It’s been said that not all heroes wear capes. Or spandex. Some are just owners of a pizza place.
The owner of Pizza Inn in Greenville, South Carolina showed her hero colors when she turned a rude customer’s suggestion on its ear.
It happened one Sunday when a customer asked one of the employees to refill the salad bowl. The employee is Ryan Mosley and he has Down Syndrome. The customer complained.
“My manager explained to him the situation privately, ‘That’s not his job. We’ve trained him to do this and there are special circumstances,’ and the customer was still not happy.” said the owner.
The customer suggested that they post a sign warning customers about their employees with special needs.
That’s when Amanda Cartagine, owner of the beloved Pizza Inn, took offense.
“These are like my kids, and it made me angry. I wanted to do something that was not rude, but got my point across,” she said.
Amanda Cartagine takes pride in her staff. She actually thinks of them as her kids! Her staff is diverse in that around 60% of her employees have special needs.
“If you have the patience to let them take their time and learn at their pace, when the light bulb comes on, they are unstoppable.” she said.
It’s people like Cartagine who can change the world by taking the time and effort to help others in need.
“Some of us have different color hair, some of us have tattoos, some of us have different walks or personalities, but as a unit, we are family.” Cartagine says.
Cartagine was angry and protective of her employees. She took the customer’s suggestion of posting a warning and decided to change it in an inspiring way. Talk about awesome.
She posted a sign alright. But unlike the customer’s rude warning, this was a notice full of kindness and heart.
The sign was a big hit in the community.
The newly posted sign read,
“We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire all of God’s children.”
The note created a swelling of pride for Cartagine, her employees, and her customers.
And does Cartagine care what the complaining customer thinks of this new sign?
“If he is not OK with that, then I’m OK with him not coming back.” said Cartagine. “That’s a dollar that I don’t need.”
The employee is Ryan Mosley. He started working at the Pizza Inn over the summer and has excelled in Cartagine’s kind and loving environment. His mom, Angie, said that Ryan loves getting his paychecks.
“He loved the fact that he has money in the bank and he can actually go buy his favorite video game.” Angie said.
Angie Mosley is very proud of her son’s achievements. Of course this mom was upset when she heard about the complaint. Not all businesses take the time and effort to hire people with special needs.
“We parents with special needs (children) are always faced with breaking down barriers, stigmas, teaching other people that our children are more like them, than different.” said Mosley.
This is a business worth supporting. Amanda Cartagine runs a caring and compassionate pizza joint that rises above and beyond the norm. Her example puts many business owners to shame and really challenges even ordinary people to be better.
Ryan’s mom hopes that the sign will spur people on to be more open-minded.
Watch how this femme fatale countered the attack in the video below!
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