Self-Webshaming At Dunkin’ Donuts

(Watch this after you’ve read the post. Kind of like dessert..)

The ethical considerations one should review when pondering whether to engage in webshaming nicely evaporate when the subject has chosen, though unwittingly, to webshame herself. Thus Ethics Alarms has no qualms about presenting for your consideration, revulsion, and rejection if she ever applies for a job from you, one Taylor Chapman, a 27-year-old woman who lives in the vicinity of Fort Lauderdale. She eagerly and proudly posted to her Facebook page the phone-video above, of her abusing an impeccable Dunkin’ Donuts employee, annoying a customer, and making serial statements with signature significance—no decent human being would utter even one of these appalling comments in public unless suffering from a brain trauma or extreme intoxication.

Chapman was angry because she and her friends had not received a receipt along with their large drive-thru order, and angrily (and abusively, based on Chapman’s manner, but we can only guess) demanded to receive their order free of charge, as Dunkin’ Donuts now promises as part of a service pledge. The employee handling the order apparently did not know how to proceed, and told the group that they would have to come by the store and see her manager the next day.

[An aside: That’s not good customer service, DD. If you make a guarantee that is supposed to mean anything, you have an obligation to train employees how to deliver on it. Telling customers who have not received the promised service that they have to come back to the establishment another day to receive what they are owed is unreasonable and a bait-and switch. I would have said to forget it. I would have written a letter. I would not have done what Chapman did, and I don’t know anyone who would.]

What Chapman did was to return the next day and demand her free order, tossing obscenities at the extraordinarily polite and unflappable employee (his name is Abid Adar, and you should send him flowers) on duty while she recorded the encounter as if it were a health department sting. Along the way, she used racial slurs to describe the employee at the drive-in window, ranted to a fellow customer, threatened legal action (!), insisted that the drive-thru employee be fired, and appeared to be auditioning for the role of Worst Customer Ever, all while repeatedly proclaiming that she would be posting the video on Facebook.

Most memorable  quote, as her order was being prepared: ”Even if they hock a loogie and s**t in it, I don’t even care…. One time they pissed in my fries right in front of my mouth. Literally, I could smell the piss in it…. That’s why I’m not eating this food and I’m giving it to my boyfriend.”

The video , which Chapman posted as promised, teaches  many things—other than to avoid Chapman like herpes, that is:

  • Berating employees for the failures of their employers, or mistreating one employee who has done nothing wrong because you are annoyed with a different employee, is wildly  unfair, as well as cowardly.
  • Using obscenities and vulgarities in transaction with strangers, besides being uncivil, is a form of verbal assault and outrageously disrespectful. This video is a reminder of the world we are looking at if we continue to shrug away gratuitous vulgarity in everyday discourse.
  • “I’ve contacted my lawyer” is a threat, often bullying, frequently a lie, and almost always the water mark of a jerk. Like Chapman.
  • People who act like this are unethical by nature: they regard their needs and desires infinitely more important than the welfare and happiness of everyone else. They cannot, therefore, be trusted.
  • Exemplary ethics from the other customer who witnessed the abuse of the employee would have been to intervene, chastise the woman for her manner, rudeness and language, and continue to do so until she left or modified her conduct.

As a side note, the comments about this incident on the conservative political site The Blaze are depressing. The discussion of one rude woman quickly degenerates into speculation over whether she is a “typical Obama supporter” or a run-of-the-mill cruel, abusive conservative. Ye Gods. No wonder reasonable policy debate is so difficult, when both sides of the spectrum regard disgraceful conduct as indicia that an individual hails from the opposite camp. Similarly, many male oriented sites have used this video to spark orgies of misogynism from their readers, all apparently swine.

It’s ugly out there, and not just in Fort Lauderdale.


Sources: The Blaze, Huffington Post, Smoking Gun, The Blemish, Consumerist



53 thoughts on “Self-Webshaming At Dunkin’ Donuts

  1. Just a question, she is also video-phoning the customers. Is that legal or not? Is the DD restaurant a public place in this case?

  2. Perfect analysis. I’ve got nothing substantive to add since it’s covered here. Nor any disagreements.

    Tiny tidbit of absolute minimal concern:

    Her boyfriend ought to be somewhat alarmed that she’ll risk hazarding him with potentially urinated or be-spittled food.

