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Chick-fil-A worker fired for offending Asian customers

December 12, 2011 |  2:34 pm

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

A cashier at the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Irvine has been fired after she put offensive names mocking Asian customers on their receipts.

Rather than take the names of two Asian customers, she typed "Ching" and "Chong," which appeared, respectively, on the two customers' receipts, according to Kelvin Lee, a UC Irvine student and friend of the customers. He posted photos of the receipts on his Tumblr account.

Since then, the post has spread through the blogosphere, attracting negative attention to the fast-food chain, which has already garnered animus from some corners because of its openly Christian roots and connection to conservative stances.

Company officials say the incident doesn't reflect corporate views and stands in stark contrast to its ethos.  It was "simply [a] case of immaturity, failed judgment and human error" on the part of one employee, said Don Perry, Chick-fil-A's vice president for public relations.

Perry told The Times that the customers were regulars at the restaurant and took their concerns to management during their visit. The employee was dismissed soon after the incident.

Lee, the UC Irvine student who started the conversation, seems to be appalled that some are making comments as inflammatory as the original incident. 

He wrote, "I realize Chick-fil-A hasn’t exactly had the best track record when it comes to issues of social justice, but I don’t think the horrible mistake on the part of one individual is reason enough to launch a witch hunt.

"There’s no way the person who hired this woman would have been able to know she’d do something so stupid."

For the record, 4 p.m. Dec. 12: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the restaurant is at UC Irvine.

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-- Rick Rojas

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