Waitress Who Posted No-Tip Receipt Fr...

Waitress Who Posted No-Tip Receipt From “Pastor” Customer Fired From Job

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the Majestic Fking MB

Great Falls, MT

#1 Feb 1, 2013
Earlier this week, we posted a story about a restaurant customer who not only chose to deny the waitress a tip, but also wrote “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18?” on the receipt. Now we’ve learned that the server who posted the receipt online has been fired.

“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.

As posted originally on Reddit’s Atheist page, the image contained the customer’s full signature. Chelsea says she didn’t think to edit that out because she had assumed the name was illegible.

But the Internet is a remarkably curious place, so sleuths began trying to identify the self-described “pastor” on the receipt.

“All throughout the comment thread on the Reddit post, I withheld any identifying information,” Chelsea explains, adding that she provided an inaccurate physical description of the customer just to throw people off.

She eventually replaced the image with a version that did not contain the signature, but by that point, people were posting their guesses as to the customer’s identity.

“I had already started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and blogs and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer,” she says.“I refused to confirm any of them, and all of them were incorrect. I worked with the website moderators to remove any personal information. I wanted to protect the identity of both my fellow server and the customer. I had no intention of starting a witch hunt or hurting anyone — I just wanted to share a picture I found interesting.”

Her post immediately became popular on Reddit, and then multiple national news sources began picking up Consumerist’s write-up of the story.

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.

According to Chelsea, until the receipt story got out there, her time at Applebee’s had been without incident.

“I had been well-liked and respected,” she explains.“My sales were high, my managers had no problems with me, and I was even hoping to move up to management sometime this year.

“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.
the Majestic Fking MB

Great Falls, MT

#2 Feb 1, 2013
“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.”

For someone who makes their living off of tips, it seems like the customer’s note was salt in the wound for Chelsea.

“We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make,” she explains.“After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9/hr on average, before taxes.

In her job, Chelsea says she skipped bathroom breaks when things got busy, went hungry when she had to work several tables at a time, would work until 1:30 a.m. and then come back in at 10:30 a.m.

“I am expected to portray a canned personality that has been found to be least offensive to the greatest amount of people,” she tells Consumerist.“I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty, and blistered on a good day. And after all that, I can be fired for ‘embarrassing’ someone who directly insults their server on religious grounds.”

Chelsea agrees with those who argue in favor of a payment system that doesn’t make restaurant servers reliant on tips.

“But the system being flawed is not an excuse for not paying for services rendered,” she adds.“I posted a picture to make people laugh — but now I want to make a serious point. Things like this happen to servers all the time. I’ve had worse tips just in the last month. People seem to think that the easiest way to save money on a night out is to skip the tip. But when you don’t tip a good server, that means that server might move on to a better job. And a worse server might take their place. When you tip a good server well, you are ensuring good service.”

As for the customer’s claim that they “give God 10%,” Chelsea says she’s “utterly baffled” at why someone would try to make a connection between tithing to one’s church and tipping at a restaurant.

“I’ve been stiffed on tips before,” she says,“but this is the first time I’ve seen the Big Man has been used as reasoning.”

“I can understand why someone could be upset with an automatic gratuity,” she admits. The customer’s bill had included an automatic tip of 18% because, according to Chelsea, it had been part of a table of 20.“It’s a plainly stated Applebee’s policy, and it is company policy for parties over eight. I cannot control the auto-gratuity at all; it’s done by the computer that the orders are put into, and the gratuity is not determined by the bill, but by the size of the party.”

Chelsea says that the customer told her manager that their reputation had been ruined by having the receipt posted on Reddit.

“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.”

Even though she’s now without a job, Chelsea claims she has no agenda, nor does she have any interest in exposing the customer’s identity to the public.

“I was just trying to make a joke, but I came home today unemployed.”

So, for now it’s back to the job market to look for a new gig. Chelsea says she’s been waiting tables to save money so she could pay for college.

“In the meantime, hopefully I can find a job that pays more than $3.50/hr,” she tells Consumerist,“Or where people are willing to tip well.”

We are reaching out to Applebee’s for comment and will update if we receive a reply.

UPDATE: The folks at The Smoking Gun have interviewed the pastor who left the receipt.

“My heart is really broken,” she tells the site.“I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

The pastor claims that though she scratched out the automatic gratuity on the bill, she left a $6 cash tip at the table. She also alleges that the restaurant charged her the 18% tip anyway.
the Majestic Fking MB

Great Falls, MT

#3 Feb 1, 2013
In response, Chelsea tells Consumerist:

“Whether or not she left a tip, the note was still offensive. It wasn’t my table, it wasn’t my tip. I’m not sure who ended up with what money at the end of the night. But you can’t really argue with what’s plainly written, and what was written was insulting. Insulted or not, I’ve lost my job over this mess, and that’s what I’m concerned with now. The six dollars one way or another wouldn’t really affect that situation.”

http://consumerist.com/2013/01/31/waitress-wh...
Just me

United States

#4 Feb 1, 2013
If the pastor did make the comment he should not have. Just because he is a pastor or a Christian that does not mean he is perfect. I also do not think that just because someone is a server that they should automatically get a tip. If they do not like the money they make or think they should make more then they should seek employment elsewhere. I also believe all involved with posting this mans information on the Internet should be fired
Fase Palmer

