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Patron is called 'uncivilized and unhygienic' at restaurant, gets waiter fired. AITA?

Patron is called 'uncivilized and unhygienic' at restaurant, gets waiter fired. AITA?


When you're at a restaurant and your waiter is rude to you, should you say something? When this patron is furious with his waiter's behavior, he asks Reddit:

'AITA for getting a waiter fired because he accused me of being 'unhygienic and uncivilized?'

So I (32M) am an Indian living in the US, I recently moved to this country and have just been settling in.

Two days ago I went to a restaurant owned by a friend of mine who is also Indian. The restaurant serves authentic Indian cuisine and I really needed that familiar meal since I've been feeling very homesick since I got here.

In the restaurant I ordered a rice dish called biryani and it looked and tasted exactly like the biryani I'd get back home, and it honestly made me a bit emotional that I had to eat it with just my hand (no spoon or other cutlery) exactly as I would do if I were in India.

My hands were clean and sanitized and I was being neat and unhurried in the way I ate. I didnt think anyone noticed it since it is an Indian restaurant with a lot of Indians/desi people.

But few minutes into my meal a waiter walked upto me and asked me if my spoon was dirty and if I needed one, I said no, it's not, and then he sort of just stared at me, and I realized his question probably had something to do with me eating with my hand, I just kinda smiled and said.

'Where I come from they say eating with your hand makes the food tastier,' and went back to eating. He then said, 'Well where I come from that's unhygienic so please use a spoon for the rice.'

I was very surprised and insulted, I told him that was incredibly rude and he should mind his own business. The waiter went away looking mad, and I didn't hear from him after that. I finished my meal with my hand, cleaned up and then thanked the waiter who was actually serving me, paid + tipped him and left.

Yesterday my friend called me to ask how the food in his restaurant was and if I enjoyed it, I obviously told him I loved it, but then I couldn't help but mention the tiny incident that happened, my friend was appalled and said he was gonna fire him, he said the waiter was a very new hire too so he wasn't completely trained...

but he couldn't afford hiring someone racist in a place where a lot of Indians would come. I thought that's perfectly understandable and didn't really say anything else.

I told this whole story to one of my friends and he said while it was an insulting and rude thing to do, it's not something that should warrant firing and I shouldn't have mentioned it to my friend, the owner, since service workers have very hard jobs anyway and there’s no need to make their lives harder. so now I'm confused AITA?

Let's see what Redditors had to say on this one.

stoatking writes:

NTA. All you did was tell your friend what happened. If the guy gets fired, thats on your friend, the restaurant owner. And he should be fired imo. Waiting staff that are rude to customers are a liability.

SMTRodent writes:

NTA. The restaurant owner knows what sort of atmosphere he wants, and who he wants to serve, and you really, really helped him to not have a rogue employee drive away exactly the customers he wants to attract.

There will always be people who tell you 'don't make a fuss' even if someone cuts your arm off. Honest reporting isn't being an asshole and the server was already an asshole spoiling your nice meal for no reason.

fastyellowtuesday writes:

NTA. I lived in India for two years. I eat Indian food with my hands (ok, just the right hand) no matter where I am.

I'd lose half my enjoyment immediately if I were required to use forks and spoons. Indian restaurants are some of the only places it's culturally accepted to eat with your hands.

I would be FURIOUS if someone told me to use a spoon in an Indian restaurant. I would absolutely complain whether or not I knew the owner.

Anyone who works in an Indian restaurant for more than a day and doesn't know it's ok to eat Indian food with your hands is an idiot (has he never watched someone use bread to scoop curry??) and not the person you want involved in that cultural experience.

He can go work in a diner if he wants customers to adhere to US manners/ customs.

(It was rude af to call the way a customer eats unsanitary, even if it actually had been, which this was not.)

Looks like OP is NTA. What would YOU have done in this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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