My experience at Signs Restaurant

November 15, 2016 Waheed 1 comment

Transcript for the hearing community to read. Please read it. and Share the video to spread the awareness of what is going on the inside of Signs Restaurant.

Credited by Carlisle Robinson

Part 1:

Hi all.
I’m sure you all are wondering why I’m wearing this Signs restaurant shirt. Ok.
I don’t regret working at signs restaurant for almost 2 years. I really cherish signs restaurants. So many great memories. I learned so much there.

Until last year. December. I remember that day very well. Dec 28, 2:15pm .

I found out that AA [Anjan Manikumar, the owner of Signs restaurant] fired my boss Rachel who was the general manager. I was really upset that she was fired for no reason. She worked so hard, so much. I decided to quit. I will explain why I quitted that day after I found out that my boss got fired.

I am a bit emotional because it’s really sad and tragic. my experience at there was so wonderful… until things messed up because AA.

You don’t know him as well as I do. I met him way before signs restaurants was opened.

Let me back up to the beginning. I was one of 7 people selected after 200 people were interviewed. AA and his team picked me and 6 other people. That was about, Jan or Feb.

We 7 were so excited to be working at the first deaf friendly restaurant. We went through training, took exams on how to run restaurants, how to be servers, and so forth. That was before AA got more people in, most deaf, some hearing too

I don’t regret working at signs restaurant for almost 2 years. I really cherish signs restaurants. So many great memories. I learned so much there.


So things were going great, we went through training. AA picked more deaf servers and bartenders. Then the Signs restaurant opened in around in July, end of Aug.

I worked really hard. We as team, most of us deaf, worked so hard. I make sure things went smoothly, I worked with hearies, making this an unique experience for customers. We were promised that kitchen will be all staffed by all deafies, how all staffs will be deafies, how hearing hosts will be required to have level ASL 4 or above.

Then time went on. And our [deaf people’s] suggestions, our ideas were ignored. We made suggestions to make Signs more accessible, more attractive, more deaf friendly. These were ignored.


For instance, I made an suggest to AA, “Why not add TV in front of entrance. So that way people can see it. And have us signing on the tv in the front entrance.” AA didn’t take that suggestion. He picked stripper-like light display which didn’t work well.

AA… He was not a professional owner. There was so many negative things about him. I will tell few things about him.

AA is really… he really put us management team down so much. We worked so HARD, we worked almost 7 days a week. AA didn’t increase our wages. He did not. He was not professional.

Even though our responsibilities were management, AA kept telling other non-management staffs information that’s not applicable. Not professional. He told that to outside staff, to outside people. He likes to tell everyone everything.

He doesn’t take us deafies seriously. Thinks we’re nothing. That’s not right.

He didn’t pay us on time. He made excuses all the time. He told lies. All stories he told to different people were different.

I was a supervisor. Was a junior manager after another staff left. I loved my job. I loved my staffs. I love them all. They did great job, worked hard. I treated them as a family. Their concerns, I always passed on these concerns to AA.

AA didn’t listen to our concerns. Yet he only listened to hearing staffs’ concerns and immediately solved their issues. He placed their concerns first over our deafies’ concerns. Why? Why not listen to us too? Why only hearies?

For an example, we complained about a hearing chef. I’ll go ahead say the name, I don’t care. His name is Erik. He always verbally swore in kitchen, yelled at us b/c we can’t hear him. He and other hearing staffs took advantage of their hearing privilege, yelled and swore at us deaf staffs because we cannot hear them. I told AA about that, how they degraded us deaf people. AA DID NOT EVEN DO ANYTHING TO STOP THAT.

So he instead fired other deaf staffs, fired them for no reason or over minor things. That’s not right. Ugh.


And, AA increased hearing staffs’ wages. Not us deaf people.

Alexandrose is another magnificent deaf staff, a bartender. He contributed so many wonderful ideas for mixed drinks. AA did not give him any credit for the drinks. No nothing nada. No compliments.

Whenever we made suggestions for deaf centric things / events like ASL poems. AA turned them all down. turned them all. And he picked hosting hearing events over deaf events.

AA doesn’t care about us deaf people. Treated us like slaves. We worked so hard.

Funny thing is that one time AA finally asked- I’m amazed- AA FINALLY agreed with me to have Signs host xmas party with another person ____ (DB?). I suggested reducing prices/amounts so we can attract more people. It worked. The party was successful. We make twice the amount of money. We attracted more people. More success than before.

Finally, finally he listened to me after a long time.

Funny ok, another thing- tell me why did AA not add cc/subtitles on his videos? Why did he ask deaf people to donate $? Why did he say in the video that hearing people were afraid to come to the restaurant?

That’s not true! We have so many loyal hearing customers coming to our place regularly. We know them. They love us. Love love us. Until they found out truths about AA and what happened to us deaf people- that’s when these hearing customers stopped coming because many of us left.

One such customer emailed me, saying “Sign restaurant is so different now. New staffs. A lot of negative attitudes amongst deaf staffs. New staffs are boring.” Other customers said the same things. New staffs told me that too. Nothing changed ever since.

Really. Sad.


AA doesn’t appreciate us. He really used us deaf people. Took advantage of us. He doesn’t care, only wants $. That’s it.

Yeah AA signs well. Yeah. I applaud him. I applaud him for setting up signs restaurant.

