The internet is all abuzz with the story of an Applebee’s customer who stiffed her waitress, and left a note on her credit card voucher that read, ” I give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18 [percent]?”
A server at the restaurant, Chelsea Welch, posted a picture of the voucher on Reddit, and was summarily fired. She posted it on the website’s “Atheist” page, and made the mistake of leaving the customer’s signature in the picture.
Internet sleuths, armed only with the customer’s autograph, found the identity of righteous woman. Alois Bell, a pastor at the Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries church in St. Louis, MO, apologized through the media. She told The Smoking Gun that the episode was a lapse in judgment and was blown out of proportion.
“My heart is really broken,” the 37-year-old Bell told the website. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
She also claims to have left a $6 cash tip on the table.
Welch was not Bell’s waitress. She posted the picture because she thought it was funny and would get a reaction.
She told Consumerist.com that whether or not Bell left a cash tip is irrelevant. Welch made $3.50 an hour, plus tips, and took offense to the note.
“Whether or not she left a tip, the note was still offensive,” she said. “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.”
As of now, Welch is still unemployed.
Having waited tables through college and grad school, I can’t tell you how many times something like this has happened to me. I was often left a religious tract or a church’s business card in lieu of a tip. I made $2.13 an hour, and usually only got a few tables at the restaurant that employed me. While the customers were correct in fearing for the fate of my soul, I worried more about paying my rent than my eternal salvation.
I once confronted a pious non-tipper, and he told me that saving my soul was worth more than the tip he neglected to leave.
“God won’t pay my electric bill,” I responded. He later called and complained. I was reprimanded, but not fired.
Service industry folks, if this has happened to you, feel free to vent in our comments section below.