I recently read this Consumerist article about a pastor named Alois Bell who decided to be a total jerk to her Applebee’s server. I confess that my sympathies generally lie with servers because I used to earn my living by counting on tips; I know what it’s like to get stiffed for prompt service. It happens, and if this were just a tale of a pastor stiffing a server, I would shrug it off. But Bell took it to a whole new level by leaving this nice little note on the receipt: “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”
The server showed the receipt to her co-worker Chelsea Welch, who, being rightly miffed about it, posted a picture of the receipt on Reddit as a joke. I imagine it was a sort of “See what I put up with at work!” kind of post. Only, this was so bad that it went viral and Bell found out about it. According to Welch, Bell then called the Applebee’s restaurant and demanded that everyone there be fired. Applebee’s complied in part and fired Welch.
A situation like this is belittling because it essentially says “You aren’t worth the service you rendered.” It’s frustrating because it makes Christians look like jerks for the sake of a few dollars. Finally, it’s foolish because this kind of conduct throws away future effective ministry service for a snide remark.
You’re going to do things that require others to serve you, whether you’re at a restaurant, a car wash, or Walmart. In each of these cases, you have a chance to be kind to someone and encourage them, or you can be a jerk. If you get caught being a jerk, then please own it. Don’t call up and demand that someone gets fired. Rather, stand up and say, “Yes, I was a total dipstick. I’m embarrassed, and I kind of deserve all this hate e-mail I’m getting. I was so, so stupid, and I’m sorry about that.”
Is that so hard to do?