Here's a Good Stiff (ed) Tip For You
November 18, 2013 5:04 PM   Subscribe

 
I couldn't get your link to work but this one works: http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/2013/11/bridgewater_ex-marine_server_donating_tips_from_anti-gay_remark_to_wounded_warriors.html
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:06 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uplifting response.

The responses on the nj.com article - not so uplifting.
posted by dumbland at 5:09 PM on November 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


There's a w missing from the beginning of the address... only ww instead of www.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:10 PM on November 18, 2013


I've seen this story everywhere and heart this lady, sorry she had to go through that crap. Damn the stupid comments.
posted by sweetkid at 5:11 PM on November 18, 2013


[changed the link to the nj.com one before I saw the comments - hope that's ok, carry on]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:11 PM on November 18, 2013


A server who was stiffed on a tip but left a note condemning her homosexual lifestyle instead, receives thousands from sympathetic strangers and donates everything to Wounded Warriors Project.

A winner is you.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:12 PM on November 18, 2013


Oh sorry about the crappy link. Here it is again, hopefully correct this time.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 5:15 PM on November 18, 2013


This might have been one of the ones featured on a recent episode of Real Time.

There was a few of them but I can only recall the one where a church pastor wrote on the check:

"I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:17 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, here it is
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:18 PM on November 18, 2013


Love it when a bunch of people come together to show that humans aren't all assholes.
posted by orme at 5:21 PM on November 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't get the customer's logic. You're NOT okay with their lifestyle and won't tip them as a result, yet you're okay with eating at their restaurant and sitting through a whole darn meal while this person serves you?
posted by FJT at 5:22 PM on November 18, 2013 [27 favorites]


This is a lovely ending to a crappy story. I think there are too many people out there who seem to misunderstand the whole "living in society with other people" thing. The public responses to these things have been great, though. Not reading the comments.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:24 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


When will I learn not to read the comments?
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 5:25 PM on November 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't get the customer's logic.

It's safer than insulting someone to their face. They get to rip their target off in a small way that is not criminally punishable and make their get-away before they're discovered. I can't imagine the level of self-deception required to think of oneself as courageous after having done something so petty and craven.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:32 PM on November 18, 2013 [84 favorites]


Yes, it's a way of being horrid without any fear of repercussions. I'm glad people are clubbing together to show we're not all bigots.
posted by arcticseal at 5:34 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope she at least kept 15%.
posted by zvs at 5:34 PM on November 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


There is no logic. The customer is a jerk. The end.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:35 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't get the customer's logic. You're NOT okay with their lifestyle and won't tip them as a result, yet you're okay with eating at their restaurant and sitting through a whole darn meal while this person serves you?

It's more like...."So you are okay with robbing them."
posted by Drinky Die at 5:46 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Oh it don't make no kind of sense. Big ol' ox like Grady won't sit next to a colored child. But he eats eggs—shoot right outta a chicken's ass!"
posted by heyho at 6:01 PM on November 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


There's an idea that seems to be prevalent that doing business in any fashion with people who you suspect to be gay is "supporting the lifestyle". This is also the opposition to ENDA--that all of us homosexuals, if we couldn't get jobs and couldn't pay our rent and stuff, then we'd straighten out all right. Because, the logic (such as it is) goes, you never saw gay people back when it was really unpleasant to be gay. And there's the base fallacy, that we didn't exist until we came out. This extends to a lot of other things--it's basically "tough love", so poor people would work harder if they didn't get welfare, kids would have less sex if there were no condoms, and so on and so forth. It's at least consistent, as worldviews go. It basically says that fear is the only motivation for any supposedly moral behavior.

I think the ideal for those people is that they'd be very righteous and insist on asking for a different waiter when they were seated in a section with one who looked possibly gay. Much like they picture themselves valiantly preventing a woman from having an abortion and all the tearful gratitude she'd have once she realized the error of her ways. In reality, they make some passive-aggressive comments and make up elaborate justifications for why they haven't done that, but I don't really fault them much for that, because God knows there are enough liberals who substitute sharing Facebook posts for social justice and the like. That much is I think just humanity, although the Facebook version is way lower on the being-a-dick scale.
posted by Sequence at 6:21 PM on November 18, 2013 [45 favorites]


As my wife just said, the customer seems to think it's reasonable to show someone she is better than them by stiffing them on a tip for a meal they served the customer for less than minimum wage. I'm simultaneously horrified (by the action) and gratified (by the response) that this happened in my state. (I'm simply grateful my wife's a mensch). It's awesome the restaurant has the server's back.
posted by mollweide at 6:27 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


oorah, devildog!
posted by hal_c_on at 6:28 PM on November 18, 2013


I have a hard time reconciling the fact that it's not a surprise when people act like assholes, but it is a surprise when people act in a stand-up manner. (I'm not referring to the server here so much as her employer, who is matching the funds.)

