And poutine

    • Toomush_Infer

      Hey! I’ve been told when I look across Lake Huron, it’s just beyond that….for what it’s worth…

  • arglebargle

    Are you sure this happened in Canada? As I understand it ALL Canadians are polite to a fault and any dispute ends in a friendly bout of hockey.

    • cousin itt

      I am so so so so sorry a thousand apologies for your face running into my hockey stick.

      • dshwa

        On the ice is the exception. It’s where Canadians get to let their mullets down.

    • sincarne

      Noo doot aboot it.

      https://youtu.be/F6u7QSzjWOE

      • Zango LeHoonery

        I like Molsons way too much. I know it’s heresy here on the Wonkette, but Molson Ice is perfect for working on the truck/bike/car. Lot’s of bloody knuckles but you don’t feel the pain.

        • sincarne

          There’s no shame. It’s good “working at the cottage” beer. Bust out the nicer, higher ABV stuff for when you’re not swinging blunt or sharp things.

    • brittany

      You obviously didn’t read the comments section of the hyperlinked National Joke article. We’re assholes.

    • Vienna Woods

      You need to meet some of the students at my school.

  • Wow, as someone with an anxiety disorder that’s been getting worse over time this is…uncomfortably relevant. I’m still not at the point where I’m asking for special accommodations, but then again I tend to only eat out at places I know won’t be crowded.

  • MrBlobfish

    If I could get the seed money, I’d open a restaurant catering to the germaphobic. The servers can wear hazmat suits and rubber gloves.

    • Hutch

      With all the tables in bubbles?

      • proudgrampa

        “Come enjoy your meal at ‘Bubble’s Diner!'”

        • Biff52

          ..

    • Toomush_Infer

      Folks would appreciate the triple intake hosedown…

    • Suttree

      Then serve them T.V. dinners and charge like Per Se.

    • Lance Thrustwell

      And a REALLY detailed menu explaining all the hygiene protocols adhered to by the kitchen!

  • DerrickWildcat

    Only been a couple months and Treudeau or whatever is ruining Canada.

    • Pickwicknext

      This one’s on Ontario with our super lesbian premier

      • cousin itt

        Yeah, keep rubbing it on our face, Canadian sons of a window dresser.

      • Left Coast Tom

        Why did Canada name a province after a suburb of Los Angeles?

    • Nockular cavity

      I’d say “MAKE CANADA GREAT AGAIN,” but I imagine they have some strange way of spelling “great” up there.

      • r m reddicks

        Needs more , “eh?”

      • Biff52

        Greh?t!

        • Skadi

          Gretzky-ate

      • sincarne

        We’d tell you, but we don’t want you straining our strategic U supply.

      • Iron Monkey

        The cheese lobby wants to make Canada grate again.

      • It’s “make Canada great again, eh? Sorry!”

      • brittany

        Nah, we spell it the same…a bar around the corner from me had some fun with it last week:

    • brittany

      Must be all those Liberal judges he appointed to the Ontario Human Rights commission during that time!

  • Hutch

    “It wasn’t until September 2013, after the restaurant came under new
    ownership, that they started to have issues. P.G. apparently suffers
    from post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and
    germaphobia.”

    The issue seems to be this “new ownership.” Did the new owners start listening to their servers about how this customer’s needs were unreasonable? Or were they just dicks? I need more information.

  • TheBidenator

    This could be totally a plot point in a new “Clerks” film…I can’t imagine how Randall Graves would handle it.

    • Jennifer R

      I sure can. Dear Randall is nothing if not predictable.

      • sarcasticcupcakes

        Dante would definitely be accomodating.

  • arglebargle

    Which restroom does he use?

  • If my emotional support gibbon can’t pee and throw his shit where ever he wants, he’s useless to me.

    • Toomush_Infer

      People are always so kind to me when I bring along my bear…

      • I suggested to a policeperson friend of mine they should replace their K9 officers with bears. That’ll show ’em!

  • Lefty Frizzell

    “being sat away from other customers, cleaning the seats thoroughly
    before he sits down, serving his water without a lemon or straw,
    bringing his cutlery on a plate, and serving him his baked potato “how
    he liked””

    I dunno – unless there was something really really “out there” re the potato spec, that just doesn’t sound like it’s very difficult at all to accommodate. Could they not just dub him “Niles Crane” and get on with it?

