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I give God 10%...

...why should you get 18?


Probably because god did not fill the water glasses.


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  1. What's wrong with being cheap? You say it like it's a bad thing.

    103 Replies
      1. re: olyolyy

        Being frugal is not bad. Being cheap is.

        1. re: juliejulez

          What's the difference between thrifty and cheap? Thrifty is when you save money. Cheap is when other people save money.

          1. re: RealMenJulienne

            thrifty is making the most of your dollars.

            Cheap is making it someone else's problem.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Sunshine, that is the perfect definition of the difference between the two. Thanks....I am going to use this in the future.

            2. re: olyolyy

              If he really wanted to save money he should eat at home.

              1. re: olyolyy

                I went out for lunch with a really cheap friend the other day. The bill came to $16.04. We'd eaten the same thing, and I put $10 in for my half, figuring we'd round up to $20.

                He couldn't do it. He *had* to take back 50 cents.

                Cheap or thrifty? Discuss.

                1. re: Jay F

                  Well, $4 for $16 is more than 20% :) And since you don't want the extra money, he wants it.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Jay F
                    your "friend" is really cheap.
                    i would never go to a restaurant with him unless i intended to subsidize him.
                    i'd be too embarassed to be associated with anyone like that.

                      1. re: Jay F

                        when i'm in a position where i must deal with people like that in a restaurant, i normally tell them:
                        "let me pay the tip, you just give me X dollars for the tab"
                        and i SPECIFY at that moment what the dollar amount must be.
                        if they state that they were going to put it on a credit card, then just be sure to pay the tip yourself (preferably in cash) and WATCH to make sure the cheapskate doesn't filch the tip from the table before the server picks it up.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Where I live, it is possible to get separate checks, so I'm planning to do that from now on.

                          1. re: Jay F

                            If I'm following this correctly he left an 18% tip. This is not that egregious to me. Folks are acting like he stiffed the waiter.

                            1. re: kengk

                              I believe he crossed out the 18% and left 0%.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I'm talking about Jay F's friend but I may be confused.

                                1. re: kengk

                                  Oh yeah. You are correct. Actually, I believe it is more than 20% (21.57%).

                                  $19.5 for a bill of $16.04. So the difference is $3.46.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    His tip was 1.48 on a bill of 8.02. Isn't that 15.5%?

                                    1. re: Jay F

                                      <His tip was 1.48 on a bill of 8.02. Isn't that 15.5%?>

                                      Oh I see what you are thinking now. I was thinking that your total combined bill is $16.04 and together you left $19.50, which means it was a $3.46 for the total bill of $16.04 (~$20%).

                                      You are thinking more like he paid $9.50 for a bill of $8.02, so he left $1.48 for his $8.02 bill -- which is 18.5%.

                                      The waiter or waitress would not notice anything unusual (a $19.50 payment for a $16.04 bill). So effectively speaking, you feel you are the one who get the short end of the stick?

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Sort of. I just thought it was such a cheap gesture. Who takes back .50?

                                          1. re: olyolyy

                                            Trust me, he doesn't *need* it.

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              I just think that it is very difficult to accurately judge people too much based on tips. It is just that and nothing more.

                                              All of us have different priority in life, and we live differently. Sometime people need that couples of quarters for tolls. I know a friend in graduate school. He was not a big tipper, but he was a very generous person toward homeless. He spent time and money toward them. Whatever food he could not finish, he gave it to homeless, and he even asked other people (who we don't know on a different table) if he could take their left over food to give it to homeless. On the other hand, he must have fought with numerous waitresses about tips and discounts. It was always very awkward to eat with him because I would be in the middle of these fights. After those fights he won't left any tip, and also told me not to leave any tip.

                                              Yet, I cannot never say he is cheap person based on all the other tremendously generous things he has done. I believe after our graduate school he joined those "XYZ Global Food Club" for awhile.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                I've been reading this thread, and I am finally piping in to say how refreshing I find your perspective. The friend tipped enough; I don't see how picking up two quarters gets him the label "cheap". Quirky, perhaps, but not cheap, and certainly not worthy of the condemnation he's received in these parts. Even if he doesn't give to the homeless or some other wonderful thing, the fact is that he fulfilled his financial obligation.

                                                I think sometimes people take a bit too much pride in being generous. I am not criticizing generosity, but I would argue that excessive pride in it (and condemnation of others who don't see each transaction as a way to prove their generosity) is as 'quirky' as picking up two quarters as change.

                                                    1. re: Cachetes

                                                      I have no judgement other than to say that I was taught by my mother who worked in food service and/or was a bartender most of her life that it is considered bad manners to ever take back the coins or change.

                                                      True/not true?

                                                      1. re: splatgirl

                                                        bills, are ok, change not really. (I'm not going to pay a $4.50 drink with a $20 and leave it all). at the bar and not a table $1.50 seems a bit high for a tip and .50 far too low. I'd probably average the tip when the tab came due if I'm there for a few.

                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                          I was referring to coins exclusively.

                                                          1. re: splatgirl

                                                            I thought so, but 'change' and 'coins' sometimes get used the same.

                                                            I like the habit I've only seen in neighborhood bars in NYC, if you're planning on staying a while, at a no-tab kinda place, you put a pile of cash on the bar directly in front of you (enough for about how long you plan on staying) and as each drink is paid for the tip is pushed to the tender's side. very clear which funds are which.

                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              I see this practice often at several places I am a regular. I find it uncouth. They are usually fine running a tab at most places, which is my preference. Otherwise, if a place requires a card when I place my order, then that is acceptable. The cash in front of the patron just seems tacky to me.

                                                              1. re: MonMauler

                                                                at first I did too, but there is a certain louche charm. this was witnessed back in the days before ATM's and plastic were ubiquitous in places where folks, ok guys mostly, had X amount to get plastered and no more or the kids would go hungry. (and by NYC I didn't mean most of the Manhattan we know today - think B'n'T)

                                                                and it does give the bartender a clue as to how long the customer intends to be there and what sort of tips to expect as the stack dwindles. it is old-school.

