Chris Tuttle was assisting as a cashier last Saturday at Wegman’s grocery, where he’d worked for seven years. As he was checking out a customer, she became angry at the speed with which he was performing his job. She proceeded to berate him loudly then left in the middle of the transaction to find a manager at whom she could scream. As horrible as this would have been no matter who the cashier was, it was even more awful because Chris has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.
Chris became so upset that the dropped a candle she was purchasing, shattering it on the floor.
Chris is not a regular cashier, but was assisting because it was especially busy. The manager, realizing Chris was upset, took him off the register immediately, but the experience haunted Chris until much later. According to his sister, Jamie Tuttle-Virkler, Chris described the incident ten hours later, as though it had just happened. “To hear him tell the story, your heart will break,” she wrote.
Jamie posted of the incident on her Turtle Landing Retreat Facebook page, asking that anyone who encountered her brother offer him some kind words to cheer him up:
Do you know this guy Chris Tuttle? If you do, I need you to give him a shout out! He is my little brother and yesterday at Wegmans, a customer yelled at him and then in the middle of her transaction, left to complain loudly to a manager, came back to his line and he was so shaken, dropped a candle she bought on the ground and it shattered. Luckily the manager took him off register immediately because clearly he was upset. The customer’s problem? Chris was checking her out…TOO SLOW and she was furious. She yelled at him, the manager and anyone else who would listen.
Do you know Chris? He has Asperger’s syndrome. He is the happiest guy you will ever meet-I say that because if you know him, if you have seen him at Wegmans, if he has helped you load your car with groceries, if he has helped you find popcorn on aisle 13, if he has checked you out on aisle 12, if he has taken your trash from the café or if he has mopped the floor after you’ve spilt a jar of pickles-then you already know that and I need you to let him know. Is he slow? Yes, probably. But as the manager explained to the woman yesterday, cashier isn’t his primary job. He gets called to cashier when Wegmans is busy, so they put him on cashier to HELP out.
What this woman doesn’t know is that 10 hours later, Chris told me the story as if it just happened, he was just as stressed and just as upset. She has no idea how damaging her actions were…to one person. Part of Asperger’s is the inability to move on, to not be able to wrap his mind around the fact that this woman isn’t worth it. To hear him tell the story, your heart will break. He doesn’t understand why someone would be so nasty to him and for him, he takes it personal.
After much discussion with the whole family last night, he doesn’t get that some people are just like that. Some people are just unaware of how their actions effect others and how their rudeness needs to be ignored and that it has nothing to do with him. I tell him all the time, some people will “get you” and some won’t. The people that “get you” those people are your friends, focus your energy there.
Hugs and kisses to Wegmans for employing him for 7 years, for giving him a chance, for giving him a life, a job to look forward to everyday and understanding managers, despite his disabilities. xoxo
Chris deserves better and if he’s ever put a smile on your heart, could you let him know? Could you leave a comment or the next time you go to Wegmans, could you tell him? I want him to have a better day
The post has over 84,000 “likes”, over 13,000 shares, and more than 13,000 comments wishing Chris well.
We here at AATTP also wish Chris well. He love him for his bravery, and for doing something every day that is challenging for him. His positive attitude and kind soul are an inspiration to all of us, and we love him for it.
For More Information About Asperger’s, Please Watch This Video: