A man in Columbia, South Carolina took to Facebook to vent out his outrage over a receipt he had received at a local Firehouse Subs that referred to him with a racial slur.
Zhao Zhe ordered from the restaurant at 6041-A Garners Ferry Road for lunch on Nov. 7, only to have the rest of his day “ruined” by a cashier identified as “Pamela.”
As seen on the receipt, the restaurant referred to Zhao as “CHING CHONG,” a racial slur typically used to mock people of Asian descent.
“I won’t judge anyone’s personal ideas, but people should be responsible for their opinions in different identities,” Zhao wrote in his Facebook post. “You can insult me personally, but you can’t insult my people. Thanks to the staff of the Firehouse for ruining my good day.”
In a follow-up post, Zhao said that he had ordered from the restaurant through DoorDash using his Facebook account, which has his Chinese name 赵哲 (Zhao Zhe). Apparently, his identification did not matter.
“There is no reason [for] my name [to] become ‘CHING CHONG.’ My name on the receipt is changed by SOMEONE ELSE,” he added.
Following his initial post, Zhao claimed to have received text messages from a Firehouse Subs manager who claimed that “Pamela” was not the person responsible for calling him “CHING CHONG.”
In a screenshot of their conversation, the unidentified manager is seen apologizing for the experience Zhao had with their restaurant, adding that the employee responsible for the action had been identified:
“I was calling to apologize to you personally about the experience you had in our restaurant today. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior. I also wanted to make you aware that the situation is being dealt with immediately with the employee who we have learned did this.
“I also want to let you [know that] the name of the cashier on the receipt was not the person who rang this order up. She was signed into the register and by no means had any part of what one employees [sic] poor and embarrassing choice did.”
Under Zhao’s latest post, a woman identified as Pam Brown Hoover claimed that she had resigned from her job at the restaurant after receiving threats to her life. She clarified that she was not the person responsible for calling Zhao “CHING CHONG.”
“You have ruined more than just my day,” Hoover wrote. “Because of your post people felt the need to harass me and make phone calls to the store and call me a racist. I made the decision to resign [from] my job be [sic] because I was truly scared.”
Hoover pointed out that the person who contacted Zhao was their regional area manager. She also announced the termination of the employee responsible: an 18-year-old “African American who thought she was being silly and meant nothing by it BUT now understands how wrong it was.”
“The person you spoke to was our regional area manager, not the manager of the store. And you have gotten your apology more than once,” Hoover wrote. “It would be nice if you would let everyone know all this. I’m truly sorry for the [sic] what the employee did, but the company and all the other employees shouldn’t suffer because of one person who was immediately terminated.”
Somehow, Zhao ended up apologizing for sharing his story, which allegedly caused trouble for Hoover. However, he continues to seek an official apology from the Florida-based restaurant chain.
“BUT Pamela is the name I see on the receipt. No matter who wrote ‘CHING CHONG,’ this is A PERSON write this [sic],” Zhao pointed out. “I do not accept the manager’s personal apologize [sic]. The employees have [sic] this racial discrimination is the manager’s dereliction of duty.
“I do not need any compensation. I need an official explanation and apology from Firehouse.”
Feature Images via 赵哲