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My position was the second window at the drive-thru. I don’t have a register there. My only job was to pass out the food and make sure the customers have their condiments. A red truck pulled up and it was three young Caucasian men. They were joking around. When I passed them their food, they asked me if they could get two free drinks. I told them it wasn’t on their receipt and they didn’t pay for it and they would have to come back around to purchase some drinks.

I don’t know if you know or not, but with drive-thrus, you get timed for each car. There’s a certain time the car is supposed to sit there, get their food, and get out. And so while they’re still sitting there, we’re trained to say out the window, “Next order ready!”— so the car in front can move along for the next car to come. When I said that, they turned around and called me a “Black b-word” and they spat toward the window.

The car behind them saw what happened. As soon as the car behind drove off she immediately called the store to let us know the three guys got back in line.

My unit director came out the office and sees me hysterical. I’m crying. I’ve got makeup running everywhere. I was a hot mess.

I told her what happened and her response was, “You don’t need to worry about that, the only thing you need to worry about is moving this drive-thru along and making sure the time doesn’t go up.”

Instead, my unit director decided to meet the guys at the first window, where you pay for your order. She instructed them to meet her in front of the store and she said they could have whatever they wanted. She briefly had a conversation with them and then came back and told me, “You don’t need to worry about them, they’re just kids. Don’t pay that any mind, just continue to work.” And she went back into her office.

After that, the guys were in the parking lot and sat outside their car and ate their food. It was kind of like a slap in the face, like, “Yeah we did that to you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

That’s when I knew that this employer didn’t give a crap about me. The only reason I stayed as long as I did is because I have kids and I have to pay my bills at the end of the day.

I ended up leaving around 1:30, but the guys were still there, parked just a few cars down from mine. I’ve never had so much fear in my heart before. Because at that time, with everything that was going on, I didn’t know what they were capable of doing to me.

I immediately left. That was my last day actually employed with Bojangles. Seven employees quit after I did. One of the managers and another employee walked out that day. The rest of the employees started leaving within that same week.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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