I mean, I love it that there are really great people out there. I just hate it that their actions surprise me sometimes. It should be the opposite.

But maybe it's just me.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:29 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can always tell an asshole by the way they treat waitpersons and cashiers
posted by thelonius at 6:37 PM on November 18, 2013 [70 favorites]


If I had to bet, the non-tipper probably thought he was "standing up" to the mean ol' dyke...when really, by accepting the service but leaving the no-tip to be discovered once he escaped, he's an incredible coward.
posted by notsnot at 6:38 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The customer was female, according to the original story linked in the link.
posted by jaguar at 6:47 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"

That's a great one. Just think how far you can take it. In the clothing store: "I only gave God $100 this week for creating the whole world. Why should I give you $200 for nothing but this jacket?"
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:52 PM on November 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


"I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"

This is, like, the opposite of christian. Something like this is so anti-christian that it'd probably be in the bible as an example of how not to be christian. If it were in the old testament there'd probably be some volcano that sprouts up underneath these people.
posted by hellojed at 6:55 PM on November 18, 2013 [65 favorites]


i think we're about five minutes from one of these tipping stories turning out to be a scam. not that it's the case here, of course, but a few weeks back there was a similar incident at a red lobster--a racial slur scrawled on a receipt. but the customer denies doing it, and there's no report of anyone witnessing him do it. it could have been the person he was with, doing it as a joke; it could have been another server or employee. and sadly, it could have been the waitress herself. she scored over $10,000 when it went viral. and again, not that her story is false, or that the customer (whose name she revealed) didn't actually do it; but there's no way to know. the emotional reactions of facebookers do not assess or create truth.

we want to be trusting when we hear stuff like this, but i had the same reaction back when some woman posted a picture of two dudes on the train she overheard talking about how they were getting away with cheating on their wives; and of course, everybody jumped all over it, wanting to identify and out them. but we don't know her account is true. she might have been the asshole, but somehow we're to believe her because she posted a pic and a story.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 6:57 PM on November 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


Put this hate-filled customer next to the server who gave away thousands of dollars. Which person looks like Jesus to you? Which person actually makes the world a better place?
posted by emjaybee at 6:58 PM on November 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


i think we're about five minutes from one of these tipping stories turning out to be a scam.

The evidence that this story is not at all a scam is that the server donated the money. She hasn't gained from the story (except the deep respect of everyone decent who reads it).
posted by jb at 7:06 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


(By the way, if you're tithing a percentage of your income for the privilege of living on God's Earth and partaking of His bounty, isn't that a kind of Celestial Socialism? If it were market based God would charge a fixed price and it'd be up to you to make something of yourself so you could afford it.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:07 PM on November 18, 2013 [17 favorites]


The laborer is worthy of his hire unless you think the laborer might be gay
posted by Area Man at 7:20 PM on November 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


"Good evening, my name is Rob and I'll be your server."

"Hello Rob. Before we order, please tell us who you fuck so we can ask to be reaseated if necessary, because we don't want our plates brought to us by someone whose genitals are not used in the manner we approve of."

Now really, would that have been so difficult?
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:23 PM on November 18, 2013 [33 favorites]


George_Spiggott: probably not, but I'd definitely like to see how many of the waitstaff spit in that person's food after the server is switched and the original server tells everyone who they're dealing with.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:25 PM on November 18, 2013


My lizard-brained self would be delighted to see the smug, self-righteous customer identified and publicly shamed. My other self hopes that the customer at least sees this story and is given pause for thought.
posted by islander at 7:25 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It worked out for the waitress, but only because the customer wrote something hateful on the receipt and social media picked it up after it was posted on Facebook. However, it's easy to imagine all the hateful or petty reasons why someone would give little to no tip to a server that AREN'T written down. I think this is all a reason why tipping should be rid of and there should be either a mandatory service fee or staff at restaurant should have working wages.
posted by FJT at 7:30 PM on November 18, 2013 [29 favorites]


No Jesus, no tips; know Jesus, know tips?
posted by peeedro at 7:33 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


My lizard-brained self would be delighted to see the smug, self-righteous customer identified and publicly shamed.

