NOTE: This post contains uncensored profanity and racial slurs. I post it not to be gratuitous, but rather because it is necessary to see the unvarnished ugliness of the situation. There is a difference between inciting and being insightful. I choose to be the latter.
“Going viral.” It’s the 21st century expressway to your 15 minutes of fame. Some folks use it wisely and commandeer money, fame, even a career out of going viral. Of course, some folks chase this Great White Buffalo only to have it turn on them and gore them in the ass.
Take the case of Taylor Chapman. You’ve probably heard of her by now. She’s the female who entered a Florida Dunkin Donuts—iPhone video recording fully activated (“under video surveillance,” as she inarticulately stated)—with the expressed intent to make Dunkin Donuts look bad for not providing her a receipt for her previous day’s order. With recording iPhone aimed directly at Dunkin Donuts employee, 18-year old Abid Adar, 27-year old Chapman begins to explain what happened.
What she said. When she said it.
At the 25 second mark, she drops the first of many profanities. Less than 30 seconds later, she announces she called her lawyer and insists she talked to a manager who guaranteed she’d get her order for free today. “I’ll give you your order for free,” Adar, calmly responds.
“I cant wait to post this on Facebook as soon as we’re done,” Chapman says at the 2:11 mark, giving us our first glimpse of the complainant, while Adar begins gathering her order. A few moments later, she announces she has a business degree…followed by referring to a Dunkin Donuts employee as “that bitch.”
Adar, for his part, calmly apologizes. “I’m very sorry about that,” he says, trying to be polite.
At 3:12, Chapman turns her attention to fellow customers, continuing her recording as she shares her complaint with an unidentified bearded man. His reaction? A shrug.
At the 4:17 mark, in what sounds like off-camera chatter between Chapman and another person, Chapman refers to one of the Dunkin Donuts employees as “a complete cunt, sand nigger whore.”
She turns the camera back to the bearded man at 4:35 and asks, “how do you feel about that?” Clearly uncomfortable with the entire situation, he makes no eye contact and simply says, “I have nothing to say.” This man deserves a medal.
She also tells us she’s from both Indiana and Kentucky and that she’s going to Mars…the planet, I’m assuming.
At 5:57, she accuses someone at another fast food restaurant of urinating in her food once. I actually believe that this might have happened. At 6:42, she sees a female employee behind the counter and heads directly to her and confronts her.
“Guess what, this shit’s about to go live, bitch. Right on Facebook,” Chapman says. “‘Cause I already posted what your dumb ass did last night. So I hope you’re happy with your little fuckin’ sand nigger self.”
If the not-so-veiled racism and threats weren’t enough, Chapman had more to say as the Dunkin Donuts employee continued working/ignoring Chapman.
“‘Cause I’m about to nuke your whole fuckin’ planet from Mars,” Chapman says. “You think y’all are tough, big fat Arabs bombing the Trade Center? I’ll show you tough.”
As Adar completes her order and the video winds down, Chapman tells another customer it’s all going on YouTube. And “I hope it gets a million fuckin’ hits.” Be careful what you wish for, Taylor.
Sometimes wishes come true.
Well, Chapman might just get her wish after all. The video has made the rounds for the better part of the past 24 hours. The website TheSmokingGun.com has written two articles: one about the incident and the other about Adar.
I would guess at least a million people have seen this video by now. But here’s the funny part: so has karma. And karma doesn’t like rude, thoughtless, smug racists.
The vast majority of people sharing, discussing and commenting on this video are staunchly in the Dunkin Donuts camp. How many of us who’ve ever been in a service industry have dealt with a difficult customer? Too many.
It takes a certain level of arrogance and complete lack of self awareness to think posting a video of yourself speaking and behaving as Chapman did would in any way curry sympathy, support or favor from anyone.
This is not to suggest using social media isn’t an effective tool to air a customer complaint or address an issue. But it requires a level of maturity and lucidity that clearly is lacking in Chapman.
Unfortunately, amidst the negative remarks toward Chapman for her behavior are several vile, threatening and downright ugly comments. There is no place for that. Yes, her behavior and her smug sense of entitlement spark anger in many of us (myself included), but responding to vileness with vileness is unnecessary.
Viral videos are life sentences.
That being said, Chapman has a tough row to hoe if she wants to not be remembered for this. She dreamt of this video going viral. Now it has. And it will forever be chained around her neck like an albatross. Good luck dumping that back into the sea, Taylor. Viral videos are life sentences. You don’t get to erase this. It will follow you until the day you die. Now, this isn’t to suggest you can’t repair your image. You can. But if what we saw in this video reflects your true self, a simple, pithy apology will not suffice. Arrogance, racism and spoiled brattiness are not traits employers covet. And every job interview you have from now until the day you die will likely include a question or two like this: “So what do you have to say about this YouTube video of yours?”
What are you going to say? Choose your words wisely; at least more so than you chose in your video.
Closing on a positive note.
I sincerely hope someone very high on the Dunkin Donuts executive ladder reaches out to Abid Adar and his co-worker, Nithi. They deserve tremendous praise for handling an extremely difficult and frustrating situation with poise, maturity and professionalism. Kudos to whomever hired Adar. You can’t train a person to be mature. This situation proves not everyone is cut out for a service job.
I hope Dunkin Donuts also chooses to bar Taylor Chapman from ever being served at their stores ever again. No one deserves to be threatened and called awful names by anyone. The customer most certainly has a right to be properly served. That doesn’t give anyone license to be unabashedly racist and pugnacious with employees.