TIP-OCALYPSE 2013 Update: Pastor Apologizes

Sorry about the title… I’ve just never dubbed an “apocalypse” before and I saw an opening and went for it!

Okay, if you didn’t read this post, here’s a quick catch-up:

Chelsea Welch, a server at Applebee’s, submitted this picture to Reddit on Tuesday:

The pastor in question got wind of this, called the restaurant to complain, and got the server fired.

Now, the pastor, Alois Bell has come forward to air her side of the story.

 “My heart is really broken,” said the 37-year-old Bell. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

Yeah.  It was a crappy thing to do.  You should be embarrassed.

Bell, seen above, said her notation on the receipt was a “lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion.” Despite scratching out the tip added to the bill, Bell claimed that she left a $6 tip in cash, adding that she subsequently discovered the 18 percent gratuity had been charged to her credit card.

My gut tells me that she did not actually leave cash, but I have nothing to base that on except to ask why she would protest tipping 18% and then tip 20%. Also, if she was charged that tip automatically, then she needs to take it up with the restaurant, because it was beyond clear that she was not tipping the waitress.

And, even if she did leave cash on the table, that does not make the comment any less rude and petty.

In a follow-up conversation with an Applebee’s manager, Bell said she was told that the waitress was immediately terminated.

According to The Consumerist, the receipt was not uploaded to Reddit by the Applebee’s worker who waited on Bell’s party. Instead, the server showed it to waitress Chelsea Welch, who photographed the receipt and later shared it online. Welch told The Consumerist she was fired yesterday. In a statement, Applebee’s spokesperson Dan Smith reported that, “Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest” for violating the patron’s “right to privacy.” The individual responsible for the leak “is no longer employed by the franchise,” Smith added.

Bell’s webpage is blowing up with some pretty nasty feedback.

While I don’t wish the wrath of the Internet upon anyone, I can’t help but feel some schadenfreude at the backlash she received.

As I said before, I was a server for a long time, and I work in customer service currently. The way people in the customer service industry are treated is abhorrent. I can’t pretend that there haven’t been a couple (hundred) people that I would have liked give a verbal smack-down after talking down to me, stiffing me, yelling at me, telling me that I was stupid, hanging up on me, telling my manager that I need to be fired because their salad didn’t come with the dressing on the side… the list never ends.

When that kind of attitude is coming from someone who is supposed to be the moral compass of her congregation, someone who is a leader of her community… I just can’t bring myself to feel bad for her “broken heart.” But maybe this just hits too close to home for me.

Thoughts?  Did she get what was coming to her or was it a stupid flub that we should just get over?

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.

  • Squeiss

    She is “heartbroken” only after she got someone fired. Being sorry before that might have been viewed as sincere. Now I have to think that she’s only sorry she got caught.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      This troll of a woman is only heartbroken about getting caught out of character — that is, the face she wears to church to preach about love, Jesus, kindness and generosity. This wasn’t a “lapse in judgment and character.” We saw her for the person she truly is.

    • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

      There seems to be no indication that she’s heartbroken about the server’s firing. Rather, she seems to be heartbroken that she’s brought shame to her ministry – or, as David says, being “caught out of character” acting in a totally ungodly manner. I suspect she doesn’t give a damn that someone was fired for revealing her rude secret.

      • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

        In her eyes, that waitress probably “had it coming.”

    • Michael

      If she’s so terribly heartbroken, is she replacing the pay that Chelsea is losing after being fired?

      I think not. Actions speak louder than words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    I have to agree that she’s probably lying about the cash tip, and her complaint about being charged the amount that was on her bill is dishonest, too. I mean, her card almost undoubtedly was charged, but that’s because that was the amount owed for her meal. Crossing it out doesn’t work.
    Duh.

    Sorry it got “blown out of proportion,” but it was your decision and the consequences are yours to own.

    • http://bsoi.st/ bsoist

      “blown out of proportion” is the language of an insincere apology

    • ConradB

      Crossing it out does work. I’ve worked at multiple corporate restaurants, and customers can choose to not pay the automatic gratuity if they don’t want to. The manager can take it off the check. I’ve only actually seen this done once, where the server was legitimately awful, and the customer handled it the right way by calling the manager over and explaining that since the orders came out wrong, the food was late, and the server was rude/inattentive, he only wanted to tip 10%. The manager agreed and took off the automatic gratuity.

  • fedupwiththisshit

    of course she was black

  • Chicagogator

    Not that you deserved to be fired, but I’ve learned that people (*cough* women *cough*) who order their dressing on the side REALLY want their dressing on the side.