My cynical brain with years of interneting under its belt would bet fat money expecting an easy payout that the wrong person would be named, and a massive torch-and-pitchfork intermob would form to run him out of town on a rail post tar and feathering.

I'm kinda happy that everyone seems to have taken the classy road here and kept their lips zipped even if they do know.

In other news, while this one seems legit(and the money is going to charity!) several similar recent cases like this have turned out to be bullshit. There were similar discussions of hoax on this one, but i can't for the life of me find any links on it that aren't just like.. free republic or similar garbage.
posted by emptythought at 8:02 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


i think we're about five minutes from one of these tipping stories turning out to be a scam.

You're saying we're about to reach... the tipping point?
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:17 PM on November 18, 2013 [39 favorites]


I think restaurants should print receipts on heavy stone tablets, the better for holy customers, after enjoying their meal, to hurl them in righteous anger at the brazen harlotry that served it to them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:27 PM on November 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


brilliant
posted by Ironmouth at 8:43 PM on November 18, 2013


This is terrible but so is the whole tipping system, just pay people properly and price the meal accordingly, thanks.
posted by robcorr at 8:55 PM on November 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


My other self hopes that the customer at least sees this story and is given pause for thought. at least a week's worth of major indigestion and severe diarrhea from knowing how this crap move backfired.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:05 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


"If I had to bet, the non-tipper probably thought he was "standing up" to the mean ol' dyke...when really, by accepting the service but leaving the no-tip to be discovered once he escaped, he's an incredible coward."

"Put this hate-filled customer next to the server who gave away thousands of dollars."

See, I think this misses the motivation a bit. "Hate" is misleading; more like sanctimonious smugness. There are plenty of folks out there who are pretty sure that being gay is just wrong and when there's no (apparent) possibility of come-uppance, delight in telling people how their "lifestyle" is wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 9:12 PM on November 18, 2013


What a fantastic response to a revolting display of bigotry and hatred. I can't help but be reminded of the postscript to an excellent series of posts (covered previously) about a restaurant that decided to replace tipping with a fixed service charge:
Observations From a Tipless Restaurant, Postscript 1: Crime & Punishment

And she came back with the clincher: Well, with your fixed service charge you didn’t give my any choice. I couldn’t give him a lower tip. How else could I punish him for his mistakes?

That made it all clear. She, like some other patrons, felt the burden of having to reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. Obviously, some people like that role, and some people don’t, but at the very least our culture has trained diners that it is their job. When you go to restaurants, you are responsible for rewarding and punishing your server.

...

We liked our jobs a lot better with the punishers gone, and having a job you like is a great joy in life. Our service charge policy, even though we adopted it for technical financial reasons, proved to be a gift in many suprising ways.

I think we were making guests’s lives better, too. Sitting in judgement of your neighbor, and punishing him, is the highway to unhappiness. Plus, as we’ve established, whatever message you’re sending isn’t getting through. Which means the guest who is asked to serve as a judge, is being made miserable for nothing.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:20 PM on November 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


The whole idea of having a server in a restaurant is still something I just can't wrap my head entirely around. You're basically paying someone to present your food to you, and if they are particularly obsequious (or, more commonly, are particularly attractive) you give them extra? It's an oddity in modern life: we're not supposed to own people anymore, even for a single meal. It's totally legal for me to not tip black people, or short people, or people with disabilities, even though that would be illegal in any other employment context? It makes no sense.

I truly prefer pay-at-the-counter places. If I do have a waiter, I always tip exactly 20%, regardless of their service.
posted by miyabo at 9:51 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


How the hell did the customer even know she's gay? I know it says she's openly gay at her workplace, sure. And I get that she's going to appear pretty butch by mainstream standards. But presumably she wasn't chatting with her customer about dating while serving the food, so really, how does this jerk justify stiffing servers based on stereotypical superficial assumptions?

Oh wait. Doesn't care. Too busy being right.
posted by desuetude at 10:21 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


How the hell did the customer even know she's gay? I know it says she's openly gay at her workplace, sure. And I get that she's going to appear pretty butch by mainstream standards.

I lived in south Jersey for a while, which is a very different place from north Jersey (where Bridgewater is) in many ways, but I will say that New Jersey was the only place I've ever lived where I had something blatantly homophobic said to my face by a stranger as an adult.

