Starbucks employee fired after mocking stuttering customer

Irving Hamilton
July 6, 2018

A Starbucks barista has been fired after he mocked a customer with a stutter.

In a Facebook post that gained national media attention, Philadelphia resident Tan Lekwijit said his friend Sam stuttered on his name when ordering a beverage at a local Starbucks on June 27.

Lekwijit explained of the "disrespectful" interaction that the barista even went so far as to reply to his friend: 'Okay, S-s-s-sam, ' after he ordered at the counter.

"The barista said, "Okay, S-s-s-sam, '" Lekwijit wrote". Lekwijit included with his post a picture of the drink, which shows the misspelled name on the label.

'Clearly, Starbucks missed the point. "It was about how you treat people with speech impairments, not how you write names", Lekwijit wrote.

Sam told the Inquirer he felt the company's offer was "kind of insulting".

"I also thought they didn't take my issue seriously".

"I was angry, and I feel like no stutterer should be treated this way".

Lekwijit said he first posted about the incident on Starbucks' Facebook page but claims it was deleted.

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Panelists include Andrew Lincoln , Norman Reedus , Lauren Cohan , Danai Gurira , Melissa McBride , and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. One point of note in this poster is the rather demolished looking Capitol building in Washington, DC.

'I am writing this not because I want to get anybody into trouble, but because I want to raise awareness among the employees.

Starbucks said in a reply to Lekwijit's Facebook post that the employee was no longer with the company.

The chain has also reached out to Sam privately. We've taken immediate corrective action and apologized to the customer.

Starbucks regional vice president Camille Hymes called Sam Monday afternoon, according to the Inquirer.

Starbucks said: 'Hi, Tan. "I'm not going to impugn an entire organization because of one person".

Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores in the United States the afternoon of May 29 for "racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination".

This is the second time in a matter of months that a Philadelphia-based Starbucks has come under fire for customer relations.

In May, Starbucks held anti-racial bias training for thousands of US employees after a worker at another Philadelphia store called police on two black men waiting for a friend.

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