‘Karen’ Complains About Service At Swensen’s, Learns Staff Are Special Needs


Sindhu RK Johnson took to Facebook to share her experience with F&B staff at a Swensen’s outlet located at Clementi Mall as a teaching point for others to be kind and understanding. She complained about receiving terrible service from the staff, only to discover that she was being served by special needs staff.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

Her post started out like a regular complaint of a disgruntled customer who wasn’t given proper service by the staff.

She recalled the multiple horrible experiences she received, with staff messing up her table, showing her bad attitude, and even outright ignoring her requests for service.


When she went to the manager to complain, she was instead served a piece of humble pie when he explained that 90% of the staff were on the autism spectrum and from the APSN (Association for People with Special Needs) school.


She concluded the lengthy post by asking future patrons to be patient with the servers and to support the branch because Swensen’s is doing a good job in trying to be an inclusive workplace.


Swensen’s responded under her post, thanking her for her kind words.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

Many applauded her for using her platform to raise awareness about Swensen’s being an inclusive workplace.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

Some parents with children on the spectrum thanked her for raising awareness and being kind to those who are differently abled.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

This one seemed to have missed the memo.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

As always with viral posts, Sindhu received her fair share of keyboard warriors who called her entitled/a Karen. They said that she should be kind towards everyone, not just those with special needs.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

But commentators supported her, saying that her intention to raise awareness was right.

Source: Facebook, Sindhu RK Johnson

In stark contrast to the feedback on the Facebook post, the reviews on Google were as bad as Sindhu mentioned. Many complained about the poor customer service and long waiting times.

According to Mothership, Swensen’s has committed to inclusive employment practices since 2008 and will continue to do so.


The Clementi Mall outlet is one of the bigger outlets that’s used as an on-the-job training platform for differently abled hires.


Hopefully, the public’s perception towards longer waiting time and slow service will change with this incident.


It takes a lot of courage to make a post about one’s behaviour after experiencing undesirable situations and then using the experience as a way to raise awareness about differently abled staff working in a popular restaurant chain. Kudos to Sindhu for being open and kind to the staff at Swensen’s Clementi.


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