My ex's mother and I were grocery shopping after work one day and had an elderly couple walk up to us in the parking lot and tell us we were "fucking disgusting." We worked together cleaning out empty apartments and had just gotten off of work so were wearing jeans and jackets and boots, because it was winter, and also everyone else in south Jersey dresses in that exact same way. But you know, we were both women who dared to have short hair and weren't wearing makeup and were hanging out together. She was a straight woman in her late 40's. I was a bisexual woman in my mid-20's in a relationship with her freakin' son. So yeah, not surprised this happened just based on the way she looks and I'm betting it's happened to other non-gay servers for the same sorts of reasons.
posted by primalux at 11:01 PM on November 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


The point is not to evangelize or even to attack, it's to confirm the non-tipper's status as one of the Elect. If the server were virtuously heteronormative, they'd be doing something better than serving food for a living. By withholding the money *and* making a moral judgement, you tie the whole thing together neatly with minimal cognitive dissonance.

Similarly, it's not really fear that makes a certain sort demand that all social services, employment, and any hope of a decent life be withheld from "the immoral." It's often an inherited assumption that connects faith and publicly visible religiosity with one's worldly deserts.
posted by kewb at 3:50 AM on November 19, 2013


Or desserts, amirite?
posted by spitbull at 4:09 AM on November 19, 2013


And more likely the point was to be a cheap skinflint but rationalize it as moral righteousness. It's easier to be a bigot because, ya know, Jesus saves 20%.
posted by spitbull at 4:11 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


. . . at the very least our culture has trained diners that it is their job. When you go to restaurants, you are responsible for rewarding and punishing your server.

it's funny how in many of these tipping stories, except when maybe the owner/manager suspends the server and has to cover for it, they kind of step back while the debate turns into server vs. customer. it really is all about the restaurant not doing its job; they get to artificially discount their prices, and often discount what they are paying the server, in a system that requires the customer to take on some of their burden. it also sets up an antagonistic subtext between server and customer, with a sheen of politeness over the continuously nagging question, 'am i getting what i am entitled to?'--which is why perhaps we're seeing this kind of christian judgmentalism creep into it; right-wing talk radio is built on the paranoia that someone else is getting something they don't deserve while you're not getting what you're entitled to, and tipping seems to be the most convenient way to exercise this kind of pettiness).

i tip 20% no matter what, because i think a meal is more enjoyable without turning it into a running performance assessment, but also what i think was once considered a good tipping percentage is now more often an expectation, and a server is as likely to fault the customer as the service when that expectation is not met. so whatever expression of appreciation or goodwill the practice once implied i think is mostly lost now.

and as much as i'm bothered by the common presumption online that someone telling a story like this is being honest and the customer was the jerk, despite myriad other social media deceptions--i can't believe people still fall for 'i bet you can't name a state with the letter A in it'--i'm not a fan of this idea that in the face of real substantive discrimination and even physical abuse, it's servers who see a few offensive words scrawled on a receipt and/or miss out on a few bucks who are somehow worthy of our attention and donations.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 5:51 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's an oddity in modern life: we're not supposed to own people anymore, even for a single meal.

Uh, in what way is sitting down for a meal and being served by someone, most likely knowledgable about the menu you are about to look at, analogous to slavery?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:54 AM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Uh, in what way is sitting down for a meal and being served by someone, most likely knowledgable about the menu you are about to look at, analogous to slavery?

i think it's more the idea that as a customer you determine a portion of the server's compensation, subject to whatever whim, mood, or bias you happen to exercise in the moment. yet what is ostensibly the more important aspect of the meal--the food itself--you don't have the same privilege of deciding, after the fact, that its quality does not warrant full payment; indeed, the quality of the meal can affect the server's compensation. seems a more fair arrangement, if the restaurant is going to support voluntary or courtesy payment for a portion of what is being provided, is that the restaurant and server take the hit equally when a customer pays less.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 6:09 AM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


hellojed: "This is, like, the opposite of christian. Something like this is so anti-christian that it'd probably be in the bible as an example of how not to be christian. If it were in the old testament there'd probably be some volcano that sprouts up underneath these people."
Matthew 10:10, A laborer is worthy of his wages
Luke 10:7, A laborer is worthy of his wages
1 Timothy 5:18, A laborer is worthy of his wages
Matthew 20, A LABORER IS WORTHY OF HIS WAGES
That woman did a deeply shitty thing that is in direct contradiction to the instructions of Christ to satisfy her own vanity and piety. How is she any different from the Pharisees that Jesus chews out here?
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Now "Woe to you", or ouai in the greek dialect that Matthew was written in, does not mean a pleasant warning of future misfortune. Really, according to the gospel, Jesus is saying FUCK YOU to these people in no uncertain terms. He is saying that those who co-opt the memory of the prophets are actors. Matthew uses a word ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which up until this point had a neutral meaning without a negative connotation, to describe the actions of priests like this, who ignore the heart of the Pentateuch, taking houses from widows, while they make sure to be careful to tithe a tenth of the fruits of their house plants. The way he uses the word hypokrisis, it definitely now has a negative connotation.

