So I wrote about this last night just after it happened on another subreddit, and was advised by many of the comments to post here for some clarity on what recourse we could actually seek from this.
I won't be writing out the whole incident again in as much detail as before, but if anyone reads my earlier post and thinks I've missed out something crucial, I'll be happy to edit the post.
My boyfriend and I went out for lunch yesterday at a restaurant we have dined at before. My boyfriend is a diagnosed celiac and has been for many years, and when this place was recommended to us originally we were told the restaurant has specific gluten free items, and a specific area where such food was prepared to avoid cross contamination. We had a great time, and checked online before going back again yesterday and saw there were no complaints about people being 'glutened'. We arrived and ordered our meals, with my boyfriend specifically ordering a gluten free appetizer and entree, something that the waitress stated would come with a different sauce than advertised as the usual sauce was made in the general area of the kitchen and as such could be contaminated.
We have no issues until the entrees come, when my boyfriend is served a dish of pasta with the advertised sauce. The waitress thinks that there's been a mix up in the kitchen, and comes back a minute later to say that someone else has received his gluten free pasta and the kitchen were rushing out a new order. She said she'd comp our appetizers and try to get us a free dessert, something she'd have to check with the shift manager on first. We see her go over to someone we assume is the manager, and then minutes later the manager storms over and asks us what kind of scam we're pulling. She says that the pasta was definitely gluten free, and we tell her that because of my boyfriend's celiacs we were told that the normal sauce wasn't safe and were waiting on a new dish with a new sauce. She started to complain about fad eating and sensitive customers (something we attributed to us being young and therefore 'millennials'). The waitress came over with the new dish with the new sauce, but the manager snatched it from her and started to walk it back into the kitchen saying that the 'precious table' couldn't be served something that she hadn't checked. She came back a few minutes later with what we assumed was the same dish and wouldn't give it over to my boyfriend initially, sarcastically asking if she wasn't us to drag away the chef from their job and tell us ourselves it was safe. We said it was fine, and rushed to finish so we could get out of there, probably finishing our meals in about 10 minutes.
We flagged down our original waitress and asked for the check. She was a little while, and when she came back to us she looked like she'd seen a ghost. She told us that she'd gone back to the kitchen to check on another order, and noticed a pasta dish that looked exactly like the one my boyfriend had eaten sitting on the side. She asked if it needed to go out, and was told that it was the one the manager had brought back about 15 minutes before. The waitress said that she thought it had been brought back out to the customer, but was told that the manager had only come in and asked the chef working with pasta dishes to simply drain some normal, gluten-containing pasta and serve it with the gluten free sauce (my boyfriend had ordered a tortellini style dish and there was a similar one on the regular menu, so he wouldn't have noticed by appearance or taste alone).
The waitress had comped all of the food on our check, but I insisted that we paid for my dishes, and tipped her well over the average, just in case she was penalised for the manager's mistakes. She went above and beyond what was necessary by telling us the truth to help us in preparing for my boyfriend's future 'glutened' state.
My boyfriend started having a reaction just before we got home, and spent the rest of the evening locked in the bathroom having a serious response to eating a whole bowl of gluten. As of this morning the worst is over, but he is still having serious stomach pains that will be occurring for the next few weeks at the very least.
On my original post, I was given many different types of advice; I was told to both post and not post a scathing review, to sue and not sue the restaurant, and to get the police involved over a 'poisoning' incident or just go all vigilante on the manager. As I have been looking after my boyfriend all night, I have not been able to research any further, legal ways of dealing with this. As a note, my boyfriend has not and will not be going to the ER or doctor about this - we already have everything we could possibly need to manage this, and it would simply be wasting time and money. However, if people advise that we need medical 'proof', we will be happy to pursue that.
TL;DR - My celiac boyfriend was purposely 'glutened' by an irate manager who didn't believe he needed a specialist meal, who and what should we pursue to get this manager fired and the restaurant investigated?
I am a small-time Landlord, with just 4 tenants. Earlier this year, I had two sisters that didn't respond to my requests to add of the gal's husband to the lease, though he was living with them. Not a BIG deal... but did I mention the pit bull they also brought home, without permission? I DO allow pets, and had previously approved their other dog. I asked nicely in person and by email in the months leading up to the malicious compliance...
