It’s a message you won’t find inside a fortune cookie: “Your temper tantrum inside a Chinese restaurant is about to go viral.”
That’s what has happened to a China Wok employee after he was captured on cellphone video yelling loudly, slinging food, and then telling customers, “Get out! We’re closed.” Since the video has been posted online, it’s received more than 150,000 views and drawn interest from Nashville TV stations.
The video has been like a chopstick to the throat for the family that owns China Wok. They told the Standard on Monday they are upset it was posted in the first place and are even more outraged by some of the online comments that accompany it.
“This is affecting my business, it’s affecting my reputation, it’s affecting my normal life,” said Jin Zheng, whose family has owned and operated China Wok for 20 years. “This was a family argument that happened inside our family restaurant. No one had any business recording it and posting it like that. And then there are people who make comments about it to make fun of us and make us look bad. People are heartless. We were just arguing. Would you rather me punch a table or punch a customer?”
The video of the Thursday night incident was posted by Tank King. By Friday, the video was getting shared and liked as it spread widely through social media.
As a result, a sign has been posted at China Wok saying King and his family are no longer welcome there. Zheng said Monday they are banned for life.
“What kind of person takes a family argument and then posts it for everyone to see?” asked Zheng. “Who doesn’t have a bad time every now and then? Who doesn’t have a bad day? And then there’s someone just waiting there to show everyone about it. I haven’t been able to sleep because of this and he doesn’t even regret it. I don’t think he would like it if I took my phone out and followed him and his family around just waiting for them to get in an argument.”
While the Standard was interviewing Zheng on Monday night, King called and tried to place an order. He was denied.
The phone was then handed to the Standard reporter and King declined to comment. The phone was then handed back to Zheng, who wasn’t shy about telling King exactly how he felt.
Zheng said he has contacted an attorney and will be filing a lawsuit against King on Wednesday. Zheng described King as someone who had been a regular China Wok customer.
Zheng declined to comment on the exact nature of the argument, what was said exactly, and why food was thrown. Since the argument took place in Chinese, it will require an interpreter to determine exactly what was said. However, Zheng implied there was some instigating involved.
“We try to serve our customers the best we can, but sometimes our customers are rude,” said Zheng. “Sometimes they come in here with attitude on their face just trying to start something and we can only take so much. We wanted the customers to get out so no one would hear us and we could argue among ourselves. We aren’t saints. We argue sometimes.”
If there’s anything comforting about the situation, Zheng said he’s been encouraged by the show of support. While the Standard was interviewing him Monday, a number of customers picking up food said they were going to continue to eat at China Wok with some saying they thought the video was in poor taste.