    • anwisok

      The hardest part would probably be the very first one. Not many restaurants have tables “away from other customers.”

      • brittany

        BRs are usually pretty spacious, and have lots of sections, so when it’s not lunch or dinner (or if it’s, say, Monday), several sections would be empty for him to sit in.

        • bobbert

          Presumably, there are other times when it might not be so easy?

    • The Witch of Endor

      The insistence that his seat be cleaned by staff was ott in my book. Still doesn’t warrant someone implying that cops should shoot him.

    • brittany

      Let’s see…Baton Rouge cutlery already comes wrapped, on a plate (at least it did the few times I’ve gone…overpriced, imo.
      If I’m forking out over 50 bucks for a meal, I damn well expect my potato cooked how I like it, especially if I am a regular that they are expecting to come in and ask for my potato that way. One of the most embarrassing things that happened to me as a server was having to tell a customer that our cook wouldn’t baste her eggs (as opposed to just frying sunny side up) after she had explained how to do it. It was so blatantly obvious that her request was not being met sheerly because he didn’t want to, due to male PMS or something.
      Wiping down the seats is something that is required after many customers, but is often neglected during a rush. If he’s coming at a time where it’s possible to seat him away from the other customers, then it’s not too much to expect a clean seat.
      Oh the horrors of serving water without a lemon or straw!

      The new owner should have either said “I’m sorry, we will no longer be able to accommodate your needs”, or “I’m sorry, but we will only be able to accommodate your needs at these specific times, please book ahead so we can be prepared for you”.

      • ahughes798

        Seriously…how does this guy even live? We are awash in bacteria, or “germs.” If we weren’t, we’d die. We breathe bacteria all day and all night. How does this guy touch door handles? Use a public restroom? Touch other human beings, or animals? Sit in the grass and enjoy nature? I think the guy is being a dick, but so was the manager, so the manager should be fired.

      • bobbert

        I agree with your last paragraph.

        If the manager did indeed say “words to that effect”, there should be some compensation, although in my opinion 12 large is a little rich for an insult.

  • YourNameHere

    I have OCD with germophobia and that guy is ridiculous. That said, what the manager said deserved a law suit.

    • The Witch of Endor

      I’m not a germaphobe but I have my issues and I solved them by not going to places where those issues would need to be accommodated. That’s just me I don’t like having to ask for special treatment. I totally agree that what was said to this person was completely out of line and I would have at least sought redress with the parent company if the manager of the franchise was that much of a dickwad.

    • DemmeFatale

      Maybe you can answer this:
      Why would someone with OCD and germophobia go out?

      • masked mumbler

        Most people, including germophobes, know next to nothing about how germs actually work.

    • berkeleyfarm

      That’s basically it.

  • IknowRIGHT

    Customer is an annoying prick, and the owner/managers epic assholes. I almost kind of view this guy like those people with shell fish allergies that love to eat in seafood restaurants. You want to roll your eyes and say GTFO fool, or I’ll put a shrimp in your cocktail, but you don’t, even though you want to. It’s annoying because the steps you have to go through to avoid cross contamination isn’t worth the hassle.

    • Having worked in the food industry many years ago, it would depend on several things whether or not this guy is an annoying prick. If he tipped well, and didn’t come in during rush times, and developed a relationship with the place, then no, he’s not a prick. Not enough information. But the new owners of the place he went were real douchebags.

  • What I’ve Learned: We Wonketteers are sure passionate about food and restaurants!

    • Jennifer R

      You should see how badly we are taking off the menu leaving

      • I went to the website it’s going to and got caught in that endless circle of purgatory of ‘Create User Account’-‘You Already Have an User Account. Please Log In’ – ‘Account Log In Not recognized-Create User Account’-‘You Already…’

  • tomamitai

    I never, ever complain about anything at a restaurant, because I assume that doing so will result in the staff spitting in or otherwise contaminating the food when they’re out of sight. If it’s not up to my standards, I just never come back. After all, it’s not like there’s no other way to get food and you have to eat in restaurants.

    • proudgrampa

      For me, it’s getting to the point where I just don’t want to eat out anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get where the waitstaff is coming from and unless they are downright rude, I will always tip generously. I just know that I can make a much better, more pleasant meal at home. And I have a very nice wine list…

      • thixotropic jerk

        Great! What time’s dinner?