    Of course, I doubt that he is really a stand-up act either, if he’s dating her.

  3. Makes me nauseous just listening to this vitriolic, diarrhea mouthed, assertive baby. I can’t wait to see her when she has children.

  4. This story is making the rounds, and they all fail to point out her most egregious behavior: filming vertically. (Or as she put it, doing her “surveillance” vertically.)

    Filming vertically is to the eyes what playing an out-of-tune instrument is to the ears.

  5. I watched only about half of the video. Good calls Jack, all the way. I have learned one thing – and I guess I should not be surprised that even at age 27, Taylor Chapman either has not also learned it at all yet, or has not learned it well enough to behave as one who has taken it to heart: No matter what you do, or how good (or bad) you are at doing anything, there is always someone else who does it better (even much better) or worse (even much worse). She may have already lived past the point where she can (or will) better herself in some ways. I don’t wish it on her, but it could be a sad day for her, if the day ever comes when she receives as much (or a great deal more) mistreatment from someone as she has dished out – even if she deserves it.

  6. I was really wondering why the employee didn’t tell her off for her appallingly bad manners.
    That could not be termed disrespectful behaviour towards the customer – I mean, if he asked her nicely to stop swearing and calling other employees names.
    That was truly cringe-worthy.

    • She is an embarrassment to the human race and it’s sad we all have to share this planet with her (and her ilk). I’m betting she was disappointed she could not get a rise out of either of the employees she was abusing.
      The employees (Abid Adar and Nithi), both class acts indeed, showed exemplary self-control, grace, dignity, not to mention customer service, by not rising to her bait or sinking to her level. I don’t think I would be able to restrain myself as they did.
      The beautiful thing to me is how these employees showed that ugliness / violence / anger in this world is better dealt with by refusal to engage in kind by matching or escalating said bad behavior, but rather to rise above it / turn the other cheek / take the high road (however you want to put it).
      I think the same is true of the fellow customer (the poor guy looked so uncomfortable!) and I could not DISAGREE more with this writer’s ridiculous assessment that he should have intervened. Does Ms.Chapman seem like someone who can be reasoned with or “chastised into leaving”? Any scolding word from the man would not have shamed her into seeing the error of her ways and leaving with her tail between her legs. She clearly has no shame. She would most likely have turned on him and included him in her abuse, just like trying to intervene with an armed gunman will most likely get you shot.

      • We will never know if she could have been reasoned with or seen the error of her ways since said employee did not intervene. Not even to protect other customers from her harassment by filming them and involving them in her tirade. This did probably seem normal behaviour to the woman herself. By not asking her to stop she will continue to think that her appalling speech is/was acceptable. I think it is everyone’s duty to point out bad behaviour and hold people accountable for it.
        If there was a chance that my intervention would protect my fellow employees and customers – then I would have done something and have gladly suffered her verbal abuse till the cops arrive. But she was not an armed robber holding a bank at gunpoint.

  7. I’m hoping she does move to Mars or wherever the heck she said she was going? I couldn’t watch the entire video. Her behavior disgusted me. The young man behind the counter handled himself wonderfully and yes he should receive a Dunkin’ D medal.

  8. Jack, I believe your Side Note is more worthy of discussion than the replay of another one of hundreds, if not thousands, of everyday “looka me ma I’m usin up my fifteen!” She’s done for life. And not worthy of your time (even if you don’t have to sleep).

    Earlier this year I spent about six weeks (until I could retch no further) going through Comments sections on sites like Yahoo. Not reading the articles; just the after-posts. Every one of them inevitably, if not immediately, degenerated into irrelevant name-calling, often threatening, pejoratively labeled and frequently obscene. The majority of both posts as well as “Like” votes were personal, not political, attacks. Top Ten targets: Obama; “liberals”, gay men; anti-any-gun controls; “The Bible (or God) says”, anyone having a “foreign” name or country of origin (in descending order of interest of the day: Middle-Eastern, Hispanic, Chinese, and so on), “conservatives” ; LGBT people, organizations, interests, or anyone who defended them; women in positions of authority; racism going in all directions.

