Guess Why This Pastor Didn’t Tip His Server?

Ladies and gentleman, this may surprise you, but I was not always the wildly successful part-time freelance writer you see before you today.

There were many years of my life where I made my living waiting tables.

I was a server, my boyfriend was a server, my brother was a server, most of my friends have been servers, all of my servers have been servers.  I’m surrounded by the noble men and women of the service industry.

As a result, nothing raises my hackles quite like bad tippers.

Especially bad tippers who don’t tip after a $200+ meal.

Especially passive-aggressive bad tippers who justify their behavior with faith:

I give God 10% why do you get 18

First of all, you don’t give your God 10%; you give your church 10%.

Second of all, if you don’t want to tip, then you don’t get to go out to eat. Full stop.

I hate to get into the whole tipping debate, but here’s the bottom line: The restaurant is charging you $10 for that burger because the owners are paying their wait staff $2.13 an hour with the understanding that you are going to give that server an 18% (or so) tip. That tip gets distributed (depending on the restaurant) to bartenders, bus boys, food runners, hosts, barbacks, sometimes kitchen staff — basically, all sorts of people who help get that food to and from your table. If you elect not to tip your server, guess what? That server still has to tip out all of those people. Which means that that server is now paying for the pleasure of waiting on you.

I don’t care if you think that’s wrong; that’s just the way it is. The money could get shifted around so you don’t have to tip, but then all of a sudden you’re paying $15 for that burger so the restaurant can cover their overhead. That’s just life in America. If you don’t like it, stay at home, get drive-thru, I don’t care.

We can argue about 15% vs. 18% vs. 20% being the standard. We can argue about tipping your barista. We can argue whether or not the whole tipping thing is antiquated and needs to be thrown out. But not tipping is just not okay.

All that being said… how big of a dick is this person?! Listen, dude, just because you give up a tenth of your income to your church does not mean you can take it out on the person who was waiting on you. Trust me, I have received my fair share of prayer cards (in lieu of, as well as in addition to, a monetary tip), but this is one of the worst things I have seen (tip-wise). The servers shouldn’t be punished because you don’t like the System.

Is that what your religion teaches you? Because I’m sure Jesus gave one hell of an amazing tip to the wait staff after The Last Supper.

(Thanks to Brian for the link!)

***UPDATE***:

The waitress who posted this to Reddit has been fired from the Applebees that she worked at.  Here’s more info from the Consumerist:

“I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke,” says Chelsea, who was dismissed from her job at Applebee’s on Wednesday, as the story began to spread across the Internet. “I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical. I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”

Chelsea tells Consumerist that the receipt was actually not even for her table. Rather, the server on the receiving end of the note showed it to Chelsea, who snapped a photo of it later that night.

Some time on Wednesday, Chelsea says the customer who had left the receipt contacted her Applebee’s location, demanding that everyone be fired, from the servers involved to the managers.

I supposed I am not all-together surprised, but Chelsea makes a couple interesting point that I thought was worth bringing up:

“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light,” she continues. “In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. I did my best to protect the identity of all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook — I checked.

But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.”

If this person wrote the note, obviously they wanted it seen by someone,” she points out. “It’s strange to me that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is now ashamed.”

And they should be ashamed. Hopefully, Chelsea lands on her feet. She sounds pretty bright, and she was waiting tables to save up for college, which is respectable.

Best of luck to you, Chelsea!

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.


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