LETTER: Wilmington Mom Shares Upsetting Story About Son’s Experience Working At Restaurant In Town

A mother recently shared her son’s experience of working at Rocco’s in Wilmington on the Wilmington Community Board Page Facebook group. The post went viral, with 500+ comments and reactions. It is shared below with her permission:

Dear Editor,

Everyone reading my post today may have or will have some contact with a child or young adult with various forms of special needs. My hope in sharing my upsetting story is that others can stand up for these kids when they are being bullied or taken advantage of, because they can’t for themselves.

I grew up in town and raising our 3 sons here. My 18 year old has some forms of special needs, the main being his speech. He struggles to express himself, processing information quickly. He has always wanted a job, we’ve held him back for these reasons. His hard work and continued success with school and newly getting his license we thought he’d be okay with getting his first job.

He was beyond excited to start Wednesday. The owner knew he had some special needs, it didn’t seem to matter. Day 1 was great… only issue he was told he had to work every night from 3-9. My son is a junior and has HW and after school help. Day 2, Thursday, Tommy went in with a note (because he’s unable to express himself with words) asking if he could do Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights until June 14th when school ends. His response was NO. Tommy knowing the no cell phone rule went into the bathroom to text me this. My advice was to go do a good job and try and talk to him at the end of the night. An hour later he was pressuring Tommy to come in all weekend… Tommy’s receiving his vaccine today so he couldn’t work. He stormed away. An hour goes by and Tommy asked if the could talk at the end of shift, he said no again said I need you every night but Monday (they are closed). Tommy asked if they could compromise while he’s still in school. The owner’s response….. “Thank you for wasting my F#%#ing time, get the F#%# out.

My husband and I did go down to ask why he would treat someone like that, never mined someone who struggles everyday with his disabilities. He was rude, aggressive and a liar. Tried to blame it all on this 18 year old willing to work every weekend night for him. He really missed out on a great kid who is prompt , never breaks a rule and would do anything asked.
So I just want to thank The owner of the restaurant that continually displays help wanted month after month …. it took us 18.4 years to build this kid up and get him ready to go out and do great things and it took you 24 hours to blow it all up.

There are many great companies in Wilmington that will have our business and there are certainly plenty of DD’s to get our coffee from.


Michelle Kullman

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