“WE WEREN’T EVEN IN THE FOOD AREA! IF YOU CAN SEE IN THE BACK IT’S THE SODA MACHINES!… YOU’RE OPINION DOESN’T EVEN MATTER BECAUSE THIS HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO! DAMMIT!”
—-The Taco Bell employee who allegedly took the photo above of a colleague licking a stack of taco shells. The image was, naturally, posted by one of them on Facebook, and re-posted, with appropriate alarm, by Consumerist.
The runners-up for this quote of the day were several jaw-dropping comments on Facebook, such as…
- Wes Abdi, who says: 1. I know the person in the photo, not just from work, but from school as well; and I know that he is not dumb enough to lick a stack of taco shells and then serve them to the public. 2. There is a 99% chance that stack of Tacos was getting thrown out, as in: getting thrown away, so it’s not as if they were going to be served to anyone. 3. This was obviously done out of humor. I know most of you don’t see it as this, but this is friggin hilarious, sit back and just laugh at it.
Uh, Wes….1. He was dumb enough to post the picture, causing a business crisis for his employer, causing Taco Bell to lose untold sales and presumably putting his job at risk. He’s pretty dumb. 2. You know, a 1% chance that I’m going to be buying and eating a taco that has been ore-licked by an idiot is still too high for me, and, I bet, the FDA. 3. Yeah, food adulteration and tampering is hilarious. Now we know why you and The Mad Licker are friends, you idiot. (By the way, over a hundred readers “liked” this fatuous comment. What does that tell us?)
Aj Hackett, one of the hundred plus who think Wes is brilliant, wrote: One reason why I dislike this post so much is that you don’t know any side of this story. You only have a picture and you’re reading too much into it. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? You talk of freedom of speech and differences of opinion, yet you ignore one of the nation’s founding creeds. I do believe that Wes Abdi is correct in saying that you…should be the one to prove that this employee was ignoring his duty in properly handling food items. Once again, “innocent until proven guilty.” So prove it.
- Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley, another Wes fan, writes this stunner: EXACTLY WES- TELL THAT KID THAT THIS OLD MOM OF 5 SONS THINKS IT IS A SCREAM AND HILARIOUS. TELL HIM HE IS MY HERO OF THE WEEK. I WOULD HIRE HIM IN A RED HOT MINUTE FOR HAVING FUN WHILE WORKING- VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE FUN ON THE JOB. PEOPLE FORGET HOW IMPORTANT FUN IS- !LIFE IS SHORT AND THEN YOU DIE. HAVE FUN AND NEVER STOP LAUGHING. TACO BELL WILL SURVIVE IT-LOL. Look out, World…Rebekah has raised five sons who think like her.
There is no reason to expound further on what is unethical about posting a photo of yourself licking food that may or may not have ended up in a customer’s lunch, to the detriment of your employer and horror of its customers. If that isn’t immediately apparent, you’re either beyond hope, like Rebekah, Wes, A.J., and the unidentified photographer, or you work at Taco Bell.______________Pointer: tgtFacts and Graphic: Consumerist
21 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: A Taco Bell Employee”
I was horrified when I saw the photo. I have no way of knowing that the incident was a “joke” or that the tacos were “being thrown out.” How would I? Now I can’t help but question the safety of Taco Bell’s food and all because of an idiot employee. He should’ve known better and didn’t; fire him.
Makes me think differently about any fastfood joint where there’s no glass partition between kitchen and counter…
That mom of five has obviously never heard of herpes simplex infection and her assumption that TacoBell is apparently dutybound to survive whatever their employees botch up. Mmh, can’t follow her thought process.
Jack- This is the take away from USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/03/taco-bell–gross-employee-action-public-relations-nightmare/2385919/
I believe the expression, “there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners” applies here. While there is no excuse for the behavior of this idiot or anyone who condones it, my guess is the culture at Taco Bell is undefined, directionless or just plain bad. Maybe the company has really low hiring standards, low wages and low retention rates.
Perhaps the CEO (at Yum) has taken his eyes off the road as he focuses on expansion in China, and could benefit from some examination of industry best practices. Maybe he should give a call to Howard Schultz at Starbucks or Ron Shaich at Panera Bread.
Bottom line, I’ve never been in a Taco Bell. I’ve always thought of it as a sort of third rate fast food junk yard. Maybe the employees feel the same way.
Try a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. You’ll change your opinion.
I think it’s a bit hasty to condemn the CEO of Taco Bell for the miscreance of this employee.
Can’t blame a corporate entity for this. Whoever the shift manager is should have his eye on the ball.. OTOH you can’t watch people every second.
I agree, Tex. A person’s risk of eating mis-handled food from Taco Bell is no greater than the risk from any other restaurant, I have concluded.
