Following a night out with friends, In Young Lee, a Ph.D student in his first year at Penn Medicine, visited a Philadelphia Taco Bell at approximately 1:40 AM.
According to Lee, when he arrived to order food he gave the fake name of Steven to the cashier to save time explaining the correct spelling of his name and the inconvenience for both he and the cashier.
All was normal, until Lee said he received the receipt and became angered at what had been printed. Lee wrote in a Facebook post that the interaction was ordinary as well as cordial until he saw the name on the receipt – “Steve Chink.”
Lee said that he then confronted Taco Bell’s cashier who had allegedly written the slur but turned out to be unhappy with the response he received.
He said he had been so upset he could not help but confront the cashier and when he did, the cashier told him three Steve’s had been in the restaurant so he needed a way to differentiate between them.
Lee said it upset him even more that the cashier defended his case rather than making an apology so Lee lashed out even more telling him how disrespectful he was to use such a slur.
Eventually the med student said he received an apology and decided he would drop it. However, he then overheard two workers having a conversation that made fun of him and used the same derogatory slur again.
Lee said in his Facebook post that when he heard the two employees of Taco Bell continuing to make fun of him, he just snapped and made his way to the counter where he began yelling.
The store manager quickly approached Lee apologizing for the slur that was used, but then told Lee has was now being disrespectful because he snatched food from one of the employees.
Lee said that the manager appeared to be trying to defuse the problem through redirecting the fault to him. Since he posted the encounter on his Facebook page, Taco Bell fired the employee and released a prepared statement regarding what took place.
The statement said Taco Bell does not tolerate that kind of behavior and the employee was no longer working for the brand, while at the same time the franchise was retraining staff so this type of incident does not happen again.