    The key word above is “irrelevant.” I like and respect what you do, Jack. Which is why I think you owe it to yourself to run a search sometime on how often — and where — #1 appears in Alarms. In return, I will attend at least one MLB game (of my choice) this year. It’s a fair trade.

    • There are several really good reasons Obama’s #1.

      1. He’s President. That means he himself is involved in many stories, but also that he is, though he seems not to recognize it, responsible for leading the government.
      2. I am a specialist in ethics, but my field of study was leadership, American government, and the American Presidency.
      3. He has a lot of obviously unethical people working for him, and he shouldn’t. When those people misbehave, his name will come up.
      4. The separate story of the media’s biased support, key to his election and essential to his ability to avoid outright hostility from the republic is, I think, the major professional ethics failing in the nation.
      5. He’s black, and that means that he is often drawn into race issues, or, impulsively, draws himself into it, as in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

      • Amen to all of this. Someone needs to write a book on #4 if one hasn’t been written on it already. With regard to #2, Jack, Bill O’Reilly compared Obama to Ulysses S. Grant tonight, or, more accurately, said if he didn’t step up and put a stop to the multiple scandals he would go down in history as Ulysses S. Grant, who lost control of his office. Do you agree, or would you make a different comparison?

        • I think that’s unfair to Grant. Harding was a better comp…nice guy, good looking, no real leadership experience, unlike Grant. Trusted the untrustworthy. Manipulated and over his head.

          • I was thinking of making reference to Harding, although I didn’t have the books I usually reference in discussions like these to hand and I was too tired to go grab them. You ever thought of writing a book on presidential ethics? I’ve read two books and a bunch of articles that rated the presidents and all of them seem to consistently make Washington, Lincoln, and FDR the top three. I wonder how you’d rank them.

            • Best (Top 13)

              1. Washington
              2. Lincoln
              3. Teddy
              4. FDR
              5. Monroe
              6. Truman
              7. Polk
              8. Reagan
              9. Jackson
              10. Ike
              11. Cleveland
              12. Jefferson
              13. LBJ

              Worst (“Top” 13, from Worst to Least bad)

              1. Buchanan
              2. Harding
              3. A. Johnson
              3. Wilson
              4. Pierce
              5. Nixon
              6. Fillmore
              7. Carter
              8. Hoover
              9. Madison
              10. G HW Bush
              11. Clinton
              12. Taft
              13. JFK

              • OK, now we’re talking. I agree, of course, with a lot of your choices, because a lot of them are just commonsensical. We might disagree about some of the rankings of the best, but I think we are (somewhat surprisingly) mostly on the same page except I think Chester A. Arthur merits an honorable mention for his civil service reform that went a long way toward starting to end the spoils system and graft at at least some levels of government. I am somewhat surprised that Andrew Jackson makes the top 13, since he did produce a human rights disaster in the form of his Indian policy which resulted in the Trail of Tears, etc. I thought that might keep him out, although I wouldn’t exclude him because he isn’t only that policy. I’m not too surprised at most of the worst either, except Millard Fillmore, who I frankly have never thought much about, and George H.W. Bush, whose biggest, and fatal failure was his kinder, gentler team player approach that led him to break his pledge on new taxes, possibly coupled with his subsequent allying with dangerously shrill conservatives like Pat Buchanan. Does Taft make it because of his indecisiveness or because of sloth? May I also assume that Garfield and Harrison are never considered because of their brief tenures and that the last 2 presidents aren’t considered because they are too close in time? The harshest, but possibly truest “worst” rating, I think is ranking Woodrow Wilson in a tie with Andrew Johnson (in way over his head in castrated by a hostile congress) and just behind Buchanan (in way, WAY over his head and too afraid to do anything) and Harding (in way over his head and corrupt, although he DID respond correctly to the Panic of 1921 by NOT intervening). Wilson is usually given at least something of a pass in the history books since he was a wartime president who said “the world must be made safe for democracy,” but in a lot of ways he was the most dangerous man on that list, due to his sweeping, visionary approach to governing and his attempts to ram that vision down the throats of those who did not agree with him, the Constitution be damned. Toward the end of his time in office, when he lamented his inability to get things done, supposedly a close adviser told him in a moment of frankness that he had very few friends remaining. I mention that because I believe, trying to be realistic, that the current President, who is in some ways Wilson’s spiritual heir (professorial, visionary) may find himself in the same place, especially after next year, and the media will begin to speak of an increasingly isolated White House. I submit that is not a good place for the nation to be, and might even be our most vulnerable, rather than just after a new president takes office.

