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Monday, June 25, 2018

What if I owned The Red Hen



I’m sure by now we all know of the owner of this restaurant near the nation’s capital, who asked the president’s press secretary to leave the restaurant. The owner was morally opposed to serving the press secretary and her party. The owner described it as an uncomfortable decision and action to uphold her own morals.

What an awkward situation to face, unrehearsed.

Back in the day I owned a business, I had half a dozen occasions to send children and adults from my booth. Unescorted children generally were told publicly; they often needed additional instruction on where to find the exit and how far to go.

Invariably there would be a return call, a parent with a blubbering, wailing child, demanding to know what I had done to their child. I seldom addressed the parent, only the child. We went outside, and I said “Tell your mother what you did.” I would count off a few more loud wails, then say to the parent, “I think you should leave. When your child has calmed down and thought through the behavior, I’m sure they will tell you.”

Only once was there retribution. I did not know the mother of the child who thought she could stand on my spinning wheel was on the board of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I was never invited back to their art show. I’ve always felt the value of the story outweighed any personal loss on my part.

My technique was good, old fashioned shaming. It’s among the ways we teach children to understand the morals of the adults in their world. For better or for worse, it seems.

I believe I would have told my staff to continue service, though they could skip the small “I hope you’re having a good evening!” chat. On arriving, I would have invited Ms. Sanders into the hall and explained the staff was waiting on them as a courtesy, at her request. 

All of them find Ms. Sanders morally offensive. She and the staff consider Ms. Sanders contemptable for condoning the president’s behavior to immigrants and children.

Therefore, Ms. Sanders could consider tonight’s service and meal as their cake at a very gay wedding. They could have it, and eat it too, if they wished. And I would have led her back to the table and been gone.

In truth, the owner barely misstepped. She certainly was within the law of the land. I know from experience, you need practice dealing with these situations, and you must know how to turn the ball of anxiety churning in the pit of your stomach into a hardball.

When I returned to the booth after such an episode, invariably the other customers were discussing the incident loudly enough for the retreating parent to hear. I think the barrage of tweets and remarks on her return would have sent Ms. Sanders, etal, from The Red Hen.


43 comments:

  1. In the world of the WH, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." only applies to black, brown, any other minority of our choice, lgbtq, non-evangelical....It certainly, in their minds (if they have them), can't be applied to supporters of the current regime.

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  2. Carol's comment is so very right. Except that I doubt that the minority expelled got the courtesy of an explanation.

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    1. I just read the president said they know where all the children are and will return their child to anyone who leaves. Dystopia!

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    2. I read that too, that they will get their children back if they give up their appeal for asylum and leave. only I don't think they know where and who belongs to who. I also read one of the DNA outfits is donating hundreds of DNA kits so they can match parents with children because they made no effort to retain that information. and some of these kids are as far away as NY and Minnesota.

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  3. Refusing service for behaviour is different from refusing service because of who someone is. It would be hard to do what the Red Hen owner did but it was her right for sure. You did the right thing too with the unruly children. Not easy though I imagine!

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  4. I like your solution; however, someone was not within the law of the land, and her name is Sarah Sanders. She used her White House account to complain about the restaurant. That's illegal, and I'm sure nothing will happen to her because of it.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Like the Museum board member, she "got even". She won't pay for it.

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    2. no she did not use her account, she responded to someone who called her out for being sent out of the restaurant

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    3. She used her official White House account to do it, which is a breach of ethics.

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    4. you are wrong about that Linda. she did and it wasn't a reply as jenny says. go to her twitter account. it's right there at the top.

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  5. With all the hiding behind Facebook and Twitter, it must come as a real shock to face consequences for your actions in real life.

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  6. Hari om
    The news which prompts this post is unknown to me, but the principle behind it is fully appreciated! YAM xx

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  7. I read that many single male White House staffers are complaining as well that Washington women won't date them. Gee, I wonder why?

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  8. I think I would have served her but...I would probably have spit in her soup.

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  9. I'm surprised Ms.Sanders had any appetite after this week's work.

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  10. Your spinning wheel could easily be mistaken by a child as a toy to stand on, the parent in charge clearly was at fault for not explaining to the child that your event was not a child's playground. As for giving Sarah the boot- whatever works, She was lucky to get out of there without vegetables or pies being thrown. It was a polite dismissal

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    1. Linda, she was a pre-teen who had to elbow me aside to stick her foot in the flying wheel. It actually was the last time I demonstrated; children had become too entitled.

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    2. You needed scythes on the wheel...