        • proudgrampa

          Wherever it’s 5 o’clock. And don’t forget to BYOB&B (Booze and Beef).

          AND we’ll put some shrimp on the barbie fer ya!

    • r€nato

      I feel ya… I am pretty hesitant to complain except about minor things or stuff that is completely understandable (e.g., a steak that is far too bloody). I don’t assume that the staff will mess with my food… it’s like dealing with the cops, most cops are OK but you never know if the particular cop you are dealing with is a good cop or a bad cop. I just don’t want to roll the dice that the server I’ve got has an attitude or hates their job so much that they’ll mess with my food even in an instance where most servers would not.

      • Morrigan In Oregon

        I caught your post changing when you edited your post. I love catching that, I don’t know why.

    • No, they won’t. Boogers and cum is only a South Park skit. First of all, if the kitchen is busy, you don’t have time to jack off into the alfredo. Second, there are too many people watching and someone would rat on you.

      • thixotropic jerk

        Not if you have a convenient “Bag-O-Sperm” handy! Saves time AND hands!

        • I do not even want to know where you got that picture. Ewww. Just ewww.

        • Abyss

          Damn… amazon is seriously branching out.

      • Jennifer R

        Also it’s a felony assault charge.

  • DerrickWildcat

    Germs don’t bother me that much because I’m a genuinely filthy person. I think I’m immune to pretty much anything.

    • cousin itt

      That’s what the Martians thought before they went for our water.

      • But nothing could have prepared them for Slim Whitman!

  • hollydturner

    My first thought was – Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets and how it’s not OK to mock someone with a disability, ever!

  • Biff52

    A germophobe who doesn’t want to drink his water through a straw? He’d rather put his lips on the rim of the glass where everyone else has also put their lips and he has not been able to observe or supervise the cleaning of the glass?

    TIPS OR GTFO!

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      He probably waterfalls it.

    • freemdoom

      he didn’t want it served with a straw, meaning I’ll put my own wrapped one in.

      • Biff52

        Okay, but not even implied in the article.

        • brittany

          The server touches the outside of the straw, and it either goes into the drink or it is the part he puts his lips to. The glass goes through a sanitizing wash (part of the health code in Ontario) and the rim is most likely not handled by the server after that. Many restaurants have a saying, the bottom third of the glass is for the server to carry, the rest belongs to the customer.

          • jmhm

            I very much doubt that the gentleman they’re describing would trust any of that over a sealed straw if fear of germs was behind his behavior.

          • Jennifer R

            It’s almost like people with mental health issues aren’t always rational with them.

          • jmhm

            Well, germophobes tend to lean in the direction of not contacting germs. They’re pretty consistent about it, in my experience.

          • BosGrl

            Thank you

          • brittany

            I didn’t read anywhere that their straws are sealed. The customer was simply asking for no straw.

          • jmhm

            Well, we’re both making assumptions about things which weren’t stated in the story. My assumption is that the restaurant uses sealed straws, which is what most restaurants do. Your assumption is that you know what this guy was thinking well enough to be able to presume facts not in evidence.

            Either of us could be right in the abstract.

          • brittany

            Maybe it’s different where you live, but restaurants in Ontario that used wrapped straws are few and far between, I’ve seen them on occasion, but I honestly can’t think of one offhand that does, with the exception of a few fast food chains. Most mid-level restaurants like Baton Rouge put the straw in the drink at the bar before it’s served.
            I was merely positing a reason why a germophobe might feel more comfortable not having a straw. I also doubt most germophobes consider a thin paper wrapper to be an adequate bacterial barrier.

  • Jen_Baker_VA

    I am guessing that said people were regulars because said place was willing to handle the special requests, pain in the butt though they be. He’s eccentric, but he’s a reg, so you deal with it. We have probably all had these customers (though maybe not to said degree).
    I have yet to tell any of them that I hope the cops shoot them.
    Probably why I have not yet been sued….

  • dshwa

    except none of them would be dumb enough to elect Tom Cotton)

    Alberta begs to differ.

  • goonemeritus

    Are those 12,000 dollars ameros or those goofy Canadian notes with someone else’s Queen on them?