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  I guess I see the charm in it a little bit, too. You're right: it is old-school. Now, the places I see this practice most often employed are mostly dives. I can definitely appreciate the quaint charm in someone laying a few bills down on the bar and drinking until all that's left is the tip, but I've never been able to do it myself. I try to show a little more decorum and at least pretend to be more respectable than that.

                                                                  1. re: MonMauler

                                                                    ha!, yes outside of a dive, it would be tacky.

                                                                  2. re: hill food

                                                                    I try to avoid using plastic for dinners / drinks when the owner is a friend because of the fees the owner gets hit with. Same for my auto mechanic or anybody else who does a job for me. Everyone seems to prefer cash. At bars though I do prefer a tab for many reasons, one being turning my back on my pile and having it vanish.

                                                                2. re: hill food

                                                                  "I like the habit I've only seen in neighborhood bars in NYC, if you're planning on staying a while, at a no-tab kinda place, you put a pile of cash on the bar directly in front of you (enough for about how long you plan on staying) and as each drink is paid for the tip is pushed to the tender's side. very clear which funds are which."

                                                                  I like it too. It was pretty much the practice in the bars I cut my teeth on in Reading, PA. I am always cool with it when I find a bartender who gets it. It's also fine with me when they leave the pile, take out for each drink/round, and let me tip in total at the end (they probably make out better that way, as I have been "lubricated" by that point).

                                                                  As to picking up change off the bar, I had been told by some older guys I drank with professionally*, that taking change (coins) off the bar was bad luck. I thought it was a tolerable concept. I mean at the end of the night, what do you save 95 cents? If you're drinking something that isn't priced in round numbers, leaving the coins makes it easier for the bartender to extract the cost of the next drink.

                                                                  *Seasoned, white shoe lawyers, not guys who got paid to drink - though if anyone is looking for the latter, call me.

                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                    not guys who got paid to drink - though if anyone is looking for the latter, call me........

                                                                    escort side job? I'll join you.

                                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                                      besides, drinking alone is what homes are made for not bars...

                                                            2. re: splatgirl

                                                              I do not know about the truth, or falsehood, but know that I do not like coins, in general, and try to find some repository for them. All I need is a forgotten penny in my pocket in the TSA line!

                                                              When I was much younger, I had a 5 gal. jug for coins. Nowadays, I have a small bank, and it only has about 10 in it, over the last 5 years. Now, I DO have to get bills broken for parking meters, but that is about it.

                                                              As I most often tip on a credit card, should I end up with ANY coins, they go to the server, or to charity box on the counter. I cannot recall the last time that I had any US coins in my pocket.


                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                in my town, even the parking meters take credit cards.
                                                                we're catching up to you!

                                                        2. re: Jay F

                                                          Probably cause he's so thrifty (;

                                                      2. re: Jay F

                                                        i knew someone who did this too, except he would generously distribute the 'excess' tip to others as well.

                                                        i see him, sometimes with his wife, at the grocery store & wonder if any woman has been able to break him of this since i knew him.

                                                        i knew someone else who said to be a good person you must serve time in either retail or food service. i think all these reverse tippers need some personal experience.

                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                          I'm so with that idea. From my time spent in food service, and all my friends who have and are still waiting tables, I've become a very generous tipper. They definitely work hard for the money. *insert Donna Summer tune here* ;o)

                                    2. re: westsidegal

                                      p.s. Jay F
                                      this very situation just happened to me yesterday.
                                      a friend was taking me out to lunch for my birthday.
                                      i suspected this friend was too cheap to treat the server fairly, so at the very end of the meal i tucked some additional cash into the little plastic "payment folder" that the restaurants use to transport people's credit cards and payments to and from the register.
                                      sure enough, i saw that she was intending to leave a tip of $2 for a tab of $32. i'm so glad that i stepped in on this situation.

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          That was very nice of you. I have certain friends that are the same way. I make it clear to them that if the service was good, its 20% or find somebody else to go out with. Some have chosen to do just that which is fine by me.

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            That was my grandfather. My nana would whisper to my husband and slip him the appropriate amount to place in the folio.

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        Did he actually wait until the server brought change so he could take his 50 cents back? If so, really cheap. Otherwise, just cheap.

                                        1. re: gaffk

                                          No, but only because I happened to have change for a $10 bill. And I always carry quarters for parking. Otherwise, yes, he would have waited for the change to come back.

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            Isn't it something? I haven't talked to him since. It really bothers me. I'm going to ask for separate checks from now on (you can do that in Pittsburgh; I never heard of it in DC).

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              places in DC do it all the time, most will split CC all around, part cash, part CC, whatever.

                                          2. re: Jay F


                                            I experienced similar several months ago. I can't remember the amount but it was well under a $1. My lunch companion sort of made a big deal about wanting her change and I thought "really, you can't throw a little extra towards the teen girl waiting tables?"

                                            (I know my companion to be very financially secure, it wasn't about needing that change)

                                            I come from a family of thirft and frugal people. I know the difference between valuing money and being stingy/mean/miserly.

                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                              My friend never stops talking about how cheap he is. It is a badge of honor for him. I actually said to him, "You know they only make $1.75 an hour, don't you?" He said he knew. He still *had* to take back the .50.

                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                Wow. Yeah, this one is CHEAP. And thinking it's a badge of honor compounds the issue.

                                                Curious - is he married? I can't see how this "feature" of his would attract anyone.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  I was thinking the same thing! I have a friend who is much like Jay F's friend. I remember when he invited us over for a dinner and movie party. He actually had a clipboard with a list of peoples' names, what they ate, and the current amount (constantly subject to increases, of course!) that they owed! I wish I was joking!

                                                  Yup - he's actually married now. What a catch! ;o)

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        Yup! We're still pals to this day although I never accept an invitation to come over! LOL!

