Not this again. Got word passed along to me about a recent racist incident involving a FedEx employee... In northern Virginia, a FedEx employee left a doortag regarding a package delivery to the residence of an Asian customer. In the space denoting the recipient's name, the delivery man wrote "Ching Chong Lee."
Oh, hell no.
Diana L., whose parents received the doortag, contacted customer service to inquire about the name on the package, and how exactly this happened. During the course of this attempted delivery, "Chang" somehow became "Ching Chong" -- a familiar racial slur we all know and love. This was not somebody's honest mistake.
After getting bounced around and inquiring to different departments, and getting a variety of excuses -- including the explanation that the delivery man was not a "native" of this country -- Diana was informed that the contracting company was penalized and the delivery man had been suspended:
Regarding the doortag incident, I was just as surprised as anyone would be. I was visiting my parents in northern Virginia and found the doortag on the front door. I immediately contacted Customer Service to inquire the name on the package. I gave the delivery man the benefit of the doubt that either this was the actual name on the package or he misread it. The CS agent informed me that the first name on the package was "Chang" which somehow became "Ching Chong" on the doortag. I informed the agent of the mistake, but she told me that the delivery man was simply trying to write the name of the recipient. She brushed over the issue and would not acknowledge that a mistake had been made. She did however stated that protocol does not allow the names of recipients to be written on the tags to ensure privacy.
I hung up the phone and called back and spoke to an agent in the Complaint Department who was more helpful. She acknowledged that the delivery man got the name completely wrong and provided me with a case number. I got a call from the local manager of the facility almost immediately, and he ensured that he would look into the situation; however, he provided the justification for the action as the delivery man was not a "native" of this country. He also informed me that the delivery man is from a contracted agency.
The local manager called me back the next day to inform me that FedEx acknowledged the situation. He informed me that a financial charge was issued to the contracting company, and the delivery man was suspended for an unknown number of days. On Twitter, FedEx informed my friend who posted the photo, that the incident had been resolved.
Although I appreciated the manager's prompt attention, I do not consider this issue resolved. I don't wish that the individuals be terminated from their employment, I'm looking for FedEx to the inappropriateness of this incident and provide training to its employees. The shock, embarrassment, and offense experienced by my family is not one that should be experienced by anyone, especially in this day and age and in an area as diverse as northern Virginia.
This isn't even the first time we've seen something like this. Earlier this year, a UPS employee referred to a recipient as "CHINK" in the delivery documentation. Count that among spate of racial receipts we've seen over the years, and you've got a whole new category of racist customer service.
Does it really have to explained to employees that this kind of behavior is unacceptable? Ridiculous, but apparently "DO NOT USE RACIAL SLURS" is an explicit lesson that requires training. And that's where I have to disagree with Diana. Using a racial slur on the job should get you automatically fired.