Operation Good Table

by Pete Sears 2 years ago in advice

Jesus never said, "Stiff the Server."

Operation Good Table

Operation Good Table

In my completely arrogant opinion, I think that stiffing a server is just about one of the lowest acts that a human being can commit that isn't already a crime. I put it right down there with trashing a public restroom as the hallmark of a low-class individual. It is, in my _still_ completely arrogant opinion, one of those things that point you up as lacking in social graces or indeed as lacking any knowledge or sense of the social contract as a whole. It means someone needed to slap your mama. Hard.

So, how in the tap-dancing fuck did it become acceptable for people to use their "Christianity" as an excuse for not tipping at a restaurant?

In case you're wondering why this diatribe, I am reacting to this recent scandal involving the waitress who lost her job at an Applebees because the pastor of a church refused to pay for an auto-gratuity for parties over 10 (A common occurrence in the restaurant biz) and wrote on the check, "I give God 10%, why should you get 18%?"

The waitress in question posted it online and as such things do, it went viral. The pastor, weathering a storm of (deserved) adverse public opinion, called the Applebees and demanded that everyone involved, be fired. Applebees, being particularly spineless and callow, fired the waitress.

In the course, of my working life, which started at 12, I have seen many many instances of people stiffing a server on a check. I'm not saying it's never deserved, but generally, if your food is slow or wrong, at least 75% of the time, it has nothing to do with the server (The Kitchen may be the culprit, but not always that either) and since the server lives on tips, if you point it out, they usually spring right into action to fix it if they can.

And yes, you heard me right, a server lives on their tips. Not on their hourly wage. In the great commonwealth of Kentucky, (State Motto: Teeth are for fancy people!) the hourly wage for a server or other tipped employee is 2.13 an hour, and the weekly paycheck is often cut down by the fact that taxes are taken out of the weekly pay from the tips earned. This leaves aside any potential chicanery on the part of the company involving taxes and wage theft. The facts are usually too depressing to research.

In addition, most servers are part-timers at best. most restaurants can't or don't want to deal with full-time benefits for a server. And serving people is an endlessly tiring profession which can kick the crap out you even if you only do it 25-30 hours a week. It is an endless treadmill of foot-destroying, back-ruining, drudgery peppered and salted with abusive customers and managerial harassment. Not for the timid or the weak.

Also Also: In case you don't know, often, a server has to share their tips with bartenders and bus-persons. and in a nice white tablecloth kind of establishment, a server might have to split his tips with a bewildering array of additional people. True story: I once worked at a place where I had to share tips with a bartender, busboy, captain and an expediter. If a night was slow, I was lucky to walk out with change enough for gum. So if you stiff a server, you're stiffing a whole lot of other people too. But admittedly this is a rare occurrence. If you're at an upscale restaurant, you probably understand the social contract, but for some reason, you've chosen to be a scumbag misanthrope like Steve Buscemi's character in Reservoir Dogs. That's your business. And if you don't mind people adjudging you to be a cheap prick-bastard, fine. I'm really aiming this more at walking wastes-of-flesh who are fucking over hardworking people at the Cracker Barrel because they think Jesus gives them a free pass.

If I were an Atheist, I would take it as a moral and ethical duty, to explain to people who did that sort of shit, that acts like that made me become an atheist. I'd doubt the existence of God, for not smiting you on the spot for that shit. In addition, I'd never want to be associated with a religion that would let you get away with that crap for a second.

Understand this you churchified Dunderhead, Bible-verses are not tips. Never will be tips, and will engender more hatred and loathing for your religion than you even think possible. If you think it's permissible to stiff a server because your religion says you can, or you want to blame it on Obama or some equally dumb shit like that, you can just not eat in a sit-down restaurant you cheap bastard fuck. Get drive-through and stay the fuck away from civilized company.

Look, in case you were too hung over that Sunday morning, Matthew 25:40 (KJV, Cambridge version)

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

And as I've said before, there isn't a lot of wiggle room there. So, if you stiff a server, you're essentially stiffing Jesus. And I think even Jesus might spit in your food. You'd deserve it.

Even if your service is bad, you should tip. The minimum is ten percent. Don't ever tip a penny, or someone like me, with some smarts and a sense of showmanship will follow you out to the parking lot and say, "You know, when I saw this penny on your table, I was really angry, until I realized that it was a 1922 Culver City "D" series penny and is worth over 2 thousand bucks. So, THANKS!"

Not that that has ever happened mind you…(And you should probably stop short of selling the penny back to them, as that constitutes fraud…) But rather than fill your tender ears with rants meant for hypothetical Christian jerk-faces. I come bearing solutions.

Because I am all about solutions.

This plague is never going to stop until men of the cloth make it clear, that not only is it dumb (Spit in your food), not only is it wrong, (Hurtful to the server and to anyone else dependent on them.) But it is hurtful to the Christian community as a whole. You never hear about Wiccans or Buddhists pulling stunts like this, but EVERY server I know has a story about some ancient bastards rolling in some Sunday after church, and being super-nice to their face and leaving them bible verses in place of gratuity, like that, makes it OK somehow.

So, My advice to you is buttonhole your preacher or priest and lay out this case to them. This is a solvable problem and needs to go away YESTERDAY. Until the leaders of the community come down against it, it's going to persist.

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