A Nov. 16 encounter between a delivery pickup worker and Taco Mac, a local franchise, is worth considering for its grim outlook on the state of human relations under a lawless state decree in the CV-19 disaster.
Kristina Charles, a mother of two small children, tells what happened Nov. 16 at Taco Mac, whose manager harangued and harassed and threw her out of the place because she had no chin diaper, like numerous people in the joint who were at table. Mrs. Charles works the 7 p.m. to midnight shift and provides me with an affidavit, stating:
I was attempting to pick up food for delivery on the evening of Nov. 16 from the Taco Mac restaurant located at 423 Market Street ***. I wore a face mask while entering through the to-go order entrance and while waiting inside of the restaurant, but only my mouth was covered and not my nose. I observed several other customers sitting at raised tables, standing, walking around the premises, and walking to the restroom, as well as other delivery drivers inside the restaurant, all of whom were not wearing face masks.
Upon entering the restaurant and inquiring about the food for delivery, I was told by a waitress at the to-go food counter that it was not ready yet and I needed to wait until it was ready. While waiting inside, I attempted to go use the restroom but was confronted and blocked off by the general manager on staff, Heather Noland.
Heather Noland approached me and then yelled at me, “You are exposing me to COVID-19!” by not wearing my face mask completely over my nose. She then kicked me out of the restaurant while screaming “Get out” repeatedly and pointing to the to-go door.
I was not given my food for delivery. I waited outside after being kicked out. A few minutes later, Heather Noland walked out and handed me the food for delivery but also yelled at me again, “You are permanently banned this establishment, I never want to see your face here again. As a matter of fact, I’m going to report you to corporate.”
During the confrontation with Heather Noland, I attempted many times to speak to her calmly, but she kept interrupting me by raising her voice, and thus I was not able to speak for myself at all.
After she was done yelling at me, Heather Noland hastily walked back inside the restaurant through the same to-go order entrance, slammed the door shut and locked it.
Taco Mac says ‘followed protocol’
Taco Mac PR manager Nancy Combs offers a statement in a phone interview from Atlanta Nov. 24.
“Our No. 1 priority is and always will be to foster a safe dining environment,” she says. “We want our guests and team members to feel comfortable, and safe in our restaurants. So there is a mask mandate in HamCo, and I am sure you also know that delivery providers require their drives to wear masks. They have really clear rules for their drivers.
She reviewed video and talked with team members.
“This driver entered the restaurant with no face mask and our manager politely asked the driver to wear a mask when inside the restaurant. At that point, David, I’m told the driver used profanity towards our manager and I won’t repeat what she said. But it was extremely disrespectful. She became confrontational while refusing to wear a mask. So, from there, our manager asked her politely to please wait outside, and I’m told that she waited, then took the orders, then left. So, that’s what I’ve been told.”
Mrs. Combs says “I think our manager did take all the proper protocols to handle the situation in a really respectful way” and that Mrs. Noland “handled it in the best way possible.”