A viral video has been circulating on social media over the past several days which appears to show a manager of a McDonald’s restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, physically and verbally attacking a customer.
According to WJAX, a second customer waiting in the restaurant used their cell phone to film the encounter between the manager and first customer. The incident allegedly started after the customer was verbally abusive toward the manager and threw two drinks at her in response to slow service, an action that was confirmed by other customers who were present.
That alleged abuse prompted the manager to come out from behind the counter and get in the face of the customer, slapping her twice and knocking the glasses off her face while also yelling at her.
“I’m speechless. I’m blown away by that one. I think it’s totally unprofessional,” said Eddie Ford, another customer who witnessed the incident. “Your job is customer service, and you come behind the counter and fight a consumer? That’s crazy. You’re the face of the company.”
Following the incident, McDonald’s of North Florida put out a statement from store owner Debbie Moreland
“I do not condone the behavior depicted in this video. We are currently investigating this matter,” Moreland said.
According to WJXT, the McDonald’s manager in question, Ciarrea Williams, has since apologized for her behavior, even as she attempted to explain what prompted her rage.
Williams claimed the woman had grown frustrated at the length of time it took to receive her order and began to hurl insults, some of the racial variety, at Williams and other employees.
Williams further claimed that she had attempted to remain professional and even offered the customer a refund, which resulted in two drinks — a hot coffee and a cold soda — being thrown at her.
“At that moment, no one can tell you what it feels like at that moment,” Williams said. “It was more so embarrassment, because I was still nice to her. I gave it my all and I stayed professional, even with her calling me every name in the book.”
“It’s embarrassing,” Williams said of the video. “I would like to apologize to my head boss, which is my store owner, my coworkers, my team, my family and my kids.”
Unfortunately for Williams, it would appear that her apology didn’t help her case as much as she’d hoped, as WJXT later reported that Williams was fired by McDonald’s.
“I can’t believe this,” Williams said of being let go. Asked if she had been given a reason for her termination after nearly eight years working at the restaurant, Williams replied, “Not really. It was more so, ‘The customer is always right.'”
Incredibly, Williams claimed to have already received job offers from other employers who expressed sympathy for the abuse she allegedly received from the customer. It’s a turn of events for which she credits her prior interview and apology.
“If you see me in the first video, you’re thinking, ‘Who is that? She’s a caged animal,'” said Williams. “Then in the second video, if you know me, then you know that was genuine. That was me.”
The customer who was attacked by Williams has yet to be identified, and has thus far not come forward to make any comment or file any charges related to the incident.
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