Posted On 10 Sep 2019
A California woman who is deaf said she was yelled at, mocked and denied service at the drive-thru of a Jack in the Box restaurant because she drove straight to the service window without placing her order at the drive-thru’s speaker.
Her son, Malachi Jensen, told NBC News the incident happened on Aug. 31 as his mother, ReVae Arnaud-Jensen, tried to order at the restaurant in Campbell, about 7 miles from San Jose. He said he captured the confrontation on his cellphone to show that this is a “common problem” deaf people face.
In the video, Arnaud-Jensen tries to explain to the worker at the restaurant that she cannot place an order at the drive-thru speaker because she is deaf.
Arnaud-Jensen has been deaf since birth, but can speak and read lips in addition to communicating through sign language, according to NBC Bay Area.
“I can’t hear,” Arnaud-Jensen says in the video pointing to her ear. “You’re discriminating” against me.
“Whatever. Whatever,” the employee responds. “Move.”
When Arnaud-Jensen tells the worker that she is deaf, he responds: “I don’t care. … Go. Go. Go. Go.” He then begins to yell at Arnaud-Jensen, telling her to “shut up.”
Arnaud-Jensen, who appears to get emotional, tries to place her order again and tells the worker she will not move until she gets her food. The video ends with the worker appearing to mock her sign language, laughing and closing the drive-thru window.
Jensen told NBC News that the employee’s behavior toward his mother left him “shocked.” He said they sat at the drive-thru for two hours until Arnaud-Jensen was finally given her food.
“It was my first time seeing an employee acting like that, and honestly I was very shocked. I felt pretty mad too because deaf people very often get treated differently,” he said.
A spokesperson for Jack in the Box said the worker was fired over the incident.
“We do not tolerate the mistreatment of any customers and expect employees to follow all training procedures, be respectful, courteous and accommodating to all guests,” the company said in a statement. “After a thorough investigation of the incident and direct contact with the local franchise owner, we understand the employee in the video has been terminated.”
Arnaud-Jensen told NBC Bay Area that she plans to sue, telling the outlet: “It’s not only training … You need that depth of knowledge of deaf culture to fully understand the needs.”