As has been demonstrated amply by those employing traditional media, this kind of misbehavior, unethical as it is, is virtually unstoppable because it is virtually irresistible to so many of those who can only employ the newer media. Power corrupts.
I prefer the soft taco al fresco (I believe that’s what it’s called) to the Gorditas. That is what I have been planning to order in drive-thru for lunch today, plus a couple packets of Hot sauce (which is probably the most reliably sanitary part of the order, in any case). Yes: at times I have been accused of having a death wish. But this thread notwithstanding, I am still getting hungrier; I would rather die from eating than from not eating.
There will aways be idiots in every workplace. All you can do is fire the. After you have discovered them. When I trained new workers at McDonald’s, only half of the adults (over 25) workers could actually make it through the 12 hours of training. More than half of those who made it through had to be fired for violating food-handling policies. I worked for a store owner who was very vigilant. I reported numerous violations of policy and was supported every time. This still means that people were violating the policies, even when they were stopped and the food discarded. With high turnover, this is a constant battle even with a committed management. It is especially difficult during slow periods (like at night) when the manager might not be on the floor and only the crew is present in the food prep and sales area. It only takes one goof off with one submissive employee in drive-through for this to happen. No management can stop this from ever happening.
On the plus side, between this Taco Bell employee, Mr. Adi, and Aj Hackett, President Obama has three candidates for his next press secretary.
Half the world’s below the fiftieth percentile, Jack.
Anyone who has worked in the food service industry would not be surprised by this nonsense.
Knuckledraggers like Wes treat this as You Tube sport, trying to garner 5 seconds of fame by documenting outrageous behavior. Scary.
oops.. *Wes’s buddy.
would have been funnier if wes found out afterwards that the taco shells had come from compromised corn
While there are probably employees like this at any given fast food place it’s abstract and you can avoid thinking about it until you see photo evidence.
Anyone who thinks this is hilarious should have someone go into their house and randomly lick the food they find there. It’s just having fun after all. What could it hurt?
It’s too bad Rebekah and her no doubt exemplary children might never sober up and consider consequences. They’re so funny! Just have fun and never stop laughing until you die of whatever some equally cretinous person thought was a funny idea at the time.
1. People still eat at Taco Bell? Didn’t it come out a year or so ago that there was sand in the taco meat, or is that an urban legend?
2. I know kids in high school who worked at Taco Bell. For fun, once every few months, they stole the actual Taco Bell and photograped it around town in silly locations before returning it. Was this stupid? Yes. Was it theft? Of course. The kids in question grew up to be respected/ethical surgeons and attorneys. (No, I wasn’t one of them!) Kids can be stupid and immature, but nothing more should be done other than firing them so they learn the appropriate life lesson. I don’t think it’s worthy of lengthy pro or anti commentary.
There is a difference between toting a bell around town and contaminating food that people will unwittingly eat.
I’m not sure what you’re trying to opine in your second point. I wouldn’t condone this behavior from a 10 year old child, let alone an ostensibly pubescent young man professionally employed to handle others’ food. Whether people are “stupid and immature” or “[grow up] to be respected/ethical surgeons and attorneys” are irrelevant to the ethics of their particular, individual actions, and certainly do not retroactively mitigate the ethics of past behavior. Moreover, pardon my cynicism, but I doubt that his firing will edify him as to the wrongness of his behavior but rather drive him to be more discreet in subsequent shenanigans.
Anyway, I am inclined to agree that this particular incident might not warrant any elaborate commentary, only because I hear of similar misconduct that occurs in the retail food industry that ought to be collectively admonished. But what I do find worthy of commentary is the appalling but unsurprising fact that there are people like Wes, AJ, and Rebekah who evidently adopt the perspective that it’s merely a silly joke played by a youngster (who no doubt is being unfairly oppressed by his minimum wage job and deserves to have some fun) to trivialize this action. That is to say nothing of the many comments that also invoke the insalubrity of Taco Bell to write off a little extra saliva. For that, I appreciate Jack for pointing out and breaking down their ridiculous responses.
My point merely is that this behavior is awful of course, but I do think it is widespread (especially among teenagers) and always has been. We shouldn’t praise these types of actions, but we also shouldn’t presume that individuals like the licking-taco-shell-idiot won’t mature into ethical adults.
Where’s the Applebee’s waitress supporters coming out in defense of this guy??
I hope he doesn’t get throat cancer
while i don’t find this behavior to be funny, one must consider, perhaps they are shells that fell on the floor and he was dared to lick, or maybe he asked if he could do it and have the cost of the shells taken out of his next paycheck. a simple picture is not enough evidence to say it is not justified because a picture lacks context.
It’s the appearance, not the reality, that matters. Maybe that wasn’t really his tongue.