In case you missed it last week, 27-year-old Taylor Chapman walked into a Dunkin Donuts in Ft. Lauderdale. She had not been given a receipt from the night before and went on a bizarre, profanity-laced rant full of racial epithets hurled at the two employees making her food, Abid Adar and a woman named Nithi. Apparently DD’s corporate policy if you do not get a receipt, her meal is free. Chapman taped the eight-minute rant on her iPhone and goaded other customers, threatened to “nuke this place [the DD] from Mars,” and she hoped the video “got a million hits on YouTube.”
Well, she has gotten almost a million hits on YouTube. You can see Chapman in all her disturbing glory here:
It hasn’t been a total wash, though. Nithi and Abid are the recipients of $5,000 apiece thanks to an IndieGoGo campaign to compensate them even just a little from putting up with this psycho. DD has also publicly lauded these two employees for their calm and grace under fire. Chapman, for her part, has lost her job with an internet marketing firm. She has shut down her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles while becoming the most despised person online.
I’d like to throw in my own two cents about the incident. Being an almost-minimum-wage earner at a retail job myself, I have to give Nithi and Abid congratulations and my sincere admiration for putting up with this psycho. I know for a fact I would not have handled it with such a calm demeanor! I mean, how are you supposed to keep a straight face when a customer screams and curses at you, and equates a missing receipt with 9/11? Who would stay so calm with a video phone shoved in their face and the person holding it saying they have contacted their lawyer? $5,000 is a pittance compared with the crap they had to put up with.
And for Taylor…on a certain level, I actually get it. Sort of. I have been stuck in a KFC drive-thru for 30 minutes and insisted my meal be comped. I let the store manager know when a cashier wouldn’t even glance at me let alone say “hello” or “thank you.” I took my former landlord to court when he wasn’t being fair. I have pitched fits to my current leasing company when I wasn’t happy with the quality of service (and I expect to give them a good earful more before this year is out, but I can’t help they just plain suck!). I have been to the land of mistreatment and it has pushed my buttons.
But that is NO excuse for swearing, saying you are going to nuke the restaurant from Mars or go on tirades related to 9/11 because you didn’t get a bloody receipt. Sadly, I think behavior like Chapman’s is becoming increasingly common. Yes, she pushed it to the extreme, but the sense of entitlement nowadays is just extraordinary. Weirdos keep our store open 20 minutes late without the slightest apology and threaten on MY job? Parents who rant and rave about what a horrible teacher I am without contacting ME first—instead, try to have my job on the chopping block by complaining straight to HR? Parents who complain to my principal because their kid didn’t get an A/B/C in the class—a kid who put forth very little effort and makes a mad dash in the last week of the semester to recoup the grade?
I think not.
To all those of you who think the customer is 100% right (or the teacher is always wrong), SHAME. ON. YOU. It is exactly the reason why I quit teaching and I will never go back to it. It is exactly why I tire so easily when I work at the mall and can’t wait to get home (OK, I like the discount, the extra income, the wack-o stories and the girls I work with, but still…)
You are NOT always right.
Your kid is NOT perfect.
You will NOT nuke this place to Mars.
I hope Taylor Chapman has learned her lesson. I hope everyone else has learned a little something from it and remember to treat customer service folk with just a little more dignity, grace and humanity.