We’ve all been to a popular coffee shop where we give our name, say it’s “Howard,” and the barista scrawls “Harold” on the cup. There, our latte sits and chills on the pickup counter as the nonexistent “Harold” keeps hearing his name on the intercom.
But a Gainesville woman’s name wasn’t misidentified at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Archer Road in the college town. Rather, her name wasn’t used at all. The employee who asked for her name while taking her order typed “black chick” on her receipt on Monday.
Cassandra Peoples is not happy.
“When I saw black chick where the name was supposed to be, I’m like, ‘I know I told them Cassandra,’” Peoples told CBS 4 Gainesville.
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Peoples posted the receipt on her Facebook page and a friend reposted it to the public Facebook group, Gainesville Word of Mouth, a forum for Gainesville residents that has nearly 12,000 members. The posts have since been deleted.
The Independent Florida Alligator reported that Julie Bartz, the general manager of the Tropical Smoothie branch, posted she had fired the employee. A spokesperson for the company reiterated that the employee was fired within hours after the gaffe went public and sent an apologetic statement to the University of Florida student paper.
“This type of conduct clearly does not reflect the values of our brand or our commitment to creating a welcoming environment at each and every location,” the company’s statement read.
On Tuesday, Bartz told the Miami Herald that she’s “getting used to the phone” given the number of media calls the incident generated. She would not confirm the firing. “I cannot say anything.” Instead, she referred callers to the corporate office. No response.
Peoples noticed the reference on the receipt after she’d left the store. She said she tried to call the corporate office but only got voicemail.
“I’ve never experienced anything disrespectful like that before,” she told CBS 4 Gainesville. “I wouldn’t say it’s racist, it’s just disrespectful. I mean I want some answers.”
She added she wanted to be referred to as Cassandra. “My birth name. Not a black chick.”
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