The online obsession and stubbornness of the younger generations can get annoying, especially when their famously-entitled personalities come out to play. At the same time, not everyone is willing to put up with a millennial’s every whim, as proven by one hotel and café owner. In fact, when he received a demanding request from a 22-year-old social media influencer, he knew something drastic had to be done…so he started to type with a fury.
Most hotels go the extra mile to make their customers happy, from providing outstanding complimentary breakfasts to satisfying the customer’s every whim. But the Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin has a different strategy when it comes to customer service.
Both the Charleville Lodge Hotel and the White Moose Café are owned and managed by Paul Stenson, and if you don’t know who he is, then look no further than pretty much any social media platform. He’s on there, and he’s out for blood.
The two businesses are known for being fairly…bold on social media. Rather, Paul Stenson is bold. He has what many would call “unpopular opinions” about the world, particularly about modern fads and, well, pretty much the entire Millennial generation as a whole.
Stenson makes his opinions known, as proven by this ad that refers to his own hotel’s service as “by no means excellent, which is reflected in the amount of money you’re paying us.” Clearly, Stentson is all about being blunt…
In fact, Stenson is often surrounded by controversy thanks to his sarcastic statements on social media. He has lashed out against vegans, non-alcohol drinkers, and people with gluten-free diets by calling them “precious snowflakes” that “we don’t want…in our café.”
He has also received backlash for cynical albeit humorous social media posts aimed at annoying customers. His “screaming child tax” — and extra 15% on the bill — resulted in his being reported to the authorities. We guess it’s difficult to get on Stenson’s good side, as one influencer discovered for herself.
Stenson isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, which is exactly what happened when he discovered what looked like an ordinary email in his inbox. It was from a social media influencer and YouTuber, and she had an unusual request.
The influencer in question, Elle Darby, didn’t see the problem with her email: She offered social media exposure for the hotel in exchange for free room and board. A few free nights at the self-described “adequate” hotel— that’s not asking for too much…right?
In case Stenson was skeptical about the value she brought, Darby referred to when she boosted the exposure of a famously-struggling business: “Last year I worked with Universal Orlando in Florida and it’s been amazing for them!”
She ended her email by saying she “looked forward to hearing” from Stenson — a sentiment she would most likely come to regret. When Paul read the email, it touched a particularly sensitive Millennial-hating nerve. He had some choice words for Darby and influencers in general.
In his scathing response, he let his anti-influencer flag fly. “Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment,” he wrote. Then he hit Darby with an ultra-embarrassing burn.
“We have 186k followers on our two Facebook pages, 32k on Instagram, and a paltry 12k on our Twitter,” he wrote sarcastically. Before Darby completely dissolved from the sheer power of the burn, he went it for the kill.
“The above stats do not make me any better than anyone else or afford me the right to not pay for something,” he wrote. In case Darby was confused, he ended his email with a short but sweet P.S.: “The answer is no.”
Paul’s savage response quickly turned into the mic-drop heard ‘round the world when he shared it on social media. Soon after, people started to debate who was in the wrong: The entitled but well-meaning influencer, or the snarky but justified hotel manager?
“Influencers — another name for self-entitled Kardashian wannabes,” one person commented. “Influencers are nothing more than useless professional beggars,” another Facebook-user wrote. A majority of the support seemed to go to Paul and his insults.
But others felt that Paul’s response was out of line. “This was a legit request and I think completely appropriate, you can choose to accept or decline,” the Darby-defender wrote. Despite some support, however, Darby was mainly slammed with hate.
Darby herself took to YouTube with her own tearful response. “People [are] telling me that I should die, that they hope my children get cancer,” she said. “People [need] to take responsibility for what they’re saying over a screen,” she said.
But by now, it’s obvious that Paul wasn’t about to let this viral moment slip through his fingers. The White Moose Café soon posted another “banned” post, and this time, it was with one very specific group as the target.
“I have taken the decision to ban all bloggers from our hotel and café,” Paul wrote. He then offered wayward bloggers some sage advice: “Perhaps if you went out and got real jobs you’d be able to pay for goods and services like everybody else.”
The Clapback King ended things on a high-note by adding a new tongue-in-cheek decoration to the White Moose Café: a canister apparently filled with the anguished tears of bloggers. It looked right at home next to a similar jar labeled “ashes of vegans.” Of course, even Paul had limits.