She is not spreading the gospel when she cheats those who serve her, she is making a show of her piety like the Pharisees did, attending to her soul as if it were a dirty cup and only cleaning the outside like a fool. With such care it turns into a rotten corpse in a carefully painted tomb for everyone to smell. If Jesus were in a restaurant when something like that were to happen, do you think he'd stand up, thrust his divine knuckles out from his chin, and say FUCK YOU?
posted by Blasdelb at 6:39 AM on November 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


I literally can't believe someone would do this! I mean, I do believe it, obviously, and yay decent people who basically apologised for their fellow human, and yay Dayna for generously donating the "tips" given to her. But my default reaction is still to be shocked when people are so openly horrible. (Yes, I religiously avoid comment sections to maintain this state of mind.)

I don't know much about the Bible, but I'm quite certain that all of the teachings of Jesus can be distilled down to one commandment: Be Thou Not An Asshole.
posted by billiebee at 6:46 AM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”


Spoiler alert: the answer is everyone.
posted by jquinby at 7:02 AM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


All my suspicions about the husband's ex were confirmed when the youngest told us a couple of weeks ago that she hates tipping. The best tip I ever got was from a customer who wrote on the bill "I didn't have enough money to tip you as well as you deserve, but you were a great waitress. Thanks!" (Or something along those lines; it was 20 years ago). It's not about the money; it's about common decency. I love that people stepped up and that the restaurant owners take care of their employees, but I hate how prevalent this story has become.
posted by jennaratrix at 9:07 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I lived in south Jersey for a while, which is a very different place from north Jersey (where Bridgewater is) in many ways

Oh, no. Bridgewater is central Jersey. I know some of y'all think that doesn't exist, but I promise it's not mythical.
posted by asperity at 9:21 AM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I used to deliver pizzas to a guy who would over-tip embarrassingly. I was glad enough to have the cash, but it was sort of awkward getting more than 100% of the bill as a tip.
posted by thelonius at 9:24 AM on November 19, 2013


People leave nasty notes instead of tips all the time, and for all sorts of "offenses." About ten years ago I waited tables at The Highlander in Atlanta, which is a sit-down neighborhood bar (with great food) in gay-friendly Midtown Atlanta. I was working Sunday morning and waited on a couple who ordered and ate their lunches without incident. When I went to pick up the check, they had left exact change with a note: "Here's a tip: look to Jesus for your salvation."

I have also been stiffed because I was working Sunday morning instead of being in church. I can't begin to work out the logic there, since obviously my patron wasn't in church either.

In my experience, there is a subset of churchy types who express their disapproval by stiffing servers and leaving shitty notes. This is just another example, but I'm glad it has worked out so well for Dayna and the Wounded Warrior people.
posted by workerant at 9:28 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, no. Bridgewater is central Jersey. I know some of y'all think that doesn't exist, but I promise it's not mythical.

Ha. Yeah I think it's more that my concepts of Jersey geography are off. I lived in Cape May County and never went further north than AC and I had to look up Bridgewater on google to even see where it was.
posted by primalux at 10:51 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sequence: "There's an idea that seems to be prevalent that doing business in any fashion with people who you suspect to be gay is "supporting the lifestyle".

What I don't understand is, if this is the logic they're actually using, then why are they eating at the restaurant at all? If someone shows up at their table that they think is gay, and they are so deeply worried about supporting gay people and their "lifestyle" (*eyeroll*) then why not just get up and walk out rather than allow themselves to be served by someone who is gay? The restaurant could conceivably pay that person a salary in addition to tips, after all.

I think that this isn't about "supporting the lifestyle." Perhaps that's the excuse they give, but no.

It's about expressing disapproval. And exercising their self-righteous privilege over people they disapprove of.
posted by zarq at 11:33 AM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


You can always tell an asshole by the way they treat waitpersons and cashiers

Absolutely this. I usually say it as "You can tell everything you really need to know about someone by how they treat the people around them that they don't 'have' to be nice to." It's more than just waitstaff. It's the janitors, cashiers, sales clerks, etc. The person who take a undeserved shit on them because they think there will be no consequences goes straight into the "asshole" bucket.
posted by kjs3 at 12:09 PM on November 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Absolutely this. I usually say it as "You can tell everything you really need to know about someone by how they treat the people around them that they don't 'have' to be nice to." It's more than just waitstaff. It's the janitors, cashiers, sales clerks, etc. The person who take a undeserved shit on them because they think there will be no consequences goes straight into the "asshole" bucket.