  • Andrew Morales

    Six bucks isn’t anywhere near a good enough tip for a $200 bill. I think it’s awful that this girl was fired for this. I didn’t realize Applebee’s had a restaurant/patron confidentiality clause.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      She claims other left tips as well.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1206146363 Kathleen O’Shaughnessy

        That really doesn’t make sense, given the content of the note. Why would you leave a note like that with your tip?

    • http://twitter.com/PirateFroglet Cathy McGrath

      I think its mostly because she included the signature, which can lead to identity theft or something. Reddit even has rules against it, it was subsequently cropped down to cut the signature out.

  • Megan

    You forgot that part about how at first she called and asked for the entire staff from that night to be fired. She’s not heartbroken the girl was fired, she’s heartbroken she got caught being a twat….

    • Gus Snarp

      I personally would not pass any judgment based entirely on the second hand word of one person.

      • Megan

        It was in a different article, where she was reported having called the restaurant asking that the whole staff get fired. I’m sorry, but that makes you a twat. http://gawker.com/5980558/pastor-who-left-sanctimonious-tip-gets-waitress-fired-from-applebees-claims-her-reputation-was-ruined

        • Gus Snarp

          Try to read carefully and understand an argument before you start slinging insults. There’s nothing in that article that’s not in the other two, so let me clarify:

          The waitress who posted the receipt claims the pastor called the restaurant demanding that everyone be fired.

          The pastor says otherwise.

          No one else has confirmed the waitress’s claim.

          It is unlikely that the waitress would have heard this demand herself, since the pastor would likely have been talking to a manager when demanding that everyone be fired, making her statement second hand.

          That makes it one person’s second hand word, as I said. It is unsubstantiated, you can believe it, but it’s a fairly typical exaggeration that one might expect an ordinary person to make.

          That’s how I evaluate claims. You may take a different approach.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Megan:

            called the restaurant asking that the whole staff get fired

            Gawker:

            everyone involved fired.

            Consumerist:

            everyone be fired, from the servers involved to the managers

            See how things change as they’re reported? Was it all the staff? Just those ‘involved’? Does anyone other than the Pastor and the person she talked to really know?

            • Jessica

              While I totally agree with your point, I would argue that those three examples are the same thing with slightly different wording.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                I think the Gawker one (probably unintentionally) changes things somewhat. Although it seems most plausible to me. The one thing that makes me think it IS plausible is that in the interview, Bell didn’t address that part of the story. She made pains to clarify it wasn’t a party of 20 (not mentioning that it was still > 8) and that she left a cash tip, and others left tips. The most damning part of the story IMO was calling for everyone to get fired, but she didn’t seem to want to bring that up.

              • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

                Well, not exactly. If this case were to theoretically go to court and before a jury, those three examples are very different. In the first one, are we talking about just waitstaff? The cooks? Dishwashers? Hosts? In the second, is she demanding a full-scale investigation? That the guilty parties be weeded out and fired? In the third, it sounds like Bell is basically demanding that the entire store be shut down!

            • Gus Snarp

              The Gawker version is the worst, because it doesn’t bother to attribute the claim to the waitress, but instead states it flatly like it’s a fact in evidence.

          • Major Mojo

            Yes, it’s “she said” / “she said”. But, one of these people (ie. the waitress) has a lot more credibility, in my opinion.
            Also, as to your point that it is “unlikely that the waitress would have heard this demand herself”. Yes, she’d have gotten it from the manager, or whoever the pastor was talking to. But, I find it totally believeable given that the pastor has already demonstrated herself to be a totally unreasonable person.

            • RobertoTheChi

              I agree with you. I think this woman has already proven what kind of person she is. I could see her insisting on the people working that day being fired. This woman is obviously an asshole. I’ll take the word of the waitress over this poor excuse for a human being.

          • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

            I personally think the pastor was bad enough for leaving the note and then calling up the restaurant when she was exposed, but those details raised some flags for me too. It’s highly unlikely that the server would’ve been given details of the private conversation that the manager had with Mz. Bell, given that Applebee’s is a major chain restaurant and keeps its management on a tight PR leash.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          she was reported

          I’d say that makes Gus skeptical. This story in general has some agreed upon ‘facts of the case’ and a bunch of ‘facts in dispute’. It’s not a bad idea to separate the two categories.

          You know, not everything you read on the internet is true.

          • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

            The only things we know for sure in this story are that the note was left and posted on the Internet, which got round to Mz. Bell, who called the restaurant to complain, and a server was fired.