      • Your words, Jack “The discussion of one rude woman quickly degenerates into speculation over whether she is a “typical Obama supporter” or a run-of-the-mill cruel, abusive conservative. Ye Gods.” My point.

        Of course — and for all the reasons you express here and have expressed clearly before — Obama’s name would be #1 on the posts I was referring to, even though few of the articles had anything whatsoever to do with him, his office, or the government in general. When a child was held hostage by a madman, Obama was alluded to. When a football player abused his wife — hate for Obama, again. When someone had a huge lottery win — it was unfair for some reason, and Obama was “at it” again.

        There are times when you sound alarms which suddenly ring false to me. Not because the ethical problem was not laid out, dissected, and analyzed with your usual panache, but because you added to a point already made an extraneous litany, usually invoking Obama, JFK, Clinton, et al, exactly as a lesser essayist would bring up Nixon, Reagan, Bush, etc. I get your strong feelings. I can’t help but share them when they are applicable to the theme at hand. In the (rare) times they are not, the invocations become overkill. This detracts from the ethical points, as well as leaving you(r words) vulnerable to criticism, which you then have to defend or deflect, removing me even further from the subject.

        Having dug myself in by saying all this, it is probably futile to apologize for coming at you sideways, but there never seemed to be a right time to say it before. All I ask is that you be perfect. I don’t see why that would be a problem.

        . . . unless Obama is slyly seeping into your keyboard when you’re not looking.

        • I’d like to see some examples, Penn. This is an ethics blog, and thus the topic is always broader than the single story under discussion. Somehow making the ranting of a Dunkin’ Donuts customer into proof that Obama supporters are insane Obama Derangement syndrome. I have anything but.

          There are over a hundred references to Richard Nixon on this blog, almost all from a negative standpoint, to illustrate an ethical point. I’m sure Bill Clinton tops that, but not being dead and still capable of whoppers, he has a big advantage over Nixon, who IS dead. JFK comes nowhere close to Nixon here, but his name has been referenced several times in the context of sexual harassment and misogyny, which he richly deserves. I probably don’t do it enough, since the fact that one of the most deceptive and ruthless people ever to hold the office of President is inexplicably cited in polls as one of the most admired. Obama, unlike Kennedy, is NOT in my pantheon of unethical icons that I will cite in otherwise unrelated posts as a shorthand metaphor for particular misconduct, and contrary to your suggestion (confirmation bias, I think, rather than intentional distortion), there are about as many Republicans in that panteon as Democrats, including Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Todd Akin, Rand Paul, Michael Steele and others. When I link the President to a topic, it is usually to remind readers that the ethical breaches in small and great matters are often the same, which is why “The Trivial Trap” is a trap.

          I can think of a couple of arguable cheap shots and side-swipes I’ve taken at the President that in retrospect I should have resisted, but not many. Do I mention him frequently in relation to Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, for example? Damn right I do, because a man is facing a second degree murder trial in Florida without enough evidence to fairly convict him, in part because the President injected himself into the case, as well as intensifying the racial tension over the matter. Yes, I think that was outrageous, irresponsible and unpresidential, not to mention stupid, and yes, I will continue to remind readers of it, because it has contributed to a miscarriage of justice already, may well contribute to future violence, and is an example of the kind of Obama’s serious and damaging leadership lapses that the news media and much of the public refuse to acknowledge and condemn. That’s not an “extraneous litany.” I accept the criticism that using such references can be questioned on stylistic grounds, and thanks to you, I’ll double think the next time I am tempted to do it.

          But this is nothing at all like linking all bad conduct to one’s political villains, and my political villains, like my political heroes, are scattered all over the spectrum.

          • You have the solid ground, Jack. And the high ground, from which you can see holes in my analogy. Thank you for the fill-ins.

            As I have time, I am reacquainting myself with the Rules — this one is now embedded: “When I link the President to a topic, it is usually to remind readers that the ethical breaches in small and great matters are often the same, which is why “The Trivial Trap” is a trap.”

