Deaf Server Says A Table Requested A New Server Because Her Telling Them She Needed To Read Their Lips Made Them 'Uncomfortable'

All she wanted was for them to look her in the face while speaking so she could understand what they were saying, but the table of customers refused.

Lo, server on TikTok TikTok

A deaf woman who works as a server revealed her rude encounter with a table of patrons after telling them about her disability.

In a TikTok video, Lo, who works in O'ahu, Hawaii as a restaurant server shared with her viewers that while she usually doesn't have any trouble working with her disability, there are some moments where she'll come across a table of "toxic customers."

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A table of customers requested a new server after telling Lo her lip reading made them 'uncomfortable.'

"Hi guys, my name is Lo and I'm a deaf server, and this is an interaction that I had with people while I was working," Lo informs her viewers at the start of her video. The 24-year-old restaurant server then acted out the encounter she had during one of her shifts.



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She recalled walking up to the table of customers and introducing herself. However, before she took their orders, she made sure to tell them that she was deaf and uses lip-reading to understand what hearing people are saying.

"Just a heads up I am deaf and I rely on lip-reading, so if I can't see your mouth then I can't hear you, or if you can sign that works too," she told the patrons. "I hope that's ok, can I get you anything to drink."

At first, the people sitting at the table Lo was serving seemed to be fine with the disclaimer given, and even began to order. Though, as they each began telling Lo what they wanted, they weren't following her directions and were staring down at their menus instead of looking at her so she would be able to read their lips.

Lo quickly interrupted one of the customers to ask them if they would be able to look up at her while they were speaking so she can know their orders. "I can't lip-read you or understand you if you're looking down," she informed them.


Again, the customers of patrons seemed very understanding and even apologized to Lo, except it seemed as if their apology wasn't sincere and they continued to read off their order while still looking down at the menu and not at Lo.

At this point, Lo brings up the lip-reading again and even tried to compromise by giving the table a pen and paper to write down their order. When they gave Lo the slip of paper back, she took it, thinking they had written down their orders onto it, only for her to be shocked at what they had actually written instead.

"Can we get a different server, please? I'm [uncomfortable] with being lip-read, it's weird," the note from the table of patrons read. Instead of arguing, Lo agreed to their request and handed them off to another one of her coworkers.

In the caption of the video, Lo explained that while situations like that one don't happen often, it "doesn't stop me from doing my job and getting paid," while working as a deaf server.


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In the comments section, people praised Lo for keeping her composure during the entire debacle.

"I'm so sorry you have to deal with those situations," one TikTok user wrote.

Another user agreed, jokingly adding, "The way you can keep your composure. I respect that because I would’ve fought someone."

Other users shared that they will also look away from people while speaking, and will sometimes not even realize they're doing it. 

"Out of habit I look away from people while talking from anxiety, now I feel bad," a third user remarked. A fourth user replied to their comment, informing them of ways they can work around this, writing, "If the server isn’t deaf or [needs] to read lips to understand you then it’s okay.


"But if you’re worried about it you can always point to what you’re ordering on the menu while you talk. The server would most likely tell you if they rely on lip reading."

A fifth commenter pointed out that Lo's request of wanting the customers to look at her while speaking wasn't bizarre and didn't warrant them asking for another server.

"All they had to do was simply look up while they’re speaking to you which is quite literally manners. Coming from a server, I'm sorry babe!"


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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.