        • coyotenose

          The change from third-person to second-person makes it read like you’re calling Gus Snarp a twat rather than the pastor, which surely isn’t the intention.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      That’s another one that’s unclear. There are enough people involved that we’re getting different versions of things. Not trying to make any excuses for anyone, but at this point, when something is ONLY said by one person, and not verified by any other evidence, I’m holding out on it. Not that anyone is intentionally lying, but there is a bit of a game of telephone going on, where different people report different things.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Pffft. The pastor is very much intentionally lying, it’s in her “job” description.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      I am curious though where the detail that she demanded the firing of the entire staff from that evening is coming from, because I saw that in several of the comments on the page. This woman doesn’t need any help to paint her as an awful human being, but it should be done with facts (something she seems to know very little about).

      • The Captain

        It’s in The Consumerist article.

        • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

          Do you have a link? I’ve read the first one from the 29th, and then the following up from today, but nowhere in it was there any mention of Bell demanding that everyone be fired. Chelsea did claim that on the Reddit page, which has sense ended up in comments on articles about the story; but my intrepid inner journalist still wants a firm citation for that detail…

          • The Captain

            It’s in the one linked for today. It’s Chelsea claiming it, 10th paragraph down.

            “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.”

            http://consumerist.com/2013/01/31/waitress-who-posted-no-tip-receipt-from-pastor-customer-fired-from-job/

            • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

              I saw that too, and given what we know of this woman it doesn’t seem that far-fetched that she would demand that “everyone involved be fired.” If the manager went on record and confirmed that, yes, Mz. Bell did make that demand then we could take it to the bank. But it makes me nervous when we take hearsay as fact. After all, most of us disbelieve religion because we can’t take its claims on faith…

  • ReadsInTrees

    I will play devil’s advocate and say that perhaps it would have been prudent to fuzz out the signature so that the stingy pastor wouldn’t be identified….But, that still doesn’t excuse the insult.

    • Agrajag

      Why ? Is there a right to be an asshole in private ? If you’re a dick, do the victims have a responsibility to protect the secrecy of your dickishness ?

      • coyotenose

        ReadsInTrees said “prudent”, as in, sensible. That doesn’t mean that the pastor shouldn’t have been outed.

      • ReadsInTrees

        Well, one could easily argue that a receipt is not intended to be a public document. The customer has a reasonable expectation that their receipt is going to go into the cash register and then into the restaurant’s files, not spread onto the internet. Signing your name to a dickish letter to the editor is one thing, since that’s intended as a public forum. A credit card receipt is not expected to be public. That’s all. She was still a pompous twat.

        • Crazy Russian

          Somewhere there is a saying that goes something like this: if you think it, don’t necessarily say it. If you say it, don’t write it down. If you write it down, don’t sign it. If you sign it, don’t sign it with your real name. But if you do write it and sign it with your real name, then don’t be surprised when the whole thing comes back and to bite you in the ass.

  • Gus Snarp

    I’ll reiterate what I said on the other post: the pastor was a self righteous, selfish, entitled jerk and I really don’t buy this apology, but a waitress can’t be posting photos of credit card receipts with people’s names on them on the internet. I understand her being fired for that, and her self righteous indignation about being fired is unjustified. She screwed up and screwed up badly. I certainly expect that any information on my credit card receipt, including my name, is not going to end up on Reddit, and a restaurant can’t have their staff violating the customers’ privacy that way, even if they threw a little tantrum and didn’t (or tried not to, or maybe left cash?) tip.

    • Megan

      The only thing on there is the signature. You can’t see her printed name. Just by the signature, I would never know what her first name is.

      • Gus Snarp

        Yes, but others apparently did, and the Redditors tried to hunt her down, though the waitress says they were all wrong. The Pastor says someone told her she was on the internet, so it seems that at least some people could read it well enough, at least those who knew her.

        • Megan

          It could have been someone from her party that had seen her write it as well. I think she deserves all of the embarrassment.

      • Squeiss

        I agree. I could barely work it out, even after knowing the name. And “Bell” is pretty common. The server did her best to obscure other personal details.

        Reddit is Reddit though.

    • 3lemenope

      I don’t honestly understand where the privacy expectation comes from in a case like this. If something functional, like her credit card number, were exposed in such a way, then yeah, obviously that should’t end up on Reddit; credit cards are used by vendors on the understanding that they will safeguard the integrity of the card to the best of their ability.

