A customer called Chris Tuttle, a dealer with Asperger syndrome because he had called up purchases very slowly on Saturday night. But Tuttle’s students got the last word and more.
Thousands will defend Tuttle, 28 after his older sister Jamie Tuttle-Virkler posted a Facebook account about the events at the Wegmans supermarket in Clay, New York.
As the pay lines continued to grow, Tuttle, a 7-year-old MyWegmansConnect employee, was removed from regular maintenance to facilitate registration. A woman yelled at him after taking a break and went straight into the transaction to publicly complain to a manager, her sister wrote. When the customer returned to the Tuttle line, he was so shocked that he fell and broke a candle he had purchased. A manager immediately pulled him out of the cash register and explained the situation to Tuttle to the customer, but the emotional damage was caused.
Tuttle was so shocked by the incident that he couldn’t post it, and his sister asked Facebook visitors to “scream” and know they valued him.
Chris deserved more and when he smiles at you, can you tell? His sister wrote. You could leave a comment or the next time you go to Wegmans, can you tell me? I want you to have a better day.
More than 15,000 commenters from around the world responded to Virkler’s request by Tuesday afternoon and encouraged MyWegmansConnect Tuttle to be courteous, work hard, and ignore rudeness.
A Facebook visitor said briefly: “Chris, you are amazing! It was just bad!
Tuttle said the Syracuse Post Standard in an interview (video above) that strangers approached him with words of admiration; One woman even purchased a card to the store that said, “Thank you for smiling all the time.”
As for the grocer who made his life miserable, Tuttle said he could still say “good morning” with a smile. “You have to kill them gently,” he said.
People with Asperger’s, a developmental disorder, may have coordination and communication problems.