    • Mahousu

      12,000 Canadian dollars, aka a buck three eighty.

      • URQ196

        Naw, it’s a buck two fifty.

    • Erik Lonnrot

      It’s the Queen of Canada (as distinct from the Queen of England).

      • SnarkOff

        Ted Cruz is the Queen of Canada.

  • edith prickly

    It’s news to me. However, since I seldom acknowledge the existence of both Oakville and the National Joke, that’s on me. The Joke, of course, reported on this because they think the idea of a human rights tribunal is the gubmint jackbooting over the rights of a loser who runs a faux-fine dining chain franchise to say nasty shit to someone with mental health issues.

  • h4rr4r

    He forgot to add “with Votes”.

    “Now I know why the police shoot crazy people like you, with votes.”
    Problem fixed!

  • I had to do things like this when preparing meals for nursing home residents when I worked as a CNA. It was annoying even in that setting, where those of us serving knew that we’d be dealing with strange requests that we weren’t allowed to say no to. Annoying or not, it certainly would never have been OK to verbally abuse a resident for what, to them, were very real needs and very legitimate requests.

    So, yeah, I’m with you. I could get behind a restaurant not wanting to do all of that stuff, but the way they handled it sounds very not OK.

  • Iron Monkey

    My wife and I were occasional rather than regulars patrons of a restaurant in the Detroit suburbs. We hadn’t been there for about a year because my wife was afflicted with a difficult to diagnose brain disorder. She is recovering but earlier she still had episodes of forgetfulness, confusion, etc. She felt she was well enough to start getting her life back and wanted to have dinner at the restaurant I mentioned.

    We went on a weekday evening so it wasn’t terribly busy. I spoke to the hostess and our waitress, telling them that my wife might seem demanding and abrupt but it was due to some medication she was on (not completely true) and I would appreciate it if they could ignore or deal with it if they could.

    To make a long story interminable, the waitress was delightful, even when my wife dithered while trying to decide what salad dressing she wanted and a couple of other things. I left our usual 20+ percent tip (always round up) and when the waitress came back with our receipt I gave her a twenty for being such a trooper. My wife had a nice time she is still recovering and we dine pretty regularly there. No real point to the story other than I thought of it while reading C.A. Pinkham’s post.

    • JustDon’tSayDittos

      No real point? How about: sometimes non-snark is nice, too. Ups for that!

      • Lamashtar

        Absolutely. My son went through a period of not wanting to cut his hair because he wanted to have hair just like me. So I took him to a salon and had him watch me get trimmed, and explained to the stylist the problem, so she was very accomodating and trimmed his hair the exact same way. I gave her nice tip and thanked her vociferously. It was her graciousness that helped my son the most!

    • jexx

      All the ups for you. Continued recovery to your wife, and thank you for a lovely story.

    • Miss Dill

      You handled everything perfectly…would give you more ups if I could. I echo the other commenter in wishing you and your wife the best.

  • brittany

    If he’s coming when it’s possible to sit apart from the rest of the customers, then, based on the various Baton Rouges I’ve been in, he was not expecting them to accommodate him during the dinner or lunch rush, he was coming during non-meal hours, or maybe Monday nights. I’ve worked in plenty of restaurants that accommodate customers with special needs, and so long as they have the courtesy not to demand the extra time to meet their needs during our busier periods, and stick to the slower ones, we are more than happy to do what we can. In my experience, they are generally the best, most loyal customers we have…the kind that bring you a card at Christmas, or always thank you for doing the extra things that you do. The lawsuit was not actually about whether or not the restaurant accommodated him, with the exception of access for customers with disabilities, they are not obligated to do so. What they are not allowed to do is respond with what is considered hate speech under Canadian law.

    • Abyss

      “What they are not allowed to do is respond with what is considered hate speech under Canadian law.”
      Et voila.
      The customer can be an absolute nightmare… doesn’t matter. Be nice about it.
      Like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse.

  • jmhm

    I don’t believe that someone who was legitimately germophobic would insist on putting their mouth directly on the rim of a glass which has been used an endless number of times and cleaned rather than a sealed, sterile straw they opened themselves.

    Unfortunately, the restaurant put themselves in the wrong, which sucks.

