ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A video that shows an employee of an Abilene fast food restaurant throwing contents from a cup into a customer’s vehicle during a dispute in the drive thru has gone viral, garnering the attention of thousands on social media.
Customer Brittany Stevens starts recording as Long John Silvers employee Ethan Donald recaps her order and asks if she wants any extras or condiments – a normal encounter that escalates when Stevens asks him about a verbal altercation that took place before the recording began.
“Do y’all always tell your customers to shut up on the intercom?” Stevens asks.
“Yes we do,” is Donald’s reply.
They then go back and forth verbally, and when Stevens asks Donald why he says things like that to customers, he replies that the restaurant is understaffed, and he hasn’t had a day off in two weeks.
Donald is then heard telling Stevens that if she has an issue, she can go inside if she needs further assistance.
During the altercation, Stevens asks to speak to the manager, and when she asks for Donald’s name, he gives her a fictitious reply.
Before the video cuts off, Donald is heard asking Stevens once again if she wants any extras or condiments, and she gives her answer before asking again about why he told her to shut up.
Donald then replies, “you’re gonna have to come to me if you’re gonna come through this drive thru.”
When Stevens pulls forward, she informs Donald that she was recording him and had been the entire time, to which he responds, “okay.”
As Stevens says “it’s gonna bite you – yeah,” Donald throws a cup of ice from the drive-thru window into her vehicle.
The video ends as Donald closes the drive-thru window and Stevens exclaims and explains she had just been hit with “a whole glass of something.”
Following this altercation, Stevens posted the video to social media, where it quickly got thousands of interactions and shares, because she says she is worried about other customers in the future.
This prompted Ethan’s mother Misty Donald to issue the following statement in response:
“I would like to get a message to Long John Silver coworkers of Ethan’s and Managers. (Also ALL his past employers as well): Thank you for the opportunity you gave my son to try and work. I’m extremely greatful (sp) for each of you. Long John Silvers is a long time fast food restaurant here in Abilene and like SO many struggling to find employees and not over work their current ones. People are struggling with their own issues…mentally, physically, financially, and most importantly emotionally!!! I would like to plea to people to please BE KIND to that person on that headset and at that window. We pay it forward to the car behinds us, and curse and make fun of the people in the building just trying to make it on $10 an hour.”
Long John Silvers has also responded to the video, saying “Long John Silver’s has an unwavering commitment to providing a positive experience for all customers. We sincerely apologize for this incident, as it does not reflect our standard of customer service. We are aware of this issue and are taking the necessary steps to resolve it. We’ve reached out to the customer and are working to make things right.”
Stevens told KTAB and KRBC that she did report the incident to police but does not wish to press charges. Police confirmed a complaint was filed and that the case is being considered a civil matter.
Donald’s mother confirmed he quit his employment at Long John Silver’s soon after the video was recorded.
It was also confirmed with KTAB/KRBC that Donald has Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder wherein the person with the syndrome can have difficulties in social settings. According to Mayo Clinic, It is a highly manageable condition with communication training and behavioral therapy.