It was a regular night for server Ashley Chiarizzio at Red Robin until she received news from her manager that a customer didn’t want to be served by her.
Twenty-year-old Chiarizzio told News 2, “He told me, ‘She doesn’t like the way you look,’” Chiarizzio explained. “He said, ‘She doesn’t like what you represent—the tattoos, the piercings, hair—she wants a new server.’”
Having worked at Red Robin for almost 11 months, Chiarizzio was used to receiving compliments from customers, not complaints. “I get told all the time that they love my hair, or wish they could pull it off. I also get compared to Joy from ‘Inside Out’ very often, I’ve even adopted it as a nickname at work,” Chiarizzio told Independent Journal Review.
But after Chiarizzio was hurt by the customer’s reaction to her appearance, she took to Facebook to share her thoughts:
“To the lady who refused to let me serve her tonight because you didn’t agree with ‘what I represented’ and ‘how I presented myself’, I just wanted to let you know, while I cried on my drive home, I prayed for you. I pray God over looks your judgement of me, I pray you learn acceptance and tolerance to things you didn’t grow up with, and I pray that you learn someone’s appearance does not affect their ability to work (especially to serve burgers and fries).”
“You did however, light a fire under my butt so now I’m sitting at home with an even brighter blue in my hair, and planning out my next tattoo! All with you in mind. 🙂 I hope you had a great dinner, and enjoyed your night out with your husband,” Chiarizzio continued. “Also.. Might want to avoid restaurants that openly allow their employees to have tattoos, piercings, and “weird” hair. I hear Olive Garden is nice,” said Chiarizzio.
Chiarizzio’s coworkers showed their support by sporting blue hair for her birthday a few days later, and even applying temporary tattoos.
Chiarizzio told IJ Review,
“If I could say anything to the public, it would be to not be so quick to judge my work ethic or ability based on trivial things like hair or tattoos. It’s my little way of showing the world that I’m a free-spirited, colorful person- without having to say a word.”
Since the ordeal, Chiarizzio has been flooded with gifts, money, and a ton of support. She’s also taken something valuable away from the whole experience, saying, “my supporters more than outweigh the non-supporters, and […] I can and should continue to do what makes me happy because I will never be able to please everyone.”
Watch this video of Chiarizzio below and please SHARE her story with your friends and family on Facebook!
[Featured Image: Ashley Chiarrizio / Facebook]