This is why seeing how a job candidate treats receptionists, secretaries, etc. is so valuable. Anyone who is rude to such people is both a jerk and stupid.
posted by Area Man at 12:18 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"In my experience, there is a subset of churchy types who express their disapproval by stiffing servers and leaving shitty notes. "

Definitely. At a restaurant I used to work at, we'd have church folk come in all the time and be sticklers about not paying the sales tax, as they were exempt, but they'd rarely tip above a purely token amount. A quarter says, "I know I should tip, but I don't want to," and is often more insulting than nothing.
posted by klangklangston at 12:32 PM on November 19, 2013


Refreshing that the restaurant manager is willing to support her over the customer. Whenever a story like this makes the news it makes me think how many people in service jobs around America have had experiences like this and bitten their tongues because they knew they'd lose their jobs if they criticized a customer (even without names) on the Internet.
posted by ostro at 1:16 PM on November 19, 2013


And how do these kinds of xtians know that a server is a "practicing" homosexual?! Maybe I "found" Jebus, and I'm married to a former lesbian, and together we chew a lot of ice and watch Project Runway marathons, and maybe I'm holier than you are, and you just stiffed me for no reason at all.

I mean, you don't *know* a person from interacting with them as your server for one meal.
posted by MoxieProxy at 2:31 PM on November 19, 2013


"And how do these kinds of xtians know that a server is a "practicing" homosexual?! Maybe I "found" Jebus, and I'm married to a former lesbian, and together we chew a lot of ice and watch Project Runway marathons, and maybe I'm holier than you are, and you just stiffed me for no reason at all."

They conspicuously don't
posted by Blasdelb at 5:00 AM on November 20, 2013


"I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"

I threw all my money in the air and said, "god, take what you want."
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:05 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, grrr. A local restaurant actually pulled the same crap on one of its customers recently. Stingray Cafe. As a colleague acerbically pointed out, "They weren't so offended by this couple that they refused to take their money for the lunch they ate, huh?"
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:00 AM on November 20, 2013


Huh, I guess this has changed,

Family Says They Did Tip Gay Server, Didn't Leave Note
After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, a local family contacted NBC 4 New York and said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn't write any such note.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:33 AM on November 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Receipt, and credit card statement.

Hmm.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:18 AM on November 26, 2013


And both the server and restaurant owner suddenly got cagey, and never got back to the reporters who were clearly about to air this with the proof of their story they would naturally have in their copies of the credit card statements.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:49 AM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Never would a message like that come from us," her husband said, before noting that he and his wife support gay rights and refused to vote for New Jersey Governor because of his stance against gay marriage. "It's a disgusting thing to do," he added. "The restaurant profits from this, obviously Dayna profits from this. It's fraud, it's a scam."

I really fucking hate the Internet right now.
posted by NoMich at 5:59 AM on November 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't put any credence in the customer copy of the receipt by itself because nobody ever fills those things out and it would be easy enough to fill in the blank version later to add the tip. And of course they didn't write a second copy of the note on a receipt that the server was never going to see.

But if they have a credit card statement that shows them being billed with the amount including tip, that's a little harder to explain away.

Although, anybody know if restaurant point of sale systems let you print off a second blank copy of a receipt? Because if the original restaurant copy of the receipt showed a tip and different total, I don't see any signs of the alteration it would take to produce the version originally presented.
posted by Naberius at 7:25 AM on November 26, 2013


The couple did produce a credit card statement and it shows that they spend $111.00 at the restaurant that night.
posted by NoMich at 7:30 AM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where's Joe Kenda when you need him? He'd get to the bottom of this!
posted by josher71 at 7:57 AM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've seen the copies of the receipts, but I haven't been able to find an image of the credit card statement.
posted by monospace at 10:04 AM on November 26, 2013


They showed their Visa bill to NBC 4.