      But that’s not what’s up here. What is being revealed by the posting of the receipt is merely the behavior being objected to, nothing more. Nobody has a right to do something to someone else in public and then cry foul when evidence of the act is revealed. Her credit card wasn’t compromised, only her reputation, and that’s exactly how social shaming is supposed to work.

  • http://gadlaw.com gadlaw

    Well, no Applebee’s for me. The so called ‘Pastor’ is pretty much a scum and so is Applebee’s. Fark all of them.

    • Gus Snarp

      Of course, we don’t know if Applebee’s corporate had anything to do with, or any knowledge of, the firing.

      • http://gadlaw.com gadlaw

        AH see though, can’t eat at Chick o Fil, at Papa John’s and Applebee’s – pretty soon I’ll have no choice but to eat healthy all the time what with all my personal political/religious bigotry and stupidity boycotts. :)

        • Gus Snarp

          I pretty much avoid all the national chains anyway, so I can’t really boycott any of them since I wasn’t going in the first place!

  • Cortex_Returns

    I didn’t realize the server had posted it with the pastor’s name. That really does cross a line, and I definitely would have fired her too if I were in charge of the restaurant.

    The people harassing her are overreacting horribly, too. Comment threads the Internet over have demonstrated that she’s hardly the only crappy tipper in the world, so let’s have a little perspective – this was $6 and a less-than-clever insult, and it inspires more public rage than Tim DeChristopher’s prison sentence? Come on.

    • Megan

      People are enraged that it is a person of “god” acting like such a stingy bitch. That’s all.

      • Cortex_Returns

        Everyone already knows the after-church crowd doesn’t tip. This is routine.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

          Yes. So the ironing of her being a minister, theoretically charged with teaching people to be like jeebus, is delicious.

          • JohnnieCanuck

            Oh the ironing of it. Delicious, it is.

    • coyotenose

      They’re not just reacting to her, they’re reacting to all the people like her. If she doesn’t want to be named Queen of Douchebag Hill, she should be better, quieter, or both.

  • Alexandra

    Wow! I figured it was going to turn out to be fake. Never expected this!

  • ploon

    So where’s the apology? “lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion.” This barely amounts to a not-pology.

  • Squeiss

    I’ve discovered a bit of a bias in myself because of this. Even before I saw the receipt (and didn’t know about the “pastor” bit) I assumed “over-privileged old white dude”.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      I resemble that remark (opowd, that is). Also, the photo surprised me too.

      • Squeiss

        Now I can’t help thinking that O’Powd is this cranky old over-privileged Irish white dude.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          “Get off my lawn”?

          • Squeiss

            o.0 that was the *exact* phrase I had in my head when I posted that comment. Are… are you a witch?

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Oddly enough… yes, of a sort. (I specialize in divination.)

  • Dorothy

    Bell’s web page that is linked in the article has been taken down ;) I guess she got a lot of flak

    • Squeiss

      Yeah, but some of it was pretty abusive and horrible. On top of the usual racism and misogyny, pictures of penises, fo srs.

  • ruth

    She didn’t apologize.

  • ruth

    She didn’t apologize.

  • Stev84

    Take note of the part where it says that her so-called “church” only has 15 members. This means that she tithes 10% of the income from her real job to her “church”. Part of which no doubt flows back to herself. So she just lowered the tax burden from her normal income. This is called a “scam” or “money laundering”.

    • anniewhoo

      One article I read said that she did have a second job, and that she claimed she used this income for tithing. But quite honestly, I find it hard to believe anything this woman says.

  • andreasma

    You can tell a person’s true character by how they treat the weakest and most powerless of their fellow humans. Bell is heartless and un-repentant. We should raise money for Welch

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

      Reminds me of that saying… “Someone who is nice to you, but not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person”

      • Antinomian

        I’ve ended more than a few dates before the appetizers for this very reason..

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597605006 Mary Driftwood

          One of my friends once said that, when a woman goes out with a man, she should pay attention to how he treats the wait staff, because that’s how he’ll be treating her in five years.

          • baal

            I agree but include the rule to apply to everyone. I also avoid going to restaurants with my mother for this reason.

      • coyotenose

        I think that went with, “How your date treats the wait staff is how they’ll treat you in five years.”

      • Derrik Pates

        Dave Barry. And it will never cease being true.

  • Jessica

    Just a question to throw out there:
    While I think the signature was pretty illegible myself, I will grant you it was a poor lapse in judgement to post it online. Would it have changed everything if there was no signature included or if it was blurred? Should she still have lost her job?

