Saturday, November 14, 2015

P.J. Gialopsos

Autism Light #430 is P.J. Gialopsos.

P.J. Gialopsos has owned the Little Italy Restaurante in Anchorage, Alaska for 30 years. One of her delivery drivers has autism and a customer complained mercilessly about them making a mistake with their order and then made a judgment remark that the employee was not intelligent or that they were using drugs on the job. P.J. Gialopsos is an Autism Light because on November 11, 2015, after considering the situation for a while, she announced that her restaurant would no longer provide service to the customer who had such a bitter attitude toward her employee with autism.

P.J. Gialopsos' daughter received the loud complaint on the phone from the customer, and even after explaining that the employee had autism, the customer was unrelenting in condemnation of the employee (Restaurant Fires Patron Who Berated Autistic Delivery Driver, Seattlepi, November 13, 2015).

The Mighty shared this about the accomplishments of the delivery driver with autism who is in this story.
The driver, who has autism and a speech impediment, is a university student who's worked for the restaurant for two years. After the mixup, he immediately retrieved the right order from his car and returned to the restaurant (Restaurant 'Fires' Customer who Berated Employee with Autism, The Mighty, November 11, 2015). 

The following is the post that P.J. Gialopsos made on her business's Facebook page about her decision. Over 25,000 people have liked this post on Facebook.

This has been pondered for days now: should I write this post and HOW should I write this post? Over the weekend we...
Posted by Little Italy Restaurante on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This special appreciation of P.J. Gialopsos was given out by @TimVashon on Twitter.

Special thanks to P.J. Gialopsos for being an Autism Light and spreading autism awareness by the stand she took in her business. We wish P.J. Gialopsos tremendous success in her business and hope that she will continue to employ individuals with autism even after her current employee graduates from college and moves on. P.J. Gialopsos is representative of many caring business owners around the world who have the courage to take a stand in defense of their employees who have autism.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.