    • brittany

      Who says he drank directly from the glass? The customer just didn’t want their water to come with a straw already in it.

  • The customer was an asshole and the restaurant would have been totally justified in saying, sir, we can no longer accommodate your requests. You’ll have to find somewhere else to dine.

    I see no need to go beyond that. For that manager to say something so stupid? Firing offense.

  • Rick Hill

    I’m thinking it was more grift than an actual person with issues. If he had them, how could he even think of eating in a public place with such demands? Going out a few times would put a squelch on that kind of thing. I wonder how many other restaurants he tried this on.

    • BosGrl

      You really think it was some kind of scam, like “bwahahahaha they shall give me a lemon and they shall PAY”?

      • Rick Hill

        When you put it that way….it does remove the lingering doubts I had….

      • HazooToo

        It’s vaguely possible that he is a horrible customer who made up some or all of his disorders to get people to do things his way. Vaguely. I mean, people lie about celiac disease and life-threatening allergies! But it really doesn’t matter, they lost the high ground when they said what they did to him.

  • Professor LonelyCats

    As someone with PTSD, I assume he was going in at less busy times and it would be at least feasible to accommodate someone who needed to sit away from other customers. Also, he was most likely asking for that because of loud noises, and people sitting behind him. I personally would not do that (and if I was feeling so terrible it couldn’t be avoided, I’d make sure to leave a humongous tip), but I kind of understand why he would ask. Having panic attacks or bursting out crying for no reason in a public setting is not fun, but you also want to feel as normal as possible.

  • Boojum

    Accommodating mental illness is often a pain in the ass. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t need to be a law to require it. The alternative, of course, is that he lives the remainder of his happy life in his home. I’m sure that wouldn’t be a pain in the ass at all.

  • SnarkOff

    #richgermaphobeproblems

  • Lamashtar

    Mm. Used to have a Muslim customer who wanted the traditional 3 handwashings before the pizza guy made the pizza. Manager told him we could only accomodate him in the afternoon when it was slow. (Pizza is supposed to be made in 2 minutes.)

    • jexx

      This is called a compromise, and is fair. I hope that the Muslim customer and the pizza guy were both satisfied with the situation.

      • Lamashtar

        Think so. They weren’t from the US, they were training at the local base in the middle of nowhere, and we got a lot of the foreign Muslim dudes business–even though Dominos is not *cough* famous for good food. If they came in the morning, we could even do it halal, which requires a separate cutting utensil that hasn’t been used on pork products.

  • MrCanoehead

    Mrs Canoehead is very sensitive to chemicals and fragrances (as in, flu-like symptoms if the exposure is to much). So we sometimes need to ask restaurant staff to not use a spray when cleaning nearby tables, or to let us move to another table if someone next to us if starting to much aftershave.

    We’ve never had a bad experience over it. Why? Because we ask politely, and because servers, by and large, are nice people and not assholes.

    • Axomamma

      My favorite Chinese restaurant in the whole world (sadly, closed long ago) cleaned their glass-top tables by pouring the end of the pot of tea left by the previous occupants on the table and swabbing it with leftover cloth napkins. They had the best food. I ate there for more than 20 years. Imagine my shock and horror when the Boston Marathon bombing happened. The first bomb went off right in front of where this restaurant used to be. Their spring rolls were the best I’ve ever had before or since. Their Szechuan string beans were incomparable (great cold, by themselves or thrown into a salad at home the next day!). Their Peking ravioli are still unbeaten. Their hot and sour soup was rich and warm and full of good things. I can taste it now. They had some kind of marinated mung bean sprouts that I adored but have never seen in any other restaurant. Oh, how I miss those days.

      • newsbunny

        Also, three people died.

        • Karen Marie

          Meh, there are more where those came from. A good Chinese restaurant is as rare as hen’s teeth.

  • SeeTrain65

    “Ontario is a province, which is like Canada’s version of a state, except none of them would be dumb enough to elect Tom Cotton”

    They were, however, sufficiently ignorant enough to elect Stephen Harper. O.K., maybe not in Ontario, but elsewhere.

    • sw19womble

      With 38-40% of the popular vote. Trump has been taking notes.

  • Grant Whitford

    The question is if he tipped 50% for the accommodations, if he made it worth it to them, but all means i would encourage his continued patronage.

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