    • Cortex_Returns

      If I were the supervisor/owner/whatever and personal information hadn’t been posted, I’d probably just turn a blind eye. It’s unprofessional, but there’d be no real harm done, and I’d rather they vent their anger and get it over with than take it out on other customers.

      • Joshua Young

        Really? If the average person knew that their personal information was potentially going on Reddit without there permission every time they ate at that restaurant (bad tipper or not), would that make that person more, or less likely to eat there? I think the damage for NOT firing this person would be more far reaching for that restaurant than you think.

    • Gus Snarp

      Yes, it changes everything in my opinion. Firing is justified by the name being there, but even at that it’s awfully harsh for a first time lapse in judgment. Without the name, there’s nothing at all to fire her for.

    • RobMcCune

      Absolutely the signature makes the difference IMO. While people can be assholes, posting their name, even accidentally, could mean they or an innocent person of the same name could be subject to online harassment because of something like that.

    • GeraardSpergen

      Yes, the signature and perhaps the merchant ID are the only things that crossed the privacy/job standards line.
      Also – I’d imagine it’s really rare to pay the bill with a credit card but leave a cash tip… even without the nastiness.

      • Tyrrlin Flamestrike

        I don’t know how “rare” it is, but I do it about half the time. Leaving cash, the server gets their tip in hand immediately.

        • GeraardSpergen

          When I was a waiter (OK… late ’70s), we would get credit card tips in cash from the cashier at the end of the night. I’ve asked waiters since then if they’d prefer a cash tip and they said it didn’t make any difference.

          • Tyrrlin Flamestrike

            Ah, okay. I didn’t realize there wasn’t that much of a difference.

      • RobertoTheChi

        I do it all the time. I pay with a credit /debit card and tip with cash. I know a lot of people who do that.

    • rlrose328

      I think if it were blurred, then the posting of a customer’s information would be nul and void and people couldn not have searched for the pastor without some sort of identifying information. Unprofessional yes… but a firable offense? Nope.
      However, I don’t think she should have lost her job this time, either. If it were a first offense, I think a warning and week off without pay or something would be warranted. They fired her to satisfy a poor customer and I don’t care for that.

    • Joshyoung

      Absolutely, the signature changes everything. Out of curiosity, for those siding with the waitress. I think the restaurant had no choice. Indeed, you think customers would go to a restaurant where there name and “tipping habits” was at risk of being put on Reddit? I wouldn’t eat there anymore.

    • Scooby Don’t

      It’s a tough call. I think anyone being a dick should be called out publicly. You shouldn’t be allowed to keep your anonymity in that case, but signatures are a form of identity security and you don’t want your signature on the internet available to everyone. Perhaps it would have helped to blur out the signature and replace it with her printed name, but then the pastor could claim it’s not her, leading to defamation or whatnot. Or maybe just leave the name out of it altogether; it probably would’ve come out anyway.

      As far as the consequences of not firing the waitress being worse for Applebee’s, I know what they’re thinking from a business standpoint. It’s either side with the heathen employee (they’ll label her an atheist whether she is one or not; Applebee’s will be accused of supporting atheists and their bad behavior, etc.) and lose customers of the Christian majority (especially if it’s a highly religious region), or side with the pastor and lose one employee and some customers of the minority.

      Personally though, I applaud Chelsea for calling out the pastor’s behavior and naming names.

    • JWH

      Good question. If she were my employee, I would probably take some disciplinary action because I don’t think it’s a good practice for employees to post customers’ receipts on Reddit. How sympathetic I am with her would depend on her attitude.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      The larger an organization is, the less it can trust members of the hive to make good decisions. Which is why we have mandatory sentencing and zero tolerance. Welch didn’t mean to ‘out’ Bell, and tried really hard not to. The signature was a mistake on her part, underestimating how popular the message would be. I don’t think it was necessary to shame Bell publicly. This wasn’t really about Bell- it was about tippers in general.

      I think Welch’s intent (to not out) should make up for her mistake (including the signature).

      If it were my decision, I would ask Welch if she’d ever done something not exactly in private, but that she’d rather not be exposed to the whole world. I think a lesson truly learned is far preferable to a punishment.

  • http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/ Timothy Brannan

    No. You do something stupid and it gets posted then the wrath of the Internet should be expected.

    I would like to think I am more mature or evolved than that, but I am also smart enough to know I am not. She is getting what she deserves.

  • Jim Valentine

    Abhorrent behavior needs to have consequences. Right to privacy? Seriously? No way, no how, not in this case. If I act like a jerk, I EXPECT consequences. Too many people, religious or not, think that they can get away this crap like this.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    She made her bed, let her lie in it.

