Monday, September 1, 2008

A Totally Hypothetical Situation

Imagine if you will...

You and your friends (or SO) treat yourselves to dinner at Appleby's (or TGI Friday's or Houlihan's). Your perky young waitron takes your order.

MARY: "Hi, I'm Mary, and I'll be your server tonight. Can I start you with some appetizers?"

YOU: "Actually, you can start me with a black russian."

MARY: "I'm sorry; I can't serve alcohol. Would you like a Coke instead?"

YOU: "No. Why can't you serve alcohol? Are you underage?"

MARY: "No. I'm a devout Baptist. Drinking alcohol is a sin, so it goes against my conscience to serve alcoholic beverages."

YOU: "Then send another server over here to take my drink order."

MARY: "I'm afraid I can't do that. You're sitting in my station, and the other servers are busy covering their own tables."

YOU: "Then we would like to move to a different station."

MARY: "We're very busy tonight. It will be a 45-minute wait for another table."

YOU: "Then I'll go to the bar to get my own drink, and then I would like to talk to your manager. I'm guessing you haven't worked here long."

MARY: "This is my first night. How did you know?"

YOU: "Because you have no business working in a restaurant with a liquor license. Why don't you work at Perkins or Country Kitchen instead?"

MARY: "They aren't hiring right now. Besides, this restaurant is closer to my home, and I like the food better. I have every right to work here."

YOU: "I don't think your manager will see it that way."

MARY: "They can't fire me for following my conscience."

YOU: "Yes, they can."

What will happen to poor Mary? Will she lose her job and be forced to work at Denny's? Who will defend her conscience rights? Is there a Republican in the State Assembly who will risk the wrath of the Tavern League to introduce legislation that will allow devout Baptists or Mormons to work in restaurants and refuse to serve alcohol without fear of being fired?

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