Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Steak and Shake Denies Service
After picking my youngest son up from school, we decided to grab some shakes at the local Steak and Shake before heading over to the middle school to pick up Lauren.
I went through the empty drive through and drove past the speaker. After waiting a few minutes at the window, I finally honked the horn and waited some more. After a second honk a few minutes later, a young man appeared.
"Hi! I didn't order back there as I can't hear," I said, pointing to my ear. "I'd like two small shakes, one vanilla and one chocolate."
"You'll have to drive around again so I can take your order through the speaker," the guy said.
"I can't hear back there, so I'll need you to take my order here," I explained.
"No, it's our policy. You'll have to just drive around and tell me your order and then I can take your order."
"I can't use the speaker, which is why I'm at the window giving you my order here!" I started raising my voice a little, as I was getting frustrated at the hoops he was putting me through.
So I told him about the Americans with Disabilities Act and I explained that taking orders through the window is an accommodation that I need because I can't use the speaker to place an order.
He kept insisting that orders need to be taken at the speaker. "If you had just let me know at the speaker that you needed accommodations then I could take your order through the window."
"But I'm DEAF! I can't hear on the speaker! When I drove up, the first thing that I told you was that I couldn't order back there because I can't hear through the speaker."
"No, you didn't tell me that," he said. "If you had told me about your disability then I could have accommodated you."
I sat there flabbergasted. I was getting more upset by the minute. All I wanted was the dang shakes! Then another car pulled up behind us.
"Look, if you're not going to take my order, I'm going to file a complaint and let the corporate office know about this."
"Well, I can call the cops on you for disrupting the business and holding up the drive thru."
"You're going to call the cops on me? I'm just trying to get service here!"
"I'm done with you." He abruptly shut the window, threw up his hands and walked away.
Good gosh, did that guy have any idea what he just did? Denying me and my son service simply because we couldn't use the speaker for an order?
I wasn't finished with him. Oh no. I beckoned him to open the window again. He looked at me with an air of superiority and opened it.
"I'll need to take down your name and your supervisor's name." I was surprised that he willingly gave that information. He took his name tag off and held it up for me to see. Then I realized something--he wasn't taking me seriously. He figured I was just playing with him.
So I lifted up my hair and showed him my hearing aids. The look on his faced changed a bit. I guess it started to sink in that even though I speak well, I wasn't kidding about being deaf. You would think at that point, he would graciously return to "serve the customer" mode and take my order.
He still didn't. I explained to him that I was going to call the corporate office and let them know that I was being refused service. "Go ahead, call them," he said. "You will need to leave, you are holding up the line."
And he closed the window again.
Steak and Shake, you'll be hearing from me.