    • McAtheist

      I assume you are referring to Pastor Parsimonious.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Mmm, Pastor Cheap-ass? Yeah.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    I’m not sure which is worse: writing that note on her bill, or leaving one of those Chick tracts, like many Christians have been known to do.

    Has anyone else noticed that Ms. Bell’s page on the Black Preaching Network site has been taken down? I guess she didn’t like anyone else sharing *their* thoughts.

  • Cortex_Returns

    I also didn’t realize this was an Applebees. Whenever I eat there, I find myself wishing I could leave ONLY the tip. That food ain’t worth money.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      So why the fuck do you eat there? I knew someone would bitch about how horrible their food is but yet, they keep going back.

      • coyotenose

        Family who like the restaurant.

        Business contacts.

        Lunches or dinners with fellow employees.

        Forgot your lunch and need something to function.

        Stuck in a time loop.

        Are a zombie.

        Robot centipede in brain controls your voluntary nervous system.

  • Major Mojo

    Her claim that she left a cash tip does not pass the laugh test.

  • Rob

    What is not in doubt is what she wrote on the check. Regardless of whether anybody got fired, what she wrote, and nothing more, proves she is just another arrogant, sanctimonious ungrateful religious bitch, and a selfish cheapskate at that. Does she really not grasp the distinction between a tip and a tithe? And she’s a preacher??? Citing the biblical tithe percentage to justify screwing her server out of an appropriate tip is not only obnoxious, it’s plain stupid. After all, presumably God is not up in heaven earning the minimum wage, and thus depending on tithes from bitches like her to keep himself afloat in the Universe. And now she plays the victim? Gag me.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      Mz. Bell apparently missed two important verses in her Bible: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12), and “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Another prime example of Christian cherry-picking.

      • Randomfactor

        She also missed Matthew 5:40 as well. Or she’d have doubled the tip.

      • Stev84

        Here is a really important one she missed:

        “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted
        unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be submissive, as also
        says the law.” — 1 Corinthians 14:34

  • http://www.sunstonescafe.com/ Paul Sunstone

    Even if the pastor isn’t lying about a thing, she’s said all that she needs to say. What a piece of work.

  • Keith Roragen

    I’m not sure what part of this counts as an apology.

  • BrentSTL

    Made the local news here in St. Louis this evening. From KTVI-TV, the local Fox affliate: http://fox2now.com/2013/01/31/web-world-i-give-god-10-receipt-goes-viral/

    • Jessica

      Thanks for sharing- I am putting together yet another follow-up post, and I’ll include this as well!

  • JWH

    Actually, I do think the waitress should have been fired. The initial image included the pastor’s signature. That’s the sort of identifying detail that shouldn’t be shared on the Web.

    • McAtheist

      Any pettifoggers out there familiar with privacy legislation in the U.S. or that particular state?

      Pastor Parsimonious is a preacher (public figure) in a public place. She volunteered an opinion and asked a question (one assumes she expected an answer), then she volunteered her name (or signed of on her affidavit). Doesn’t sound to me like an egregious breach of privacy.

      As to the termination of the server, company policy might justify it, but methinks it was also about not alienating the local god squad. I think it was spineless, a reprimand and a formal warning would have sufficed. If she were my employee I would have given here a severe reprimand and a $100 dollar bill to make sure she never forgot how badly she screwed up.

      • Jessica

        I actually was talking about this with some friends over drinks last night (this story has taken over my liiiiife for the last 48 hours!) and I was spit-balling about something similar: If this was a celebrity of any sort (Actor/politician/reality ‘star’, etc) this would be all over everywhere with very little thoughts of the privacy of the customer.

        For example, if I was waiting tables and Vince Vaughn came in and wrote the same thing (I use him because my bf actually waited on him and he tips $100 regardless of the bill), that would be a legit news story. No one would say “We’re violating vince vaughn’s privacy!”

        The fact that she wrote “pastor” above her signature is pretty damning, in my opinion.

  • andreasma

    On the broader issue of biblical-smartassery-instead-of-tip. This behavior has to be stopped immediately, with a very organized and public shaming campaign. Publishing the receipt should be the norm and the expected result of being a self-righteous asshat to the poor, then using the defender of the poor as an excuse.

    My simple test is this: When such actions get lambasted loudly first and foremost by Christians as a perversion of their religion, then we will know the publicity has reached its goal.

    Does anyone know how to do a tumblr or organize a place for posting and shaming with such receipts?