                                                      2. re: Sra. Swanky

                                                        He invited you over and expected you to pay for what you ate? Wow. I'm sure even my friend isn't that cheap.

                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                          Yup. Sad, isn't it? Funny postscript: My hubby and I made a quick escape out of his garage to evade our "bill!" LOL!!!

                                                          He recently lost a bet with my husband. He now owes him a steak dinner at Peter Luger. I say he'll pay up when hell freezes over! :)

                                                        2. re: Sra. Swanky

                                                          So he charged his guests who weren't savvy enough to escape through the garage, eh? It's a wonder he has any friends at all!

                                                        3. re: LindaWhit

                                                          No, he's not married. I asked him at the same meal how his last husband had dealt with his miserliness, and he told me his husband was even cheaper.

                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                            LOL! Well, like minds attraction, I guess. :-D

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Normally, I would have called him today to see if he wanted to have lunch. Somehow, I just haven't been able to make myself pick up the phone after the last lunch.

                                                              He's been a good friend for a number of years, so I don't want to fire him, especially because he's been going through a very hard time lately (emotionally, not financially). He's been talking about suicide, and I suppose if anyone could do it, it is he. So a "divorce" is not feasible at the moment.

                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                Understood. I suspect that he's a good friend in others ways, and this is something you look at as "just part of him."

                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                      I'll apparently be the lone dissenter here. I'm financially secure, like you're friend, and although I'm not a bad tipper, typically run 17 - 25%, I also don't hesitate to take back some change on a small bill. The logic of the waitress can use that money more than I can doesn't really work for me, otherwise, what's the limit? She could also use the $20 in my wallet much more than I can, but none of us are handing that over.

                                                      For example, the bill is $7.25 and I get change of $12.75 for my $20? I have no issue taking back $10.75 and leaving $2.00.

                                                      I certainly don't see an issue here that should cause you to re-evaluate your friendship or wonder what poor, unfortunate woman would marry him.

                                                      1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                        If I were waiting for change from a $20 on $7.25, I probably would leave $2, too. I mean, I'm waiting for change anyway.

                                                        If I'd left a $10 on 7.25, however, I probably would've told her to keep the change. Somehow it seems chintzier on a $10 check.

                                                        In the case of the meal I'm talking about, it was $20 on $16.04. A tip of $3.96 on $20, or $1.98 on $10. About the same as the $2 you'd've left on your theoretical $7.25. So you might very well not have insisted upon .50 in change.

                                                        Oh, and he's gay. No unfortunate women need apply.

                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                          Oh, and he's gay. ,,,,

                                                          Not sure of the relevance, but I'm pretty sure most realized that when you stated ....

                                                          *and he told me his husband was even cheaper.*

                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                            Fatty Dumpling wondered why I was concerned with "what poor, unfortunate woman would marry him." That's all.

                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                              Sorry, I missed that .....on a story of a gay man from the late 60's that used to hang out in my father's restaurant......a mature woman in her 70's at the time knew he was gay, but still proposed they married, as she did not want to die alone and without companionship in her final years. He agreed to marry her and be by her side as long as he received all her assets in her will, i.e., the sole beneficiary.....She agreed, they were married.......and she hung on for another 25 years.

                                                              There's someone for everyone.

                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                Sorry, Jay, I may have been referring to someone else's post downstream about their cheap friend. I just think this isn't something I'd really judge someone on. It's really a personal choice and as long as you're within social norms for tipping, I'd say it's irrelevant nor a source of judgement whether you leave that last 50 cents or whatever.

                                                              2. re: fourunder

                                                                I think the relevance is that FattyDumplin said at the end of their post "... or wonder what poor, unfortunate woman would marry him."

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Linda, actually as I reread posts, I realized a) my comment was directed at your post and b) I had misread your post. Your comment about marriage potential had more to do with the pride of being cheap as apposed to being cheap. I agree with you on that, so apologies. Again, I don't think being cheap, in and of itself, is a bad thing, it's just how one values money. But I do think that being proud of being cheap takes it a bit far...

                                                                  1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                    No problem, FD. And I was actually referring to both,. But the pride in being cheap seems to cheapen (for lack of a better word) any thriftiness Jay's friend might think he has.

                                                                    I mean, everyone boasts about getting "a great deal" on a car, sweater, a handbag, a lawn mower, set of power tools, a flat screen TV. But the taking back of 50 cents for a tip *and* bragging about it (or other cheap things) seems to be nitpicking and beyond stingy (to me).

                                                                    But, as noted, Jay's friend's ex-husband was even cheaper than Jay's friend. So like minds....

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      The thing about being cheap, you have to watch out you don't raise kids who become spenders because you drove them so crazy the first 18 years of their lives with your brand-X soda or, in my brother's case, a timer for how long he was allowed to stay in the shower before my father started banging on doors and walls.

                                                                      Our father was a true scrooge when it came to pinching a penny.

                                                                      I have always had a near antipathy for anything that might have a better version. I always want what I perceive as the best, within the limits of affordability, but limits that would have driven my father crazy.

                                                                      My brother leaves lights on and the water running, he has told me, "because I can." He used to delight in doing these things every time my father came to visit him.

                                                                      I used to break out the Parmigiano-Reggiano when cooking for my father later in life. I never tired of letting him see the price sticker.

                                                                      Long story short, if you're a cheapskate, think about how it may affect your children.

                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                        truly, being that cheap, to me is a form of mental illness.
                                                                        the problem is that the children of mentally ill people are at the parent's mercy until they are old enough and competent enough to fly the coop.

                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                          That's what I've been thinking about this situation. Sometimes there are compulsions beyond a person's control, like waiting for the .50 change.

                                                                        2. re: Jay F

                                                                          I can so relate to what you are saying about the effects of cheapness on kids. My dad was very cheap. He thought 10% was a generous tip and even though he was a lifelong church-going man, he didn't think that God needed 10% of his money.