They also did not respond when I asked if they were happy there, and wanted to renew their lease for the following year. I asked again... Then I emailed them notice that I would start showing the unit 2 days later.
I try to be a nice Landlord... I do. They had a newborn, as well, so I scheduled all of the showings within a 2 hour window on the same night so I could be in their space as little as possible. Also, because they had not responded, and it was now serious "crunch time" for getting another tenant and my spouse worked all the following two weeks during evening showing hours, I had the delightful inconvenience of bringing my 2 and 6 year old children with me to the showings. Because I'm not a corporation - I'm a small-time family Landlord with kids.
Try to imagine how difficult it is to conduct business meetings with 2 kids, right? Then imagine staggering showings every fifteen minutes, with prospective tenants who are also bringing their own kids. Just to further clutter your imagination, this is an 800 square foot 2 bedroom apartment with a cozy entryway. So I arrive with my two kids, to find that my tenants are still at home, along with the husband, the newborn and the other sister's boyfriend. So that's 7 people in a small kitchen already. Then the first prospective tenants start arriving. Husbands, wives, with kids, and some showing up early so there's two sets of them. That's 14 people in a small kitchen...
And I'm a mom. I have magical powers. So I'm holding my toddler, my daughter is safely under the dining table coloring, and I'm chatting with the prospective tenants and directing traffic while my actual tenants prepare to depart. If you didn't know this already, it's common practice in the US to leave the premises during real estate or apartment showings. This was their first apartment, so I actually emailed them ahead of time to let them know what is generally expected at showings (e.g. a relatively tidy apartment, and that they can leave, for their own convenience).
They do eventually leave, after the boyfriend tells a prospective tenant that he, in fact, ALSO lives there. And I carry on with an exhausting scheduling of showings. And have my new tenants all picked out and lease signed by the next day. Awesome, right?
The next night, I get a voicemail from the husband (who is NOT my tenant). I saved it, and just listed to it again, because it still gives me that same delightful shiver of malicious compliance.. In his voicemail, he told me how awful it was that MY children touched HIS infant's things (they didn't, because I keep my kids entertained with magical mommy toys, but prospective tenants also brought children), and how they had to sterilize everything to keep their infant from being sick, and how inconvenient it was to have showings with only 2 days notice, and how very unprofessional I was to bring my children, and asked if I could just be more professional in the future.
You can hear it, can't you? The deep shiver of malicious compliance vibrating through my offended being.
The next morning, I started issuing professional Lease Violation Notices. One for the extra residents of the unit (hubby and boyfriend). One for the extra dog. And a few additional ones for building concerns I noted during the showings.
They ignored the violation notice, which I sent by certified mail and, thoughtfully, also by email. I decided to be even more professional 30 days later, and issue a 5-day notice to vacate. And I called their mom, who is their emergency contact, as an eviction notice IS an emergency. Did I mention that their lease was due to end just a few weeks later? But it would be unprofessional of me to let these violations slide until then..
Three days later, they'd magically sent me all the information I'd requested, removed the other dog, licensed the first dog, gotten the required pet insurance...
They moved out on their lease termination date. And skipped out on their last electric bill, and left the unit in damaged condition. Despite my professional security deposit disposition statement and request for payment, they ignored those notices, until I stated I would proceed to small claims court by X date for the total due BEYOND their security deposit. On X date, they replied stating they "didn't think it was fair" that they should have to cover damages to the unit, or "pay any more money" toward their utility bill.
Yep. Two months later, there we were in the lobby of the court house, sitting across from each other on uncomfortable waiting-room benches. They're laughing among themselves about how they're going to get their full security deposit back. And I'm quietly reviewing my presentation notes to the judge and my sizable stack of evidence, photographs, videos.... this was my first time in court, but I wasn't laughing. I was preparing.
One hour later, we're back in the lobby and their mom is trying to write me a check for the full amount of the judgement. She doesn't have a pen. Her kids don't have a pen. I, however, have a pen. I cheerfully offer my pen. She writes the check and hands it to me, and... wait.... I hold my out my hand again. Got my pen back too.
I was so proud of myself for not saying any of the sassy things in my head in that moment. You know why? Because I was being professional, as I'd been from the moment he'd left that voicemail.
As a last note, I do acknowledge that it would have been better if I hadn't brought my children. However, if you have kids, you'll understand that sometimes, they simply have to go where you go.
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