            I assure you I don’t go looking for “cheap shots” and “side-swipes.” (and I appreciate your irrepressible sense of drama as well as anyone), so if one jumps out at me in future, I shall test its arguability there and then. Well, after double-thinking, of course.

  9. That guy with the beard should have told her to point the camera elsewhere or he’d break it, and then break her.

  10. The woman is an idiot. The fact that she went to Dunkin Donuts for donuts and not Krispy Kreme proves that. Dunkin Donuts are not donuts. They are little lead bomb cakes.

  11. LOL. How is Reagan your number 8? That just told me a lot about you. If this is an ethics blog, how does someone whose administration is guilty of the Iran Contra affair not end up on your worst list? Not mention all the other negative effects of Iran Contra, namely crack cocaine which destroyed the inner city for over a decade. Ignoring Aids? Pretty unethical. let them eat cake huh? Where GW Bush on your worst list? 4K plus and counting dead over taking us to war based on a lie? Laying the foundation for the NSA spying? Patriot Act? Financial irresponsibility? This is my first time on this blog but it definitely seems like the typical Republican shell game site. I can pretty much guarantee you that this trollop ignorant beyotch (that’s right. i said it) is a card carrying typical Florida Republican.

    • 1) Any commenter here who begins more than one comment with “LOL” gets banned. Last warning.
      2) See the prohibition against political rants? This is one.
      3) You’re nuts. Iran Contra led to crack cocaine? Why should I pay any attention to you?
      4) Reagan, in my opinion, revitalized the economy, restored trust in government, and though it drives Democrats nuts to admit it, was crucial in ending the cold war. Every President did something that can be held against him; I regard FDR as a great president, but he locked up innocent citizens because they were Japanese, and gave Eastern Europe to Stalin. Iran Contra was bad—I don’t think Reagan had much of a hand in it, and it was well-intentioned, though misguided.
      5) I think its too early to Judge Bush. He and Obama don’t make the list. I’d rank him in front of Carter and his Dad, though.
      6) “4K plus and counting dead over taking us to war based on a lie?: That’s an ignorant statement, and I’m sick of it. It’s not worthy of response.
      7) “I can pretty much guarantee you that this trollop ignorant beyotch (that’s right. i said it) is a card carrying typical Florida Republican.” And this proves you’re a troll. (In fact, she appears to be a Democrat, not that it means anything.) We have no use for jerks here—next time you have a comment, it gets spammed. Bye. Don’t come back. LOL someplace else.

      • Was not aware of the lol rule, although I don’t usually use it in posts, and not on comparatively “high-minded” sites like this. I mostly agree with you, and I’m not looking for a political rant fight (there are other sites for that), but I AM curious as why Bush the elder gets low marks. Point of clarification, by “in front of” do you mean Bush the younger was worse than Carter or Bush the elder, or better?

        • My interest is effectiveness of leadership, not necessarily results,which are often moral luck. Bush Sr., as far as I can see, was the equivalent of Buchanan, a life-time public servant, serviceable and loyal, who just wanted to be POTUS because that was the only promotion yet. Bush I was just luckier than Buchanan—the country wasn’t falling apart. He didn’t like giving speeches, he didn’t like politics, he didn’t like doing anything. There are always a lot of things wrong in the US, and when a President has, as Bush did, a 90% approval record, it is virtually criminal not to use that to cut through the usual political obstacles like a hot knife. Bush did nothing with it—he had no feel for power. This is like getting one wish, and using it for a candy bar. Bush Sr. was probably the worst President in my lifetime (that’s–let’s see—oh, God—TWELVE!) Seeking power when you have no purpose or skill in using it is horrible.

          No doubt that Bush II was a stronger leader than his Dad—so is my dog. He’s a mixed bag, and some of his more controversial call might end up looking wise. I think you need at least ten years to begin judging a President. I expect he’ll end up in the bottom fourth, but a lot of the things Democrats hammer him on weren’t his fault, weren’t withing his control, or were blamed on him by a partisan news media—like Katrina. Like the housing collapse. But torture, the botched Iraq experience, and the deficit are a pretty tough trio to overcome.

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