    • RobertoTheChi

      I like your idea.

  • rlrose328

    Her page is gone… surprise.

  • armyrunner

    So called “pastors” like her are one of the main reasons I’m an atheist. I hope the wrath of the internet comes down on her worse than her imaginary god.

  • Major Mojo

    Super cheesy to sign your name “Pastor…”.

  • jkscoot

    That pastor got what was coming to her. No way did that woman leave her server a cash tip. Every time I’ve gotten a snide note like that, no tip was left anywhere. They leave snide notes like that to make a point. Tipping would negate her point. I’m a good server. I average 25% in tips, but you always get somebody who just doesn’t tip. I’ve even been left Bibles and prayer cards in lieu of cash before.

  • Marco Conti

    She is so heartbroken to have been caught! The Bitch.

    By the way, there is some contention about the $6 she supposedly left on the table.
    I do believe she left the money on the table because from what I read it went like this:

    First she sees the tip on the check
    Then she scratches it out and writes the godly message
    Upon leaving and thinking she dodged the tip[,. she leaves $6 as a tip, or about 5% if I recall the final bill correctly
    Then she realizes that she got charged for the tip anyway

    You can add “dumb” to the “cheapskate” because obviously she edited the credit card bill after they already run it for the total plus the gratuity.

    by the way, her website (page really, it’s a free church network) is offline.

    I am not sure that Applebee did a good thing by firing the waitress that posted the picture, she could have edited the pic to make the signature less legible, but Applebee could have made history by not firing an employee but by just taking disciplinary action and for once show that not everything has to be addressed by firing people.

    Sadly, I wish I could show my displeasure by boycotting Applebee, but as with all the other restaurants boycotts of the past few months, I would never eat at applebee to begin with. If they were the last restaurant on earth I would probably choose to scrape the food off my refrigerator’s dirty shelves and wash it down with some dishwater instead.

  • Rain

    I can sympathize because 18% is a big percentage, especially when it’s a mandatory “tip”. What the hell kind of tip is mandatory. Might as well cal lit a tax. However, God didn’t wait on the party, so what the heck does God have to do with anything? Total non sequitur. However, I can sympathize with the non sequitur because people are used to putting God in a sentence and then everything in the sentence just automatically makes all kinds of logical sense. as if by magic. However, people are used to getting away with saying they literally give 10% to God when they and everyone else in the universe knows it isn’t the case at all, but yet they still pretend it is literal, knowing that it isn’t. I can sympathize with that too, because most fundies are just used to being “bat-looney”, So yeah, just get over it, people.

    • HardyHarHar

      God says she didn’t have to eat there. Amen.

    • HardyHarHar

      God says she didn’t have to eat there. Amen.

  • DreadPirateRogers

    Well, it would actually be 17% if she left $6. Its that last 29 cents that was so outrageous to her.

  • LesterBallard

    It wasn’t a lapse in her character. It was her character.

  • Michael

    Well, it seems that the entire world now knows her name.

    Sadly her church will now no doubt prove their christian kindness by forgiving her, while letting the servers suffer.

  • HardyHarHar

    Enjoy your piece of humble pie, Ms. Bell.

  • Scooby Don’t

    This story didn’t have the outcome I was hoping for. I was expecting the pastor to be publicly shamed and lose credibility. Instead, the waitress was fired. I understand the breach of privacy, but only if you’re not acting like a dick. Act dickish and you aren’t entitled to privacy. And legally, I’d like to know on what grounds she was fired; as Chelsea pointed out it wasn’t in the book.

    • Richard T

      Chelsea could have made the same point by posting a cropped photo like the one in Hemant’s first post, making the customer anonymous.

      That pastors are only human may be news to their flocks, but should not be to us. I’d like to see us move on from this, and soon.

  • blessed_highlyfavored

    By no means am I defending the pastor’s actions; she was wrong; but the comments I am reading on here are horrible. Matt. 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”; John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”; Luke 6:36-37 “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not: and you shall not be judged. Condemn not: and you shall not be condemned. Forgive: and you shall be forgiven”. Some of y’all are calling this woman everything but a child of God. We have all had a laps in judgment and have made mistakes. Lets just pray that she has learned from hers and hope that God will have mercy on her as well as all of us.

    • Glasofruix

      You aware that you’re asking a bunch of atheists to pray? And on the basis of some bible verses at that?

    • coyotenose

      Noted that your priorities and ethics are so broken that you have worse words for people who criticize bad behavior than you do for people who commit bad behavior.