But when it comes to his managership and ownership skill, it sucks. He didn’t communicate with us management team. He wasn’t good. He kept telling lies, telling everyone everything, focused only on money.

My management team, we tried our best. We had so many great ideas, ideas that can help Signs restaurants to do really well. But. AA did not listen to us.

I understand that you are excited that aa is hearing, gives us signs restaurant. But you must know his true color. He’s awful. He’s all about himself, making himself look good for setting up Signs restaurants, for “helping deaf people.”

He never complimented us. Nothing.

Alligator tears. He pities us deaf people. I can’t believe it…

He acts like.. like.. as if he’s the god. if he’s the only person who can give us deaf people opportunities. Nah. We deaf people do have job opportunities everywhere.

Not him. not only him. No.


AA put our team through so much. Anxiety, stress. We lost a lot of sleep. He put us through SO much stuff. We, my management team, kept each other going, supporting each others. We kept making ideas to make sure signs restaurant doesn’t have to close the doors.

But. AA didn’t take everything in heart. He chose to listen to hearing friends and family. But. His friends and family don’t work there. We deaf staffs know our stuff, we know the system, we know what to fix. But. AA didn’t listen to us. That’s funny. Ugh. Really sad.

Signs restaurant will always be my baby so it’s really heartbreaking to see it like that.


AA did ask me to become a general management after he fired my boss. I turned it town because it’s not right.

I disagree with AA’s decision to fire Rachel. Rachel didn’t do anything wrong. Rachel should’ve had a better owner than AA. She taught us so much, so much. We learned so much. Rachel would sacrifice her position to any deaf people. She would. Rachel wants us deafies to run the restaurant, with full deaf house. Rachel had more than 22 years experience of running restaurants. I love her. I fought for her. She did a lot. She’s really magnificent compared to AA. AA merely ordered us around, didn’t let us learn and grow.


Now. AA hired new staffs. Hmm. Didn’t let them practice. Didn’t train them. Won’t let them get Smart Service SS license. That’s not right. No.

So. AA gave deaf person a job that’s a merely title because the deaf person didn’t get training. You have to get training to gain experience and knowledge. He’s just immediately giving deaf person fancy titles without it really meaning anything. We deaf people are not that dumb. That’s wrong.

Now, my staffs who are still there, said they had horrible management. It’s really embarrassing. There’s a deaf couple working there who did not stand up for rest of deaf staffs. They were constantly kissing AA’s ass, brown nosing. Sorry to say that, but they’re doing that. Didn’t stand up for us, didn’t fight AA.

That’s really sad. AA really took all power of the restaurant. Before, AA was scared of my team because we were strong, we constantly fought for our rights and equality in the workplace.

There are so many things to say. This is enough for me to tell you all, for you all to know.

If this is owned by a deaf person, I’ll be more supportive. Of course I am unhappy that Signs restaurant is going downhill. That’s so sad.


But c’mon. There’s so much improvements to do. Aa needs to improve so much. AA needs to stop telling lies so much. I have evidences. I have emails. Everything saved.

I can’t wait. Can’t wait. We’ll bring up this to legal.

This shirt. I will always cherish this signs restaurant, my time there. I still keep in touch with my team. They are really hurt too. They had to quit because of him. Most of us didn’t want to quit. But. WE had to. We knew we had to make AA wake up.

Yeah. Some people were like “Why did you turn down the offer for a GM (general management) position.” Yeah it’d be cool, becoming the first deaf GM.

But I value deaf accessibility and equality more. They’re important to me. I didn’t care about GM title, fancy title. AA thought he could bribe me by giving me a fancy title, that he could satisfy me. But nah. I’d rather not not. It’s already so horrible and problematic to work there.

Please don’t contribute $ to AA. It won’t work. I’m very disappointed. AA did not help new staffs and management there. New staffs are always contacting me, expressing their upset concerns and issues. Why? Why is this still going on? Why are there still frustration amongst deaf staffs there? That’s sad. Really really sad.

Ok, well. It is up to you to judge me. Up to you to contribute $ to AA. But, AA doesn’t deserve Signs restaurant. In other situation, if there’ better appreciation and accessibility at the restaurant, I’d be supportive. But, AA doesn’t do that. He doesn’t. HE IS NOT A CEO MATERIAL. Actually he caused several of us deaf staffs to become depressed.

All of my old staffs- please speak up about your experience. Please. Tell about your painful experience. We can fix it.


Ok. I’m sure AA is pissed off at me. I’m sure some people are mad at me. I don’t care. Don’t care. Go ahead tell AA what I said. I really don’t care.

Me and my old team, we’ll will always love Signs restaurants no matter what. WE’ll love the place, the building, but not AA.

I love you all. I love you old staffs, you worked so hard. Mwah

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1 Comment on “My experience at Signs Restaurant

  1. That is so inspiring and I feel bad for u and ur crew who had there favorite restaurant took over by hearies. Now I’m not saying all PPL that hear or awful and rude and take advantage of the fact that ur deaf I hope that doesn’t mean dead I don’t know how to spell it. I was on this app its called learn ASL or something like that I’m not deaf but I was watching switched at birth on Netflix and one of the girls were deaf( or however they spell it) and it inspired me to learn ASL and its fun I’m really bad but I’m learning with my sister so it will be fun. I know being deaf isn’t a joke but we’re human and we deserve to laugh a little!!!!!!!🤗

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