                                                                          I was so embarrassed at the way he would split up checks, making sure that anytime we went out with others that people knew he wasn't paying for them, etc., having me buy birthday gifts for friends at the dollar store. I could go on and on. He was a wonderful man in many other ways but he was beyond frugal. To be fair, he endured some very traumatic events during WWII in Nazi-occupied Norway and had to work hard at a young age to help save the family farm and support his widowed mom. So I get why he was that way, but it still mortified me.

                                                                          One of the things that attracted me to Mr. jlh early on was his easy generosity. It is just a part of who he is and I love him for that.

                                                                          I will confess to having done some of the things that your brother did...keeping the lights on just because I could, being wasteful, etc. Thankfully, I think I have struck a reasonable balance finally.

                                                                          1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                            One of my ex-husbands good points was his fighting with my father over who would pay the tab for dinner. Actually I suppose they're still doing this since he and his current wife occasionally dine with my folks. However, I soon realized that while he was willing to pay the bill, he was happy to tip 10%. I finally, with his permission, took over the calculation of the tip at the end of the meal.

                                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                                              "But Dad, it's MY turn to stiff the servers!"

                                                                              1. re: tracylee

                                                                                Ok the heck with who picked up the check explain how your ex and his current are still going out to eat with your parents??

                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                  Hahaha, they'd alternate paying. The ex is 20 years older than I, not much younger than Mom, and they knew each other and many mutual friends through their work as Social Workers. Honestly, I've come to decide that he's really just a male version of my Mom! So, he and wife #6 meet them for dinner every now and then, and they're probably still arm wrestling for the bill.

                                                                                  I honestly have no problem with it.

                                                                                    1. re: splatgirl

                                                                                      Nope - he's been married all of his adult life - just to different women. Not my wisest choice.

                                                                                      1. re: tracylee

                                                                                        Yeah. I was going to ask how you ended up in that mix.

                                                                                        Good luck, and hope that the tip-thing gets sorted out.


                                                                            2. re: Jay F

                                                                              Very true, all of it, JayF. And I think I'd probably have done exactly what your brother and you did. You didn't go WAY overboard in spending - but you showed your father you *could* with running water, electricity, and buying really good cheese. :-D

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Ironically, Linda, no one loved my Italian cooking more than my father. Well, except for my boyfriend at the time.

                                                                2. re: Jay F

                                                                  Cheap. But some people just are. If the friendship is worth it, you know what to expect if you eat out together.

                                                                3. re: olyolyy

                                                                  Bravo olyolyy, tell it like it is. We live in the most wasteful, indebted and over-consumptive society in the history of the human species. If a modern fellow American calls me cheap, I consider it the highest of compliments.

                                                                  This is a completely separate issue from stiffing someone on a tip. The server should of course get their due to make up for the restaurant industry's ridiculous wage paying practices.

                                                                  1. re: olyolyy

                                                                    being cheap to a server who depends on tips to pay for rent, food, insurance, etc. is despicable.
                                                                    in fact, the pastor didn't really give ANYTHING to god.
                                                                    may have contributed some money to a religious organization, but that is NOT giving money to god.
                                                                    the pastor is truly a liar who was looking for an excuse to avoid paying for the labor that was delivered by the server.
                                                                    self-rightous crap that masquerades as piety.

                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      OK, I get your righteousness indignation. But you don't know what the "giving to God" means to the pastor, if indeed this incident took place as described. For the pastor, the tithe of 10% is a gift to God.

                                                                      I still think he or she is mean.

                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                        again, you are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts.

                                                                        the money did NOT go to god.
                                                                        at best it went to some person or group of people that claim some connection to god.
                                                                        very different.
                                                                        and unless the pastor is schizophrenic, at base, she knows that this is a simple, bald face lie that she was trying to put over to excuse her larceny. she, the pastor, STOLE, the server's services and time. when you are waiting on a party of 20 people, basically that IS your entire shift.
                                                                        it is much more difficult to wait on one party of 20 than it is to wait on four tables of 5 people each. depending on the restaurant's standards and whether or not they provide you with extra help, the timing of getting the food out can be terrifying.
                                                                        the server will have no opportunity to try to make up for such a loss with tips from other tables made up of decent people.
                                                                        the server was ripped off pure and simple.

                                                                        the idea of using god to justify such cruelty and larceny is beyond disgusting.

                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                          With all due respect, I don't understand your anger on this point. We simply disagree.

                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                            you have never been in the position of being a server for a party of 20 that didn't tip.
                                                                            you especially weren't a server for this kind of party when you were supporting your family, or when you had to pay a car payment, or when you had to pay car or health insurance.

                                                                            the self righteous bullshit that was demonstrated by the pastor trying to cloak her greed with phony piety is enough to make me angry.

                                                                            any truly DECENT person would not decide to take a party of 20 to a restaurant with the intention of stiffing the server.
                                                                            only a truly despicable person would do such a thing.

                                                                            the fact that you aren't angry is mystifying to me.
                                                                            have you no sense of right and wrong?

                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                              No I am not angry. I've gotten the short end of the stick from time to time in life. I deplore anyone not tipping a server in any circumstances. In our culture, not tipping is unjust.

                                                                              I don't understand why you feel the pastor was not donating money to God, as she understands God. God has plainly said that He prefers mercy to sacrifice (worship). Obviously she isn't practicing mercy, but she believes she is contributing to God.

                                                                              As I said before, we simply disagree. And I do understand that this issue is personal for you.

                                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                It's literally impossible to give money to god. All you can do is give it to other people who purport to use it on behalf of god. But also, if you're a pastor, and you tithe ten percent to your church, aren't you just giving to yourself?

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                  Yes and this has occurred to me. However plenty of people give to their churches feeling strongly that they are giving to God. I don't think this is a very exotic belief. It isn't my place, or yours, to impugn motives in this regard. I think I've been hard enough on the pastor.

                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                    Can I give your post a big LIKE!?