      How about how she was abusing someone was most definitely poor? Does THAT come anywhere near “horrible” for you? How about when she got another poor person fired because her abuse wasn’t protected the FIRST time*? Does that manage to be worse than criticizing an abusive person in your world?

      *You know, like you’re protecting an abuser now.

      • blessed_highlyfavored

        I assure you my priorities and ethics are most defiantly in tact. Let us refer to the first part of my comment; “By no means am I defending the pastor’s actions; she was wrong”. Maybe I should rephrase my point. I am not saying that what she did is justifiable. My message is that we must forgive in order to be forgiven. Have you ever made an offending or insulting comment? If your answer to that question is “NO” then you’re a liar because you just called me an unethical person and I am now offended, but I FORGIVE YOU. The Pastor will have to pay for sins but it is not my job to make her pay.

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Taken at face value, all of these aphorisms mean that anyone can do anything s/he wants, any time s/he wants, to anyone s/he wants, and no one else is permitted to say anything about it, ever, not for any reason.

      In other words, they’re a collective rationale for a lot of really bad behavior.

      It may be that your deity wants people to behave badly all the time and never be stopped by anyone else. But most believers in that deity don’t see it that way. In spite of these rationales they still think people are supposed to try to behave in a mature, upright fashion, and not use these excuses to grant themselves license not to do so.

      As for me, I’m not a Christian, so I can judge Ms Bell however I wish. And I judge her rude and nasty. I really don’t care if she’s learned anything from it. I really don’t care about her at all. I care about people who’ve lost tips, and jobs, because she decided to behave badly one night.

    • RobertoTheChi

      And may the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus have mercy as well. Since you’re talking about fictional characters, you may as well throw them into the mix too.

  • jayneseo

    Best response to a comment at TSG website:

    Elizabeth Jurenovich
    Funny, I won’t eat at Applebees again because I think the fact that one of their employees did this indicates that they have incredibly low hiring standards… it’s not just their food that’s bad.
    Reply · 131 · Like
    · 19 hours ago

    Glenn Sobbing · N. Arizona
    Funny, I won’t be going to church again because I think the fact that a pastor did this indicates that religions have incredibly low hiring standards…it’s not just their dogma that’s bad.
    Reply · 2,502 · Like
    · 19 hours ago
    Bravo Mr. Sobbing!

  • The Other Weirdo

    Now I feel both racist and sexist. When the original article was posted, I thought it was a white guy.

    That said, her apology is oddly reminiscent of Pope John Paul’s apology in Mexico for the child abuse scandal. When rendered down to its essentials, all he said was that he was sorry the Church was hurt in this matter.

    So it is with her. There truly is no difference between Catholics and Protestants.

  • eric

    If your heart is really broken, and you really think you had a lapse in judgement, then hire the fired employee until she can get back on her feet.

    You know, exercise a bit of that bible logic. Matt 5:40: she asks for $6,29, give her a job.

  • Waitress

    As a long time bartender and waitress this story seems a little lacking to me. Yes we as service industry workers work for little wage and rely primarily on our tips, it is not and should not be an auto charge on a bill! You get some great tips, some mediocre tips and some bills with no tips. Tipping is a tool that helps society using the service industry control the quality of service. I don’t believe for one minute that the pastors statement is unfair(and I am not a church goer or even a God believer), but if she gives 10% of her wage to her church why in the world should she be forced to give any amount least of all more to a server who brought her her dinner?? In my opinion this is a waste of time article that shamed this woman. Shame on the person who shared this bill whether it be the waitress or the applebees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

    Quibble: $6 is about 17% of $34.93, not 20%. Even if she left the cash she said, she still stiffed the cashier for some chump change.

  • Crazy Russian

    Eh, I won’t be eating at Applebee’s any time soon… because I can’t afford the bill. Call it boycott if you want, whatever :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

    My gut tells me that she did not actually leave cash, but I have nothing to base that on except to ask why she would protest tipping 18% and then tip 20%. ”
    Ur gut no do math right. 17%

  • dballance

    She left that snide comment and crossed out the automatically added tip. It was clear she intended to leave no tip. I don’t for a minute believe her that she left cash on the table. I’d also like proof that that automatic tip was actually charged to her card as she says.

    Since she crossed it out and totaled the amount at the bottom as just the food/beverages and no automatic tip or tip in addition to the automated tip I’m not sure it would have been legal for the restaurant to charge her the 18%. She clearly didn’t authorize that with her total and signature. But you can darn well bet we’ll never find out. Applebee’s won’t be talking and neither will Pastor Tip-Stiffer.


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