Paul, like many others, is wary of the entitlement and callousness of many young influencers. However, not even the sarcastic innkeeper was prepared for the disaster that was Myka Stauffer. At first the young mom seemed like she was doing something good by adopting a child in need. But as Paul watched the strange story develop along with the rest of the world, his indignation soon turned to all-out disgust.
YouTuber Myka Stauffer and her husband, James Stauffer, produce videos that share lifestyle and parenting tips, as well as their own family dynamic. These kinds of content creators, called “family vloggers,” are criticized for exploiting their children for views and cash.
But Myka and James, who are now parents to four biological children, received a wave of scrutiny after a certain incident had people questioning their motives. The story began in July 2016, when Myka uploaded a video to her channel titled “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! || BABY #4.”
On Myka’s channel, the couple disclosed they were looking to adopt their fourth child. Myka explained that “the United States and Africa were parts where our hearts were originally interested in,” regarding where to adopt from.
The Stauffers had every intention of letting their devoted subscribers in on the entirety of the adoption process. No, really; Myka uploaded a total of 27 videos to her channel regarding the ins and outs of their “adoption journey.”
They documented everything from fundraising efforts to learning the confusing international adoption laws. And while the Stauffers initially had their hearts set on the US or Africa, they wound up adopting a little boy from China. Named Huxley, this sweet little boy had special needs.
See, the adoption agency informed the Stauffers that Huxley sadly had a brain tumor and “brain damage.” But when little Huxley finally arrived in the United States, Myka and James were met with some disquieting surprises.
It turned out that the adoption agency seemingly forgot to notify the Stauffers that Huxley had endured a stroke in utero, had autism, and a sensory processing disorder. Huxley’s list of special needs nearly tripled, and Myka and James panicked.
But despite the inner turmoil the couple faced, Myka spoke to the press as if everything was perfect. In a September 2019 Parade article, Myka described the international adoption process as “beautiful and special.”
“Is there hardships and hiccups that you may not have faced being in the U.S.? Totally. However, you’re giving that child a future that would have never been possible,” Myka continued. For years after the couple officially got their special boy, Myka uploaded YouTube videos dedicated to him.
The video titled “5 Things I Didn’t EXPECT About Our China ADOPTION! International ADOPTION,” was sponsored by baby laundry detergent brand Dreft. Brands like Good American, Fabletics and Ibotta, sponsored some of Myka’s other videos. They were making a lot of money off videos featuring Huxley.
With loads of sponsors, comes loads of cash, and though not every video featuring Huxley was monetized, they all garnered crazy amounts of views. The video titled “Huxley’s EMOTIONAL Adoption VIDEO!! GOTCHA DAY China Adoption” amassed 5.5 million views. With the help of Huxley, they built their brand.
It wasn’t long before the super dedicated fans, who couldn’t wait to see the newest adventures of Huxley and his new American family, were quick to notice the sudden halt of Instagram posts and YouTube videos featuring the little one. In May 2020, they found out why.
Myka uploaded a video to her channel featuring the couple looking pretty gosh darn sad. “For us, it’s been really hard hearing from the medical professionals, a lot of their feedback, and things that have been upsetting. We’ve never wanted to be in this position,” James began.
“I think what Jim is trying to say is that after multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that (with) his medical needs, he needed more,” Myka explained, clearly heartbroken.
“There’s not an ounce of our body that doesn’t love Huxley with all of our being,” Myka clarified. “Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500%,” she later said. When she explained that Huxley was living with a “new mommy” in a “forever home,” people lost their minds.
The Stauffers admitting to “rehoming” Huxley, as if he were a puppy they had an unfortunate allergy to, created a social media firestorm. The years-long bonds Huxley formed with his three siblings and somewhat-shoddy parents were sadly broken.
“What kind of person adopts a toddler into a family with other kids for YEARS, uses his likeness & story for profit and then quietly gets rid of him like a puppy because his special needs are ‘too hard’??” Chondra Echert Sanchez wrote on Twitter.
While others were more sympathetic, most comments were similar to Chondra’s. Writer and editor Sophie Ross always kept track of Huxley’s journey, even staying in contact with people close to him. At the end of May, she notified her worried Twitter followers that he was “in a GREAT foster home.”
“So apparently this foster family *is* in the process of officially adopting him, which is amazing news. It sounds like Huxley found a safe and loving permanent home and won’t be bouncing around or displaced again after this,” Sophie continued on Twitter.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office opened a case investigating the Stauffers after receiving a plethora of requests for a welfare check on Huxley. The Delaware County police closed the case once they met with Huxley’s “prospective adoptive parents.”