                                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                      you may feel that you have been <<hard enough on the pastor>>
                                                                                      but i feel that i have NOT been hard enough on the "pastor."

                                                                                      her immoral actions toward the server and subsequent behavior demanding that the server be fired, to me, is evil.

                                                                                      her religious posturing is an independent factor that doesn't excuse her disgusting behavior.

                                                                                  2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                    it doesn't matter what "she believes" vs. a vs. god.
                                                                                    what matters is how she is using this line of crap to justify stealing from a server.
                                                                                    i'd even bet that she went in with the intention of stealing from the server.

                                                                      2. "The Reddit user who submitted the image explained in the comments section that the receipt was part of a total bill for a party of 20, which is why the gratuity was automatically added."
                                                                        So the poor waiter had to dole out individual receipts to 20 people in the group and then deal with their individual payments? Oy.

                                                                        But either way - the "pastor" ended up paying the 18%, as it was auto-added. :-)

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          Actually it looks like they didn't pay the 18%. It shows the amount and then the 18%, but they crossed it out and wrote in just the amount,

                                                                          That's really unfair.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            everone is entitled to their own opinion, but they are NOT entitled to their own facts.
                                                                            you are factually incorrect.
                                                                            the pastor, crossed out the 18% "automatic" tip and paid NOTHING for tip for a party of TWENTY PEOPLE.

                                                                            what a slimebag the pastor is.

                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                              actually, the articles are pretty clear that the automatic tip was included in the amount that was charged to the credit card.

                                                                              She paid it, but didn't realize it.

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                i feel better knowing this.
                                                                                thank you sunshine842.
                                                                                it hurts my heart when i hear of such things and you've made me feel better.

                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  Thanks sunshine842, for clarifying what is right there.

                                                                            2. I got fired from a server job because I refused to work the Wed. night after church shift. Everyone was required to work Sunday - no exceptions. That nonsense was pretty typical...

                                                                              A cheap person will use any excuse that comes their way.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                Ugh sundays at the holiday inn were like that meatn3. Huge groups after church all dressed up, shameful tips. One group was notorious and the waitresses had to take turns waiting on them so no one would get totally screwed.
                                                                                I'm not even getting into the prayer groups that would sit at a big table off in the corner, just get coffee, and be upset if anyone had to be seated near them. Why why why?

                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                  Our Sundays were 14 hour days with barely a chance for a bathroom break let alone a chance to eat anything. Thank goodness for meal replacement drinks - only thing which kept me from fainting from hunger.

                                                                                  Wed. nights a huge young adult bible study group came in. Young kids were wandering unsupervised, even into the kitchen. Folks wandered from table to table then were furious that their food was served when their seat was unoccupied. Usually the tip at each table (for all of us, not just me) was the odd coins from their change. Even if you had decent tables earlier in the evening your night ended up in the hole. This group would stay and stay long past closing. They left the place a mess so cleaning your section took forever. If you had parts of your section clean for the night they would migrate to the clean tables and trash them too...so you had to start all over.

                                                                                  Management didn't care - these folks did pay their bills.

                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                    Some people not only lack manners but also common sense.I think it is that sense of entitlement that drives people to acting like imbeciles in public places.No regard for their negative effect on others.

                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                      Management obviously didn't care about their staff. Geez.

                                                                                2. Imagine if the diner in question had been an atheist.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                    There are no doubt cheap athiests out there who would also try to get out of the tip. But they wouldnt use God as their excuse for doing so.

                                                                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                      but God is such an easy excuse. we can manipulate that idea (him/her/it, whatever) into anything! so convenient. and uhh a wussy cop-out.

                                                                                  2. Ok here is my take on this (I should add that I am in the industry) while adding a gratuity is common at most restaurants for large parties here is where I think the problem lays. The check in question is $34. which would indicate that the party of 20 people most likely requested separate checks.

                                                                                    Once the establishment accepted the request of separate checks than that party of 20 became 10 - 2 tops. The automatic gratuity doesn't apply to 2-tops a technicality yes, but I side with the customers being exempt from the auto gratuity.

                                                                                    22 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                      Are you suggesting that large parties can bypass the automatic gratuity by requesting separate checks? That's just not logical.

                                                                                      1. re: PeterL

                                                                                        I know it's not logical.....but then the establishment should not allow separate checks on large parties. Say over 10. Then they protect themselves. Legally speaking your "obligation" or "contract" with the restaurant is the bill or check they give you. They can have any policy on earth they want.....however once they give you a check for 1-2-3-4 people that's your check. If the policy is gratuity on parties of 8 or more.....but you have a check for 1-2-3-4 people.....then guess what the restaurant cannot enforce the 18% gratuity.

                                                                                        The world is full of ill-logic this is just one example.

                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                          Your position is the illogical one. You are trying to use an absurd technicality to justify an indefensible position. The reality of the situation is that a party of 20 was seated together. Separate checks or not, the party totalled at least 20. So the automatic gratuity applies.

                                                                                          1. re: Enigma3

                                                                                            First I'm not picking a "position" as stated I'm in the industry! I'm explaining to you legally what would happen if this were pursued by the establishment. I'm not defending the action at all.

                                                                                            Years ago I had a similar incident on a party at one of my establishments where the sticking point was regarding a policy of coupons/promotions not being used in combination with others. My waiter (without checking with management first) agreed to provide separate checks per couple for a large party. Thinking he was doing the right thing accommodating the guests request. When the check(s) were delivered the group were like extreme couponers and had every coupon promotion, discount available which clearly stated couldn't be combined with any other offer.

                                                                                            I took them to court because it was about half their total combined check(s). Even though they were in a private room seated at 1 table for the night made the reservation for a party of 25 people I lost the case.

                                                                                            The bottom line once I presented them with separate checks I voided my policy regarding use of cross promotions.

                                                                                            So you can say whatever you like about "logic" I'm telling you about reality. While not identical circumstances I can't see how the result would be any different if pursued legally, that's the point I'm making.