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    3. I demonstrated the first ten of my twenty odd years. Toward the end the both my wheel and my loom brought out the worst in children. One young fellow even landed a karate chop on my travelling flyer, which moved at a far, far greater speed than a conventional flyer. He cracked it, which I could repair. I fear he had a broken finger; he raced away, clutching his right hand and I did not see him again.

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  11. I just read that the critic in charge disparaged, on Twitter, the owner of the restaurant. Of course, that was expected since he must have nothing else to do. She might lose some clients but will get many more.

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  12. My feelings are contrary to many. If I own a business it means I am there to serve the public in some way. I should treat everyone with courtesy and a smile. The only exceptions would be if the customer is causing a disturbance of some sort.
    I have no right to refuse service on the basis of political, religious, ethnic, racial, or any other bias. It is not up to me to dictate how a person conducts his/her own personal life just as they have no right to dictate to me. My personal views have to take a step back from business concerns.
    In the case of the children who regarded you booth as a playground you were right to correct them and send them on their ways. Not only is it a safety issue but you have money invested in the equipment and merchandise. No one has a right to mistreat your space either.
    I can hate what a person does and stands for without becoming what it is that I hate. I want to be the good example.
    What I am hoping is that in two years we will no longer have to deal with these despicable "people".

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  13. not only did the owner ask her to leave but then she followed her and her family across the street to harass her some more, figures since she is the niece of Meryl Streep, about what we would expect from a so called movie star's family, as if we care about her opinion, shooting Steve Scalise at a baseball game, putting a decapitated burnt carcass of an animal on the doorstep of a DHS employee, harassing Kirstjen Nielsen at her condo, wonder what a restaurant will do when a Trump staffer is black, are they going to send them out of the restaurant? this is the same thing as the did to blacks in the 50s, no blacks allowed, now it's no republicans allowed, or no Trump staff allowed, this border things is ludicrous, Obama separated almost 90,000 families, where was the outrage then? Pam Bondi AG of Florida, spit on at a movie theatre, this is discrimination pure and simple, political discrimination and it is troubling and should be criminal. And where are all these protestors coming from, it all happens during the day, why don't they have jobs, who is paying them to disrupt civil society? this is not free speech, it is intimidation and bordering on violence. good for Sarah Sanders, when they go low, we go high, she left quietly and with decorum; when something like this happens, I always try to imagine how I would feel if the same thing was done to me. What if a restaurant had done this to one of Obama's staff, what would folks say then ? I propose that it wouldn't have been stood for, there you have your answer on the double standard in this country from the media and liberal supporters. Now Maxine Waters is demanding that everyone harass all staff, practically suggesting violence to happen. comment above "she was lucky to get out of there without vegetables or pies being thrown" "I would have spit in her soup" so polite, so accepting, so tolerant, so human. oh brother, just like in the 80s when folks were putting nails in trees to stop loggers, and ice picking car tires that were deemed gas hogs, at the time I drove a 54 DeSoto that was all I could afford, do you think I dared drive it to Berkeley? only to a paid parking lot where I worked; even though I could little afford it because I could park on the street for free but didn't dare. These people are your fellow citizens you all are talking about, human beings just doing their jobs and trying to live peaceably. They are just like you.

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    1. Linda, they are not just like me. Enough said. A major difference between the two of us is I do not use your blog as my bully pulpit. This is not the first time I've asked you back off. If you come back again with generally unsubstantiated claims, I will block you from commenting.

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    2. what is unsubstantiated? Mike Huckabee said himself this evening that the red hen owner gathered a crowd to harass Sarah's relatives after they left the restaurant (by the way Sarah and her husband left and went home they were so mortified at the whole situation); Pam Bondi is on the news tonight telling about being harassed at the theatre surrounded by three towering men, protestors on the news tonight are shown at the doorstep of Kirstjen Nielson shouting at her, Maxine Waters tape is all over the news; news reported the decapitated animal on the doorstep today, this is all in the news, obama separation and deportation stats are in the federal government stats. Berkeley happened when I was living there and so did the tree episodes in California and Oregon. if I comment and agree to diss Sarah is that ok? I only speak the truth and I am not using your blog as a bully pulpit, just pointing out examples of why I think certain types of behaviors are not civil and should be discouraged. civil discourse is freedom, otherwise we are not free, which is the whole point of my comment, being free to tell the other side of the story and put forth the truth.

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    3. Hi, Linda. I lived in Berkeley for over a decade and still live very nearby... DeSotos would be marveled at not attacked, let me assure you.

