A student has been left furious after a restaurant worker used a racial slur on his receipt.
Medical student In Young Lee visited a Taco Bell restaurant in Philadelphia last Friday, (February 16), after a night out.
Giving the restaurant the name ‘Steve’ as a way to avoid having to spell out his own name, In Young was quite shocked when he looked at his bill and saw the staff member had written out ‘STEVE CHINK’ all in capital letters.
Naturally this left him pretty angry and so he shared a photo of the receipt on Facebook and tagged Taco Bell in his complaint, writing:
I was so infuriated that I couldn’t help but to confront the cashier. When I confronted him, he said there are three Steve’s in the restaurant so he needed to differentiate.
It made me even more upset he was protecting his case rather than apologising so I lashed out and told him it is extremely disrespectful to use such a derogatory slur.
He eventually apologised and although I was still very upset I decided to let the case go.
Thinking it was all over, In Young sat down and started to enjoy his meal but was shocked to hear the cashier making jokes about the situation with his co-workers in the kitchen, adding:
My friends and I were sitting close to the kitchen so we heard him using the word ‘chink’ again to describe the situation as he laughed with his co-workers (where is your remorse?).
This is when I snapped and stormed to the counter and started yelling at him (I might or might not have cussed him out a little bit, oops. In retrospect, that was not the most ideal way to deal with the situation but I couldn’t help it).
This is when the manager approached me to calm me down. He said what the cashier did to me was wrong and he’s sorry. However, he rebutted that I was being disrespectful by snatching my food from the cashier.
It was as if he was trying to defuse the situation by redirecting the blame on to me, but how does he expect me to be polite to the cashier when he deliberately took his time to spell out the word ‘CHINK’ to describe me?
When he attempted to condemn me, people in the restaurant started to berate both the manger and the cashier, which led him to apologise and finally admit they were in the wrong.
The post has since gone viral on Facebook and although In Young is upset, he blurred out the name of the cashier on the receipt to save his job – he posted the complaint to make sure Taco Bell learn from this mistake.
He told CBS Philadelphia:
I want them to complete a mandatory training about racial consciousness. I want people to be more aware of what they are thinking, what their behaviour is like.
It’s never happened to me before. I’ve been called names before, I don’t usually address it.
You can watch the interview here:
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Although In Young blurred out the name of the worker to protect him, in a statement, Taco Bell confirmed the cashier had been fired, telling CBS:
We do not tolerate this behaviour. This employee no longer works for the brand and the franchise is retraining its staff to ensure this incident will not happen again. Management has reached out and apologized directly to the customer.
It looks like they may have learnt their lesson!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.