                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                              Well that does make me understand why some places refuse to do separate checks for a large party. That practice usually annoys me but now I'll be a bit more sympathetic.

                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                Cross promotions are the same as party policy?

                                                                                                When a group comes in and seated together as a party it is a party no matter how they divy the checks.

                                                                                                When the party comes in, reads the menu (where the gratuity policy is written) and then orders it enters into a contract agreement wth the resto. If they are unsure about it or object to it they can ask the manager or leave.

                                                                                                That percentage tip agreed to (when you order) is a an obligation you are required to pay unless you dispute it with the owner/manager before you leave.

                                                                                                So if you do not want to pay the tip because (say) you had terrible service. You call the manager over and tell him/her. He will take it off (if he is reputable).

                                                                                                The person who posted the receipt on reddit stated that he could not take the tip off or that it was automatic. That is an utter lie. You hit a button calculating it. It can be easily voided.

                                                                                                I have been a server, a restaurant owner and a patron. If my service was terrible you can bet your booty I would object to coughing up 18% and would say so. Just because there is a policy in place, does not excuse bad service. It is not a free ride to slack on that table and concentrate your service on the tables where the tip is not a given. Same token - good service, you should feel free to tack on to the 18%.

                                                                                            2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                              i don't doubt you,
                                                                                              the situation is really sad and unfair.

                                                                                          2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                            Except it doesn't.

                                                                                            Ten two-tops wouldn't be seated at the same time, order at the same time, need their meals to come out at the same time, need to pay at the same time....if anything, this was a more demanding than usual party of 20 due to the separate checks.

                                                                                            1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                              No offense but please read my last post which I believe is directly above this. (Following threads on an I-phone is difficult for me) I'm telling you what lesson I learned in court when I was on the other side of this issue.

                                                                                              If you or anyone want to send me the $500/$600 (it was about 10 years ago but the amount was close to what it was) that it cost me than I will gladly agree your all correct!

                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                You were actually taken to court over this? I find that surprising. I would think that a "party" would be determined by the reservation or seating, not by the issuing of checks.

                                                                                                1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                  No I wasn't taken to court I took them to court and lost. There is more behind the story but the bottom line was since it was separate checks that dictated the number of people considered to be in that party.

                                                                                                2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                  Seems the lesson is be clear in your coupon and promotions what is allowed and disallowed.

                                                                                                  Want to piss people off? Give them a big fat surprise at the end of their meal.

                                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                    Especially the kind of people who leap at the chance to play victim.

                                                                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                      It was clearly written one the coupon. Not to be used or combined with other discounts or coupons. ( or something similar) That wasn't in question what was in question was the fact the separate checks allowed them to use a coupon per check rather than one per the table. That's why it was roughly 50% off the sum of the total for what was booked as a "private party".

                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                        Next time I'd put no using it with private parties eh? Bummer. That might irk me too. We never did coupons, but I can imagine the complications. Heck even dealing with Early Birds was annoying - everyone wants an early bird at 8 pm.

                                                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                          one of my local restaurants deals with this sort of situation by stipulating that there will only be one check issued for any group sitting together at one table. the diners are free to work out how they will divide up the check among themselves, but the restaurant will not get involved, and will only treat the party as ONE party with ONE check.

                                                                                                          no separate checks allowed unless people are sitting separately.

                                                                                                          this restaurant has a counter, and if there are two spaces available at the counter next to each other, preference for those spaces will be given to parties of two.
                                                                                                          same story with two tops.

                                                                                                          your post showed me the method to their madness. . .

                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                            Sometime restaurant owners and their policies are their own worst enemies.....in my former life, I was the restaurant manager for a couple of prominent country clubs. Often, there would be large tables for groups of members on dinner nights(20+). Each member, their spouses, and or guests each received their checks accordingly.....It could have been a single check, for two or as many guests they brought with them. Each other member also received their own checks for what they were responsible for.

                                                                                                            It was a difficult task at all. In today's world, I'm a dinosaur....I still carry cash.....but for many it's plastic. As a restaurant owner, unless you have a cash only policy, you should accommodate your guests with the services you offer. That would be my position, but the beauty of being an owner is you can beat to your own drum...and that's a position I also respect.

                                                                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                              in my experience, country clubs' financial arrangements with their patrons are very different from a restaurant's arrangement with it's patrons.

                                                                                                              when i worked in Ct., country clubs sort of ruled the roost in terms of group dinners and socializing. the members of the country club had a big say in determining the payment policies.
                                                                                                              the members, also, paid a huge initiation fee to join the club and a huge yearly fee to remain a member. there seemed to be member participation, either direct or representative, in every major club decision.

                                                                                                              when i moved from Ct. to Manhattan, restaurants ruled the roost. the restaurant customers didn't pay any initiation fees to go there or to bring guests there. all the payment policies were determined by the restaurant ownership.
                                                                                                              this made perfect sense, because, the restaurant OWNERSHIP was the party with the most skin in the game in terms of the restaurant's financial success or its financial failure.

                                                                                                              if i were on the financial hook as a restaurant owner, i would want as much control as i could get. it's a TREMENDOUS risk.

                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                Yeah, I'm not sure clubs and restaurants are analogous.

                                                                                                                I belong to several clubs, and payment is always specifically between me and the club, settled at some time other than the time of purchase, even if its just grabbing a couple bottles of water from the shack on the 9th hole. My guests never see a bill or even have to mention what party they're with at the clubs I belong to. Largely because of this type of discretion, and the ability to have almost any demand met without a fuss, I am still much more likely to host engagements at the clubs I belong to rather than restaurants.

                                                                                                                Even at nice restaurants where I am a known regular I cannot expect the same amount of control and discretion as I can at the club.

