CAMPBELL, California (NBC) – A stunning confrontation at a San Francisco Bay Area fast-food drive-thru was captured on cellphone video.
A Jack in the Box worker in Campbell allegedly refused to serve a deaf woman and even mocked her sign language.
The video went viral Monday, and the woman at the center of it, 39-year-old Revae Arnaud-Jensen, says she’s pursuing legal action.
At the busy Jack in the Box on West Hamilton Avenue, customers generally order through a speaker first, then drive up to the window.
But that didn’t work for Arnaud-Jensen, who has been deaf since birth. Still, she expected to get food, not grief.
“I was shocked and perplexed,” said Arnaud-Jensen, who is articulate and can communicate through lip-reading and sign language.
She couldn’t, however, get that across to a Jack in the Box worker.
“I’m deaf,” she told the worker.
“It’s OK. It’s OK. Go to speaker now,” was the worker’s response.
With the help of her son on Monday, Arnaud-Jensen talked about the verbal confrontation.
She said it all started when she tried to explain why she didn’t use the speaker and tried to order at the drive-thru window.
As things escalated, her son recorded the confrontation with his phone. In the video, the worker can be heard telling Arnaud-Jensen “no order.”
Then the worker mocks her sign language, and there’s laughter.
“It just continues. It needs to stop,” Arnaud-Jensen said. “It’s discrimination. Too many times. They think it’s the norm, but it’s not.”
After Jack in the Box management saw the video posted on her Arnaud-Jensen’s Facebook page, the worker was fired. But Arnaud-Jensen still plans to sue.
“It’s not only training. That’s not going to change,” she said. “Because you need that depth of knowledge of deaf culture to fully understand the needs.”
Jack in the Box corporate released the following statement Monday:
“We have been informed of the incident that took place between an employee and hearing-impaired guest, in the drive-thru at a Campbell, CA restaurant on August 31st. 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. 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.”