Johncarl Festejo, a recently retired Filipino-American Air Force veteran, was recently mocked at a Starbucks in Vacaville, California when the barista wrote his name as “Chang” instead of John.
Festejo, who had served in the Air Force for 18 years, stopped by a Starbucks at Elmira Road in Vacaville on Monday along with his 12-year-old daughter, Milan, before dropping her to school.
When his order was ready for pick up, however, things started to get ugly.
“A few minutes later, I was just waiting in that area, and next thing I know, I hear, ‘Is there a Chang here? Is there a Chang? We got a hot cocoa,’” Festejo recalled while speaking to the news network. “I figured, no big deal. It was probably someone else.”
The barista then repeated calling for “Chang” twice, and mentioning about the banana nut bread and followed by the chocolate frap order. It was at this point that Festejo finally had it and approached the counter to rectify the situation where the employee called his order with a different name.
“I said, ‘Ma’am, is this my order? Because my name is not Chang.’ She responded that could it have been my name on the app,” Festejo said. “So, I double checked my Starbucks app. It says my name. I just asked, ‘Is this some kind of joke? For real? Like, come on now.'”
The employee then turned to the person who took Festejo’s order and asked how his name got mixed up to Chang; but all that person gave was a small snicker.
Milan couldn’t help but wonder how could someone mix up “John” and “Chang” as they both left Starbucks to get her to school.
“When I went to school, I started to think about it. How could they get John and Chang messed up?” the girl said. “I think it was really mean, because I never went to a place where they called me something else.”
Festejo then voiced his concern to the management of Starbucks after dropping his daughter to school. Starbucks apologized for what happened to the Air Force vet; he also received a call from the district manager with an apology.
In a statement provided to the media, Starbucks said that the company has now launched an investigation towards Festejo’s case.
“At Starbucks, we take great pride in providing a warm and welcoming environment for everyone who enters our stores and expect our partners to uphold our values and follow through on our commitment. We have a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination of any kind, and the experience in question was not reflective of our mission and values,” Starbucks said. “We have reached out to the customer and shared our deep regret for their experience, are conducting an investigation into the matter and will take the appropriate actions.”
KCRA3 reported that the employee in question is not currently assigned to any shifts as the investigation is still ongoing.
“We didn’t expect this, especially this day in age. Especially with what just occurred recently in Starbucks, I didn’t expect this would happen,” Festejo said.
Images screenshot via YouTube / CBS Sacramento