                                                                                                                1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                  i agree that the clubs offered much more control and discretion, BUT

                                                                                                                  the quality of their food offerings ranged from so-so to horrid.
                                                                                                                  i'll never forget when i was served a fish dish at one of Connecticut's most beautiful clubs with a grand dining room that overlooked LI Sound.
                                                                                                                  the dish was brought out with great fanfare under a cloche.
                                                                                                                  when the cloche was removed, there sat a greyish piece of fish that clearly had been brought from frozen to cooked in a microwave oven (the white slimy stuff that oozes out during cooking was still attached to the piece of fish).
                                                                                                                  on top of the disgusting fish, they had poured some bottled barbeque sauce, and on top of that they had sliced some raw red onions.

                                                                                                                  after i moved to manhattan, i never saw a dish that even approached that level of awful.

                                                                                                                  there was, indeed, as you pointed out, far less privacy

                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                    Ugh. That fish sounds revolting. Luckily, I think the food is universally good at the few clubs I belong to, and they handle parties and events exceptionally well, however these are all "premium," top-notch, some would even say "world-class" clubs. I've been to many events at lesser clubs in my area and others where the food is not as good and the fish you were served would be the apex of their culinary achievements.

                                                                                                3. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                  i get separate checks in a large party all the time, & we regularly pay automatic gratuity. here, more than 6 often qualifies you, but 10 certainly would.

                                                                                                4. I saw that story and rolled my eyes.So, if I understand this, the pastor did not want to leave a tip, but didn't realize he had indeed been charged a gratuity?

                                                                                                  Whatever the exact situation, his attitude sure gives Christians a bad name.

                                                                                                  I agree he is mean, in the older sense of the word, and cheap. No class.

                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                    What is "mean, in the older sense of the word"? What is the newer sense? Am I getting so old that I don't realize their is another meaning of mean?

                                                                                                    1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                      Old sense - cheap
                                                                                                      New sense - jerk


                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                        Yea! Apparently I'm too young to know the old meaning of mean! I never knew that it meant cheap. Learn something new everyday. Thanks.

                                                                                                        1. re: dmjordan

                                                                                                          Scrooge was mean. Dickens said so.

                                                                                                          a : penurious, stingy
                                                                                                          b : characterized by petty selfishness or malice
                                                                                                          from Merriam Webster online

                                                                                                    2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                      uhh sue - as this unravels it's looking like the pastor is a she and from our state. yeah home-town pride.

                                                                                                      but it's also looking like it might be a hoax, there's another note out there saying more or less the opposite.

                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                        Do you have a link? I can't find anything pointing to this being a hoax. Thanks!

                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                          a female pastor from MO?

                                                                                                          Or a hoax? I haven't been following this. Do you have any links?

                                                                                                          I just saw the headline that the Appleby's clerk who exposed the receipt to the internet has been fired.

                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                            Not a hoax -- links to the articles are all over this thread.

                                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                              sorry, my mistake. somebody on FB is goofing on this and wrote a note to god in similar handwriting that they're not going to tithe, since they tip...

                                                                                                            2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                              The "Pastor" is a woman, not a man.

                                                                                                            3. I just saw this article. Clearly the "Pastor" was not really a pastor. Real pastors don't act like this .

                                                                                                              And I find the idea of 20 people being charged a total of $34 dollars a tad on the suspicious side. Talk about cheap!

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: bunnyr

                                                                                                                I would agree this "pastor" should be put out to pasture.

                                                                                                                1. re: bunnyr

                                                                                                                  Yep. I smell a rat. I think it wears an apron and was pissed when he got stiffed or had a mental problem or wanted to get in the news. People are strange.

                                                                                                                  Sometimes people just want an obviously bogus story to be true. LOL

                                                                                                                  1. re: bunnyr

                                                                                                                    Per the article, it was not a total of $34 for 20 peeps:

                                                                                                                    "The Reddit user who submitted the image explained in the comments section that the receipt was part of a total bill for a party of 20,"

                                                                                                                  2. A Pastor who only gives God 10%? Eventually he's going to have a really rough performance review....

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                        Yeah, that's why I was thinkin'. Shouldn't a "man of the cloth" give God 110%?

                                                                                                                      2. Sounds like my father. Birthdays and Christmas to everyone including my mother: A scrap of paper folded in half which always read: "On your behalf I gave what you would have received to 'The Church". (He also gave himself a brand new Mercedes Benz every year although we lived without electricity or running water or even a radio because of course a radio was "Of The Devil" until I was about ten and my mother had had about enough.

                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                  And a Mercedes wasn't from the devil? (sarcasm)

                                                                                                                                  Jeez - thankfully your Mom stepped in.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jeanne

                                                                                                                                    'cause, you know, there's that song about Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?

                                                                                                                                    Wonder if it came with a gift tag signed "Lord".

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      You could sell that tag on E-Bay...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                        right up there with the toasted-cheese Jesus.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                          Isn't that now called the Toasted Cheezus?

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                    Wowza, puffin! Wow, wow, wow. Good to see you overcame that nonsense.

                                                                                                                                  3. Mr. Pink would go the pastor one better and not give the server anything.

                                                                                                                                    1. He gives God 10% of his salary. What does that have to do with a tip for a restaurant bill? I would call him Father Cheapo.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: marymac

                                                                                                                                        Especially since his salary is paid from the money other folks were givin' to God.

                                                                                                                                      2. Reminds me of the old Father Guido Sarducci routine. A bunch of religious relics were being auctioned. Since he couldn't afford the Bill from the Last Supper, he had to settle for the Bill from the Last Lunch. There were 12 sandwiches, 12 iced teas, etc. They all split the bill equally, except this One Guy ordered the lobster. "You a-see what he did there? The guy who a-bought the lobster is paying less than everyone else."

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. An Update on Consumerist:


                                                                                                                                          The waitress who posted the pic (not even the one who served the table) was fired. The original picture had the customer's full signature, but the picture taker thought it was illegible, so she didn't crop it out. But as is expected, people viewing began to try and figure out who the Pastor was. (She says all guesses were incorrect.)