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    4. maybe now but not then in the 1980s, SUVs tires were slashed regularly on the streets of Berkeley

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    5. Did you live here back then? Moe's bookstore is still around, if you can believe it.

      The closest thing to an SUV in the 80s was probably the Chevy Suburban. My buddy had an old Scout. We regularly parked off of Telegraph. No issues.

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    6. the only place I find that reported, that she was followed and harassed, is from right wing 'news' sites that don't let the truth get in the way of their reporting. if this was true it would have been included in the mainstream news (and no, Fox does not qualify). we used to have anti-discrimination laws until Trump but as usual they didn't expect that they would be the target, just the gays and the not white enough people and those brazen hussies who want birth control. you conveniently omit the thousands of verbal and physical attacks on citizens who are minding their own business shopping or just walking down the street by Trump supporters like the latino working for a lawn company just doing his job and being disrespected by the home owner calling him a criminal and rapist because Trump says so. there are hundreds of videos just like it. sorry, when the chicken comes home to roost you don't get to cry about disrespect.

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    7. I do not think it was the fact that Sanders works for Trump. Or is a Republican. I think it was her general attitude on display at the press conferences. Scorn, derision, no respect for the reporters at all. Remember what she said about "short sentences"? Amazing how some people seem to wear glasses that filter out all they would rather not be aware of!!

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    8. I think it was Sarah, herself, who went home and Tweeted on her official account (which is very unethical) that made this into the big deal it is today. I stand behind this particular business owner. I do not support what Maxine Waters is calling for but I certainly understand it. I, myself, have Trump fatigue.

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  14. An ironic and hypocritical reaction by Sanders and the White House. Trump and many of his staff and supporters are not being decent or fair. Their response to being called out on it is to be even less decent and less fair.

    Your approach at the shows seems like the best one to me.

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  15. Huckabee Jr sought fit to bring attention to her night out by tweeting from her official account about her having been asked to leave by the Red Hen. We are so far from the realm of 'normal' I find this things difficult to both talk about and understand. Of course, The Donald had to chime in with nasty comments about the restaurant. -don't think he's ever visited, do you?

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  16. If Trump were only a pathological liar, that in itself would be enough for me to abandon him and his ilk. Add the other multitudes of behavioral disorders and deficits and, well, there you are. It leads to the breakdown of civility, society. What do you expect? He started it. History will not be kind to him.

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  17. I wonder what those two African-American guys who were booted from the Starbucks thought of the Sanders incident. Now that the thought popped up in my head. Did Donny John ever make a statement on the Starbucks incident?

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    1. Thanks, Bill. I considered mentioning them, but used the cake instead, marginal coward I am.

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  18. I hadn't heard about that episode. Possibly it was on the news last night, but I missed it by forgetting to pause my dvd movie.

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  19. I'm right behind the restaurant owner. As far as I know, she's perfectly entitled to turn away a customer she finds morally repugnant or in some way objectionable. And Sarah Sanders' attitudes are pretty repugnant.

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  20. I am proud to say that my local pub refused to serve Nigel Farage (right wing instigator of BREXIT) so long as he had a camera crew with him. He went outside and conducted the interview on the pavement, during which a local made a rude gesture behind his back. The clip was shown on national TV that night.

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  21. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If it's perfectly alright to not bake a cake, then this is a similar situation. Not that it's perfectly alright to not bake a cake, but they think it is.

    BTW, there is a restaurant of the same or similar name in Ontario that has received a pummeling from the right-wing brainiacs on FB.

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  22. I detest ALL these "refuse to serve" incidents and wish they were illegal. However, until they are it is probably good for straight white people to experience what it feels like to be disrespected and denied service simply because the owner doesn't "like" or "approve" of them.

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  23. it's a tough call. I was self employed for 40 years and I did work for people whose behavior and beliefs I didn't like but that was before Trump and the wave of outright discrimination and hateful taunts perpetuated by his kind. I don't think she has a right to complain or feel discriminated against since this administration OKs the same treatment towards others. I think she lucked out actually, being asked politely to leave. if the employees had been made to serve her, her food might have come with a little extra from someone. and as I noted above, they can't complain when their chickens come home to roost.

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  24. Their manager rocks! Thanks to their great team, I'm so happy I chose this venue for my event! I had a great time at rental spaces for parties and think the atmosphere is as good as it gets. I will be astonished if I ever find a negative review on these guys.

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  25. I think it is Trump who has invited this sort of behavior in people. He is despicable.

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