From the article: "A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family's credit card was charged for more."
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:13 AM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


it doesn't make sense for either side to lie at this point, as the charges will be easily substantiated by the credit card company and the company that processed the payment. i think it's interesting that in the updated stories, the restaurant does not deny that the customer was charged the higher amount; they only say that they can't explain it. and they can't produce the original receipt, which i would think negates the transaction entirely (isn't that the whole point of requiring the customer to sign the receipt? if the restaurant can't prove the customer signed a receipt, how can they prove the legitimacy of the transaction?)

but also, i'm suspicious in that the customers not only deny making an offensive anti-gay statement, they go as far as saying that they support gay rights and gay marriage. if someone is bigoted enough to write the offensive comment, do they go that far to defend themselves? (particularly considering that they don't win or lose by doing so; they were anonymous before and apparently remain anonymous.) it seems that someone who is actually that bigoted might go only as far as not commenting on their views on gay rights, or simply admitting that they are opposed to gay rights but asserting that they still did not write on the receipt.

i don't think any of us know which side is honest at this point; most of the reactions are emotional and reflect confirmation bias. but i think the whole situation calls out the blogger culture that has courted clicks and 'likes' by pushing this story from both sides, without contributing what apparently is some fairly simple investigation
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:28 AM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is an image of (what is alleged to be) the customer's Visa account statement, highlighting a transaction at the restaurant for $111.55 (i.e., $93.55 plus an $18.00 tip).
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 10:46 AM on November 26, 2013


when I was a server we could definitely reprint credit card receipts, although I'm pretty sure they said "reprint" at the top.
posted by changeling at 2:16 PM on November 26, 2013


i don't think any of us know which side is honest at this point

Really? The receipt showing the $18 tip and matching credit card statement, combined with a lack of contradictory evidence on the part of the restaurant, don't make it obvious that the server and owner colluded to make up the whole thing? Seems that some folks are willing to go to great lengths to avoid seeing the writing on the wall.

This is utterly reprehensible in so many ways. I hope she's charged with fraud ASAP and forced to return the money (who really thinks any of it actually went to Wounded Warrior?) and the restaurant run out of business.

Worst part of it all is how this will be the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people the next time someone speaks up about this type of situation.
posted by jjoye at 2:19 PM on November 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


when I was a server we could definitely reprint credit card receipts, although I'm pretty sure they said "reprint" at the top.

It depends on the POS system, especially since re-printing is often a different function than duplication. Either way, if somebody is already going through the effort of doctoring a receipt, it'd be a piece of cake to get rid of the word "DUPLICATE" on top.

...

Update, via Fark:
Restaurant manager Byron Lapola on Tuesday told the Courier News that the eatery, which first opened three months ago, would not comment until they finish their investigation. Lapola said Morales, 22, was “currently not on the schedule” to work.

In the meantime, the same social media that largely slammed the anonymous family in thousands of Facebook and online comments now has seemingly turned on Morales, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Days after the story first was reported, Lapola told the Courier News that he was not working the evening of the incident and that he never saw the family or the original check.

But Lapola stood by his waitress and said that he instructed his staff to discount an entree from the family’s check and to credit the difference as a tip.
I am very confused by the last sentence I've quoted. If the entree was discounted, then why would the family have been charged more than the allegedly billed amount? Why would the discount be rendered as a tip, on top of the allegedly billed amount?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:53 PM on November 26, 2013


I am very confused by the last sentence I've quoted. If the entree was discounted, then why would the family have been charged more than the allegedly billed amount? Why would the discount be rendered as a tip, on top of the allegedly billed amount?

It sounds like he's saying before he knew anything other than what the waitress had said, he made sure she got a tip by having the restaurant eat the cost of one of the entrees, and giving that money to her instead.
posted by jaguar at 3:32 PM on November 26, 2013


So, he's claiming error, and not fraud, is why the family had been nonetheless charged the full amount plus tip?
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:33 PM on November 26, 2013


No, he's not commenting on that aspect of the situation at all. He's just saying that he made sure the waitress received appropriate compensation before the family said anything at all about the story being false.
posted by jaguar at 3:35 PM on November 26, 2013


That is to say, if the waitress is lying, she also lied to her manager, who also gave her money.
posted by jaguar at 3:36 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess everybody who was baffled at how a person could or would do this have an answer, now.
posted by kafziel at 4:35 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Coming out of an accounting background, I have seen people doctor the figures in a PDF statement before. It often doesn't take much besides a full copy of Acrobat. Depends on how it's provided and how much motivation there is to change it. But then, young people wanting attention is also an entirely normal part of human experience, so I don't know which I believe. I do wish that people wouldn't treat this as "well, real human beings wouldn't act like this," because they do, all the time... both on the 'making up stories' side and the 'screwing people out of tips for stupid reasons' side.
posted by Sequence at 8:02 PM on November 26, 2013


It's easy to doctor figures in a PDF, but it would also be easy for either Visa or the restaurant to point out fraud, if the family had committed any. If the family had doctored the PDF, then why would the restaurant not simply say, "that's not true, and here's the receipt which proves it?" Why did they instead say that they could not explain the higher charge, and then withhold comment until they could finish their own internal investigation?
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't really envisage a situation in which a couple would have the front to stiff on a tip and write such a comment only to then deny it. It'd take some serious homophobia to do what they supposedly did, and there's no way such bigots would then go on TV championing gay rights. They didn't have do say anything anyway - nobody knew whose bill it was.
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:10 AM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I legitimately feel kinda bad for calling shenanigans on this early on.

