It was a normal evening at the Red Robin in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., when waitress Ashley Chiarizzio encountered a scenario that was altogether new to her. Chiarizzio's manager approached her and let her know that one of the customers in her section had requested a new server. The request wasn't made because Chiarizzio had been rude or another viable reason—it was because Chiarizzio has blue hair and tattoos.
“[My manager] told me, ‘She doesn’t like the way you look,'” Chiarizzio explained to WKRN. “He said, ‘She doesn’t like the way you represent – the tattoos, the piercings, hair – she wants a new server.'”
Given how accepted tattoos have become in this country it's difficult to believe that someone would be so offended by Chiarizzio's appearance that they would request a new waitress. And if hearing this story makes you lose a little faith in humanity we wouldn't blame you, but the response from Red Robin and Chiarizzio's fellow employees should restore it. Almost immediately Red Robin released a statement explaining that tattoos and colored hair are allowed under their dress code. Shortly after Chiarizzio's coworkers put blue streaks into their hair and donned fake tattoos to support their coworker.
Instead of losing her temper and getting angry at the customer—and who would blame her for being pissed—Chiarizzio took the high road as she posted about the incident in a Facebook post. "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," the post reads. "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).”
Instead of feeling ashamed of her appearance, which is clearly what the customer intended by shunning her, Chiarizzio is embracing who she is. "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!" The post says. "All with you in mind. :) I hope you had a great dinner, and enjoyed your night out with your husband.”
We admire both Chiarizzio and her coworkers for handling the uncomfortable situation with such aplomb. We also can't wait to see what sort of tattoo Chiarizzio has in mind!