Deputy Susanna Leonard relayed that Huxley “seemed very active and showed no signs of any abuse from what I could visually see.” “When we walked into the office, [Huxley’s] adoptive mother was singing a song to him as he was sitting on her lap smiling,” she continued.
Once having well over 700,000 subscribers, Myka Stauffer’s channel has 692,000 subscribers as of August 2020. While we can only hope the Stauffers live a happy life with their biological children, Kova, Jaka, Radley and Onyx, we also hope they’ve learned lessons regarding child exploitation and the cost of making life-altering decisions.
Though adoption is a huge decision that responsible parents-to-be put a ton of effort and research into, Myka and James aren’t the only educated adoptive parents who were met with surprises. Especially when adopting a child from overseas, there’s often a great deal that’s kept hush hush.
In 1997, Ron and Natalie Trecroce made the decision to adopt a child. The Canadian couple found themselves in Arad, Romania where they hoped to find the perfect addition for their family. When they saw this one-year-old girl, they knew she was the one!
Her name was Rodica Lavinia Farcas, and she was living in an orphanage where she had been left by her mother who couldn’t care for her. She was also in shockingly poor health—that much was evident to Ron and Natalie as soon as they met her.
The sweet little girl was malnourished, which had caused a host of other issues. She was suffering from rickets, and her bones were weak thanks to a severe lack of vitamin D and other nutrients. Still, there was more the couple had yet to discover…
In the 1990s, the records of children in Romania were notoriously difficult to obtain. So, Ron and Natalie were in a bit of a bind when it came to getting ahold of everything they would need in the future for Rodica.
Due to the difficulty of obtaining her records, Ron and Natalie were at a bit of a loss when it came to understanding their new daughter’s life up to that point. This was especially true when it came to her family history…
As Ron and Natalie continued to search for more information about their new baby girl, they eventually came upon a shocking discovery: Rodica wasn’t an only child. In fact, she had an older sister! Only, they weren’t sure where this sister was…
For unknown reasons, the sisters had been placed in separate orphanages. This made locating Rodica’s older sister far more difficult. Still, Ron and Natalie knew they had to try. Following an exhaustive search, they discovered where Rodica’s sister was being cared for. Not only that, but they learned her name was Gianina Farcas!
Gianina was born in 1995, making her a year older than Rodica. Once Ron and Natalie discovered where she was living, they made a serious decision: they were going to adopt her as well, and reunite her with her younger sister. Finally, they made it so. But that wasn’t all…
After Ron and Natalie arrived back in Canada, the surprises just kept coming. As it turned out, Rodica and Gianina weren’t the only two children in their family. They were simply two of eight!
Unfortunately, Ron and Natalie were unable to track down any of the other siblings. Not long after they were brought home, Gianina and Rodica were renamed Sophie and Danielle, respectively.
Ron and Natalie decided to keep the girls’ birth names as their middle names so they could retain a piece of where they came from. It was a small gesture, but it was important for their baby girls to not lose their identities.
The tumultuous start to Sophie and Danielle’s lives was not unusual in 1990s Romania. The country was then under the control of a dictator named Nicolae Ceauşescu, who forbade any form of contraception whatsoever. This resulted in countless cases similar to that of Sophie and Danielle.
Many of the parents in Romania at the time were forced to give up children who they could no longer care for. The luckiest ones would end up being adopted by other families who could support them—just like Sophie and Danielle.
A good bit of footage exists of these two girls; six years after they were adopted, a documentary filmmaker showed interest in telling their story. With Ron and Natalie’s approval, the girls’ journey from Arad to Canada was made into a film.
Years later, Sophie actually edited the full documentary into a short film, which she uploaded to YouTube. That allowed the film to reach more people, including a number of people with similar backgrounds to Sophie and Danielle.
For her part, Danielle says that she hopes to return to her home country, hopefully sometime in 2018. “I would love to go back to explore the country!” she said.
Both sisters would, understandably, love to learn more about their biological parents and siblings. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as poor documentation will make it very difficult to locate them.
Sophie, now 22, is studying to be a photographer, and Danielle, 21, is also in college. They live close by, and often think about how far they’ve come. Not everyone was as lucky as they were!
Had Ron and Natalie Trecroce never gone to Romania, they might have never located Sophie, and the sisters wouldn’t have reunited. Luckily, they did, and the rest is history!