An Oklahoma City Burger King employee has been fired after an incident in which a deaf woman was refused service at the drive-thru window and videoed her interaction with the employee.
Rachel Hollis said the Aug. 21 incident took place when she was bringing her children home from hockey practice, according to KFOR, which spoke to Hollis through an interpreter.
Hollis has adapted to her deafness by using her cell phone to type out an order when she goes through a drive-thru. Usually, that works fine.
Not on this trip.
“I show him my order, and he gives me this face of frustration,” she said. That’s when the uneasy feeling she had led her to start recording the incident on her phone.
The video she recorded shows the employee handing her a note. The note read, “Can’t do a full order at the window. Too busy.”
Hollis still had kids to feed and remained at the window. The employee eventually spoke to her.
“You have to come inside. It’s too busy. Too busy ma’am, I can’t do a full order at the window. I’m sorry,” the employee said.
“It has nothing to do with your disability, I have a disability too,” he said before slamming the window shut.
Hollis said her children were getting upset.
“I could tell they knew something was going on, I was just trying to keep them calm,” Hollis said. “I said I’ll explain it to you when we get home. But they knew something was going on.”
Although eventually another employee took her order, Hollis was outraged. The police were even called, though they didn’t question her.
“This man was stubborn. He completely ignored me. It was like I was nobody. I just wanted my food. They should treat me like hearing customers,” she said.
“When I got home, that was when I really broke down. I was very upset, I was crying, I was very tired. I’m tired of discrimination,” Hollis said.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that, for someone to call the police. That’s crazy, it didn’t seem right,” she said.
“They have to train their employees, ’cause this is going to continue to happen over and over again,” Hollis said.
A Burger King spokesperson said the employee in the video was later fired, People reported.
“All guests should be treated with respect and provided with a high level of service at our restaurants,” a company statement said. “The restaurant owner has reached out to the guest and her family to apologize, the employee was terminated and all employees at the location will undergo additional sensitivity training to ensure our customers always feel welcomed.”
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