We love to see a story with a happy ending. This news story from Miami’s CBS affiliate tells of a couple who felt unfairly stereotyped, but ended up making it into a teaching experience.
Lorinda Gonzalez and Israel Diaz are a married couple in Florida who own a business and lead active lifestyles. One key to this story is that they both use wheelchairs. Lorinda has a form of muscular dystrophy and Israel was born with spina bifida.
The two went to El Toro Loco Churrascaria food truck in Miami. After they had enjoyed their Brazilian Steakhouse-style meal, they were disappointed to see what was written on the receipt. At the top it said “Name: Chair.”
Israel and Lorinda were frustrated at being reduced to their disability. Lorinda put it this way: “This is the type of stuff we deal with all the time. At the same time, it’s upsetting. Why do they define us as just a chair instead of a person?”
Israel said, “I think the misconception is that people with disability keep taking from society.”
“I was just surprised at the ignorance,” Lorinda added.
When the news crew talked to the owner of the business, she was surprised to hear there was a problem. She had always described customers based on their appearance, describing them by their clothing, for example. “If they took offense, I really apologize, but it wasn’t meant in that manner. And if that’s the case, then I’ll make sure it doesn’t occur again.”
Oftentimes people don’t realize the struggles that others go through on a daily basis, the struggle just to be treated as a human being. We think this food truck owner handled this with compassion and professionalism.
In the end Lorinda and Israel were able to communicate their frustration with people treating them as less than human, and the owner of the food truck invited them back so she could apologize in person. We hope they go back to get some tasty Brazilian food and an apology. Win-win!