Mooresville, NC

#5 Feb 1, 2013
Owned.
SpinachFart

Collins, MS

#6 Feb 1, 2013
Sounds like a can of worms were accidently opened on the internet . Chelsea didnt realize she was dangling an Atheistic steak in front of some salivating hyenas & caught the result. I have No respect for anyone who wanted her fired for it.
sid

Dennis, MS

#7 Feb 1, 2013
Just me wrote:
If the pastor did make the comment he should not have. Just because he is a pastor or a Christian that does not mean he is perfect. I also do not think that just because someone is a server that they should automatically get a tip. If they do not like the money they make or think they should make more then they should seek employment elsewhere. I also believe all involved with posting this mans information on the Internet should be fired
You summed up my feelings exactly!
bob

Memphis, TN

#8 Feb 1, 2013
I would fire ANY employee in my restaurant who felt he/she had the right to display their religious or political views. ESPECIALLY in writing on a bill!!! There are other places to voice one's views than the workplace. I would have fired her, too, regardless of my personal beliefs. AND, I would have deducted the 18% tip from the bill as well. As a matter of fact, I would have probably "comped" the ticket. There is a time and place for everything. This was just wrong in so many ways and she SHOULD have been fired!
Lookin

United States

#9 Feb 1, 2013
I would bet money the non tipper was a Pentecostal they never tip

“Bored and Annoyed”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#10 Feb 1, 2013
Just me wrote:
If the pastor did make the comment he should not have. Just because he is a pastor or a Christian that does not mean he is perfect. I also do not think that just because someone is a server that they should automatically get a tip. If they do not like the money they make or think they should make more then they should seek employment elsewhere. I also believe all involved with posting this mans information on the Internet should be fired
***She

Sexist.

“Bored and Annoyed”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#11 Feb 1, 2013
When referring to the "pastor" you automatically use "he."
However, when referring to the server you automatically use "they."

Hmmm. You should search yourself as to why.

“Bored and Annoyed”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#12 Feb 1, 2013
Just me wrote:
If the pastor did make the comment he should not have. Just because he is a pastor or a Christian that does not mean he is perfect. I also do not think that just because someone is a server that they should automatically get a tip. If they do not like the money they make or think they should make more then they should seek employment elsewhere. I also believe all involved with posting this mans information on the Internet should be fired
***ALSO. FURTHERMORE.(as if you don't make it easy enough) At what point did you assess any viral happenings on the internet to be the cause of someone's job to be "fired?"

“Bored and Annoyed”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#13 Feb 1, 2013
bob wrote:
I would fire ANY employee in my restaurant who felt he/she had the right to display their religious or political views. ESPECIALLY in writing on a bill!!! There are other places to voice one's views than the workplace. I would have fired her, too, regardless of my personal beliefs. AND, I would have deducted the 18% tip from the bill as well. As a matter of fact, I would have probably "comped" the ticket. There is a time and place for everything. This was just wrong in so many ways and she SHOULD have been fired!
You just really didn't read the thing, did you.
Just me

United States

#14 Feb 1, 2013
smarty_pants wrote:
<quoted text>
***She
Sexist.
Blah blah blah blah
Fase Palmer

Frisco City, AL

#15 Feb 1, 2013
smarty_pants wrote:
When referring to the "pastor" you automatically use "he."
However, when referring to the server you automatically use "they."
Hmmm. You should search yourself as to why.
Think of a basketball player.

Now, did you just think of a guy? A black guy?

You racist sexist.
Reader

Tupelo, MS

#16 Feb 1, 2013
bob wrote:
I would fire ANY employee in my restaurant who felt he/she had the right to display their religious or political views. ESPECIALLY in writing on a bill!!! There are other places to voice one's views than the workplace. I would have fired her, too, regardless of my personal beliefs. AND, I would have deducted the 18% tip from the bill as well. As a matter of fact, I would have probably "comped" the ticket. There is a time and place for everything. This was just wrong in so many ways and she SHOULD have been fired!
Try reading the article. It was the customer (the "pastor") who was rude to the waitress.

The waitress was fired because when she put it on the internet she showed the customer's name.
scarlet
#17 Feb 1, 2013
Fase Palmer wrote:
<quoted text>Think of a basketball player.
Now, did you just think of a guy? A black guy?
You racist sexist.
LMAO.....i did.Guess im one too.
see

United States

#18 Feb 1, 2013
the pastor was a fat ass black woman. nuff said. she just wanted to eat for free like she always does and ill kiss her black ass if she gives god 10%.she aint givn anybody 10% of nothing.but she got a hard working girl who pays taxes fired. thats one less person putting money in the coffers so people who dont work can eat free.
woohooo

Corinth, MS

#19 Feb 1, 2013
If y'all would find something to do rather than post gossip on the internet you wouldn't be losing your job. I don't know either party involved and don't care but in the last year as many ppl that's lost their job because of posting stuff online it would take an idiot to do so. You folks are gonna learn to keep your business off the computer, and if it was a woman, no matter of their color their not a preacher because the bible teaches against that. That being said if u dont wont to leave a tip just get up and pay for your meal and leave, dont be a smart a$$. So see folks sounds like several ppl just learned something here. Its always nice to see ppl learning from others stupidity.
Spooner

Hattiesburg, MS

#20 Feb 1, 2013
smarty_pants wrote:
<quoted text>
***She
Sexist.
No such thing as a female pastor in the christian faith.
Just because she claims it don't make it so.

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