It is a bit amusing to me somehow though, that every high profile case of this in recent memory of "Asshole writes stuff on receipt and leaves tiny or no tip" has turned out to be bullshit.

Why do people bother to make these stories up? Assholes exist, assholes do asshole things, people stiff tips all the time. Give it enough time and someone will do some shit like this. Why try and force the hand of the clock?

I just don't get it. And i'm absolutely on the side of "if this was real, it would be easy to prove and they'd already have come out waving and telling that couple to get fucked". They're bunkering down because they were full of shit.

And it's befuddling. Like... why bother?

All i can imagine is her being shitfaced and making up a story because it sounded good to tell a couple friends, them going all "OH GOD YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!", keep prodding her, fake receipt gets made, snowballs 1000x out of proportion online.

Nothing else even parses.
posted by emptythought at 4:37 AM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I legitimately feel kinda bad for calling shenanigans on this early on.

Enh. If you had been running around and screaming that it was phony before there was any hard evidence, that would be one thing, but you didn't. You had good reason to doubt it, and now here we are.

This isn't the first time that somebody has lied on the internet, and it won't be the last.

And it's befuddling. Like... why bother?

It sounds like she might not be in control of her instrument. It's all very weird and sad.

I'm sorry. I just can't look away from this story.

It sounds like she has a history of telling tales in order to get sympathy and interest. I wonder if Morales had made the story up as yet another tall tale, but then things spiraled out of control when money and the media became involved.

I think hope that her donations to the Wounded Warriors Project came out of some level of contrition, and a recognition that she shouldn't be getting money for this. (And if she hasn't donated any of this money to WWP, then, well...)

It sucks that WWP will get hurt by this, as they will no doubt have to do clean-up work regarding the fact that they can't accept these funds. If I ran the restaurant, and if I had the capability, I would match the raised funds and give that sum, from my own money, to WWP. But, not everybody has $3,000 lying around.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:35 AM on November 27, 2013


Why do people bother to make these stories up?

$$$
posted by jjoye at 7:52 AM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can always tell an asshole by the way they treat waitpersons and cashiers

Also occasionally by the way they treat the subjects of rumors.
posted by 0 at 8:18 AM on November 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Thank Christ the Internet didn't get hold of this family's name and address when the story first broke. One can only imagine what a bunch of self-righteous Internet vigilantes could have inflicted on them.
posted by yoink at 8:58 AM on November 27, 2013 [7 favorites]




It sounds like she has a history of telling tales in order to get sympathy and interest.

God, on that subject there's several MASSIVE "LOL ATTENTION WHORE" circlejerks going on at several other online communities about this right now. The link from upthread about the statement revealing it's a lie got injected to start them, and like the various stages of the large hadron collider once the farticles hit speed they injected the story you linked about her history of lying.

I think one of the sadder things about this, somewhere past even a distant second from wounded warriors getting boned over, is that this has fueled a huge storm of rage and conformation bias boners among the "WOMEN ONLY DO THINGS FOR ATTENTION" crowd online.

It's just like, good job pouring gasoline on the fire of hatred burning within the hearts of all the people who automatically doubt a woman or minority any time they come forward with a story or harassment or mistreatment.

Thank Christ the Internet didn't get hold of this family's name and address when the story first broke. One can only imagine what a bunch of self-righteous Internet vigilantes could have inflicted on them.

Fuck i'm thankful too. The worst thing that would have done is that a bunch of people would hear the initial massive internet and media fart of a ZOMG UPDATE! on the story that "it was these people, these people right here" and comparatively few would hear the correction. That shit would follow them around for months, and probably years as "the assholes who did that thing" especially locally.

At first i thought she was just a GGG for refusing to leak or state that, but now it's kinda obvious that she refused because it was BS. Still, a kernel of non-shittiness in this shitstorm.
posted by emptythought at 1:11 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]






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