Waitress fired over pastor's Applebee's receipt
The company is critical of both sides after an employee posts a photo of a customer's message regarding a tip: 'I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?'
A server at an Applebee's near St. Louis has been fired, according to Consumerist, after posting a receipt on Reddit from another waitress's customer who crossed out an 18% gratuity and wrote in "I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?" while identifying herself as a pastor. The amount of the disputed tip was $6.29.DineEquity (DINE)-owned Applebees, meanwhile, issued a statement on Facebook that both justified the firing while condemning the customer's message. As Applebee's spokesman Dan Smith explained to Huffington Post after the company fired the employee -- identified as Chelsea Welch in news reports -- exposing guests' personal information all over the Internet is a big no-no and grounds for immediate dismissal.
Fair, especially given that a little photo editing would have kept that info private. But the note left by the customer, identified by The Smoking Gun as St. Louis pastor Alois Bell, represents a fundamental misunderstanding of both tipping policy and the Christian act of tithing.
According to company policy stated right at the bottom of the menu, a gratuity of 18% is automatically added for parties of eight or more. Bell's check was part of a party of nearly 20, according to the employee.
Bell, a pastor at the Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries church in St. Louis, says her interpretation of the gratuity was a "lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion" and claims she left a $6 cash tip on top of what was originally charged. However, her spur-of-the-moment logic completely left out that the tithe that members of a church take out of their income goes not "to God" but to charitable organizations, the church organization itself and, often enough, the pastor to cover the living expenses of a meager existence required by their faith.
This isn't Chelsea's get-out-of-jail-free card for putting Bell's information and signature in Reddit's Atheist subcategory because "I thought other users would find it entertaining," but it doesn't make Bell's ministry look too great as a result either. She seems to know that all too well.
"My heart is really broken," she told The Smoking Gun. "I've brought embarrassment to my church and ministry."
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Many lessons to learn in the Applebee's PR disaster. First, the pastor needs to be forgiven, needs minor disciplinary action for her lapse in judgement in her role as pastor and she also needs training on the basic tennets of Christianity, including kindness, forgiveness & humility. Second, the employee needs to recieve minor disciplinary action and needs training on how to respond when a customer behaves inappropriately. Third, Applebee's needs to learn how to discipline an employee appropriately. If bankers can bring the USA to the brink of financial collapse and not even receive a slap on the hand, then it seems Applebee's response to the pastor fiasco is excessive. Taking away a persons' livelihood, (if you can call $3.50 an hr that), by firing the worker for outing a customers bad behavior on social media is beyond and it once again highlights how screwed up corporate america really is. Fourth, Appleee's own enforcement of social medial policy is lacking and their use of social media is also a nightmare, so they need to improve their PR skills. That being said,one issue that has received little attention, but is most deserving of being highlighted, is the fact that people & companies clearly do not have appropriate training on the use of social media. People seem to lack the filters needed to discern when and what is appropiate to post on-line. Righ now, all involved in this fiasco are experiencing loss, but wih a litle forgiveness and a lot of training & learning, it could turn into someting really positive.
It's often said that "It's not what you do, but the way that you do it" which seems most
applicable here. If tips are a gratuity, then the amount of the tip should be determined
by the giver. It does help to know that the standard tip ( in olden times) was ten percent,
then 15% and now being discussed at 20%; yet as it's understood to be discretionary, it
should be practiced as discretionary. There was a time when young women were also
chaste, when married women did not work, when divorce was a disgrace ....
As a child we tipped the mail carrier, the newspaper boy, folks who rendered services
to us during the year, but always at no specific percentage, but rather as we felt
sufficient and could afford. And to tip someone a cent was more soul satisfying than to
tip them nothing.
So let's grasp 'socialism', socialism, totalitarianism and communism. Gratuities are
given in thanks and considered payment beyond the cost of purchasing the services.
Do we tip retail clerks at the cash register? Or the cashier at the gas station? No.
In a communist regime, we know there are no tips or gratuities. (Though that
expired in the Sixties in real practice.) In a totalitarian government, we are coerced to
deliver additional payment. That often masquerades as 'graft'. Graft is frowned upon
in America, but were we to strictly follow protocol, half the imports we receive and
70% of the exports we make would never occur. In a socialistic regime, we are
advised to add the gratuity no matter what; in fact we might be forced to accept a
forced withholding, or value-added tax. In a capitalistic regime (America is still
Capitalistic, especially before the Market opens at 6:30AM in CA), we judge for
ourselves what is adequate, appropriate and affordable.
We are losing track of the meaning of standard definitions to an accelerated rate.
This is most disturbing to me. Take for instance the word marriage: no matter who
you are, if you are an American citizen, marriage was understood to be between a
man and a woman until recently. The country did not endorse homosexuality.
It simply was the actual usage everyone accepted -- until recently. When a language
loses its relevancy, the culture it fosters loses its ability to measure adequately.
When we can't measure, we can't judge. When we have no currency to judge, we
are no longer free citizens, and much worse, civilization is doomed. Doomed. Doomed.
WE NEED TO FIRE APPLEBEE'S & THAT PASTOR !!!!! REALLY ?? THE PASTOR STARTED THIS WITH HER COMMENT & SHE TIP'S GOD 10% REMARK. NOW A HARD WORKING WAITRESS HAS TO PAY FOR HER STUPDITY !! WELL I USED TO EAT AT APPLEBEE'S 2-3 TIME'S A WEEK , NO MORE !!!!. I RECOMMEND A NATION WIDE BOYCOTT OF ALL APPLEBEE'S,THEN THE HEAD FOLK'S AT CORPORATE WILL GET NERVOUS, FIRE THE MANAGER AT THIS LOCATION, HIRE BACK WAITRESS WITH AN APOLOGY FROM THEM & THE PASTOR , ALL WILL BE FORGOTTEN !!!!!!
I SUGGEST ANY & ALL WHO READ THIS ,PASS ON THE BOYCOTT IDEA TO ALL FAMILY,FRIEND'S & CO-WORKERS , LET APPLEBEE'S & PASTOR KNOW THIS WILL NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY !!!!!!! LET'S GO TO RED ROBIN FOR LUNCH !!!!!!
I think the owner of the Applebee’s was the only person in the right here. The pastor was definitely in the wrong with her behavior towards the waitress. If she truly felt that strongly about leaving a tip, she could have just not added one. There was no need to make a huge skeptical about it which was sure to end badly. (However, I am just as taken aback by some of the comments on here about her. If you disagree with her actions that is one thing, but to disparage her because of her size, which has no relation to the issue whatsoever, is just as petty and sad.)
That being said, the waitress in question should not have retaliated by posting the customers personal information on the internet where anyone could have access to it. I choose to believe it was an honest mistake, that she was simply sharing a ludicrous message that was left on the receipt of a colleague, but she should have edited out his information first. In the end two wrongs didn’t make a right.
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