                                                                                                                                          BUT - the customer found out, called the restaurant (Applebee's) and demanded that everyone be fired...the servers involved and the managers. (REALLY? REALLY??????)

                                                                                                                                          The waitress said "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.

                                                                                                                                          “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.”

                                                                                                                                          “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.”

                                                                                                                                          I think Applebee's went overboard on this, but that's just me. And NOW I want to know the name of the cheap-ass Pastor - WTG, you idiot.

                                                                                                                                          51 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            wow. Not even enough class to realize people think he's (she's?) an ass.

                                                                                                                                            what a trainwreck of logic...for both the "pastor" and Applebees.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              Maybe her local church can step in to help her out now that she is unemployed.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                                  So she said she left a $6 tip in cash, and later found out the 18% grat was added back to the bill via her CC. I'd bet that Applebees makes sure that the auto-grat for any parties over 6 people is well stated on their menus. And this church group are regulars at this Applebees ("a traditional post-service destination for church members"). It's not like their first time there.

                                                                                                                                                  Pastor Bell's crossing it out on her receipt means nothing. She got caught, and is embarrassed, but unfortunately, a server who didn't even *serve her* is out of a job and will probably have a hard time getting another serving job with this negative publicity. Yes, that server should have known better, but that applies more so to this 37 year old pastor.

                                                                                                                                                  Another update on the Consumerist link above has this from Chelsea, the fired waitress:

                                                                                                                                                  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.”

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    I agree, and there is nothing "pastorly" about getting a waitress fired. She may have been wrong in posting that receipt, but there are other ways to handle it that include some forgiveness.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      I'm surprised that any Pastor would not be more tolerant and more forgiving.....rather than spiteful of one's questionable actions.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        Let's hope all her parishoners put a note in the collection plate this week.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                                        did anybody else notice the glaring LACK of a couple of relevant words from Pastor Bell?

                                                                                                                                                        Like "sorry", "apology", or "regret"?

                                                                                                                                                        As someone who was a homeless single mom-to-be, she doesn't feel even a twinge of regret for someone being unemployed because of her actions?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                          I thought the same thing. I found it unfortunate and interesting that someone who knew what it was to be homeless would go out of their way to get someone else fired.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                            Pastor Bell is still whining about how she was embarrassed and hasn't expressed any regret that her actions cost someone her job.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                              I think both parties were wrong here. I don't think the Pastor's action caused the waitress her job. She pointed out the waitress' wrongful act to her employer. It's the waitress' own action that caused her the job. No matter how wrong the customer may have been, you simply cannot violate her confidentiality (posting her signature online). The restaurant has no choice but to terminate her.

                                                                                                                                                              Sorry I have very little sympathy for either parties.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                Funny, I've never heard of waitress-patron confidentiality.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                  the reason you haven't heard of it is because there is no such thing as waitress-patron confidentiality.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                    But there is some expectation that when one does business with a business that the employees (agents) of that business will conduct themselves appropriately. It doesn't matter if the employee is a waitress, the owner, a dishwasher or whatever. Sure she can complain about it to her co-workers, even ridicule her in private, but the moment she posted the receipt showing the woman's signature online she stepped over into another level of inappropriateness.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                      Practically speaking, there is an expectation of privacy, and everyone know this. This is exactly why this waitress was fired. This isn't just Applebee's. If it is simply just Applebee's, then she will able to find a job within days. She won't get hired from Uno, Cheesecake factory, Ruth's Chris....etc The fact of the matter is that this is not about Applebee's. Any other establishments will do the same thing, which is why this waitress will unlikely to find a job anytime soon because no other establishments will want this.

                                                                                                                                                                      The expectation is really from the patron to the restaurant establishment, and the restaurant to the waiters/waitresses.

                                                                                                                                                                      No one will eat at a restaurant if he/she knows the signed receipt will be send on the internet, and no restaurant will hire a waiter/waitress will do this.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                        And how is this any different from what I said?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                      Are you saying that a waitress, and by extension her employer, has a right to publish my signed receipt online without repercussion?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                        i'm not saying that.
                                                                                                                                                                        i am saying that, in this case, imho, the punishment seems way too extreme to fit the crime.

                                                                                                                                                                        (take a look at the kind of "punishment" that is doled out to police and others entrusted with the public safety when they get busted for truly grievous offenses--maybe a month of staying home without pay.

                                                                                                                                                                        what happened to timothy geithner when it was discovered he had cheated on his taxes? he was given the job of Secretary of the Treasury.

                                                                                                                                                                        what happened to dick cheney when he conjured up the yellowcake lie which has led to THOUSANDS of deaths? he gets to write a book and make millions.

                                                                                                                                                                        what about the hematologist at the red cross at the beginning of the HIV epidemic who decided that it wasn't "cost efficient" to test all the donated blood? as a result of that decision, practically a whole generation of hemophiliacs died. what was HIS punishment? NONE)

                                                                                                                                                                        any lapse in judgement by someone at the lowest financial level in society normally is treated in a very draconian fashion, whereas, as you go up the ladder to older people and people who are highest in society's pecking order, they get off with slaps on the wrist, if that.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                            So it's about age? If the waitress had been older, she'd have received a slap on the wrist?

                                                                                                                                                                            I don't see this being about age at all.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                              age is strongly directly correlated with status in society/financial stability/.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                        Customers should be able to expect a certain level of confidentiality when they do business with a company. An employee is the extension of that business. When I buy grocery from Safeway and use my club card, I don't expect one of the checker to post my signature online. I would hope that Safeway would fire that employee, even though I have never heard of checker-customer confidentiality either.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                          but you do know that the information from those loyalty cards, including your shopping history, is often sold by the institutions that offer the cards? why, exactly, do you think the stores go to the trouble to set up the whole computer network that keeps tabs on you when you first apply for the card AND every time you use it? you do know that there are markets such as whole foods and gelson's that just post an item's sale price and don't collect your personal data in order to sell it to marketing companies like safeway and kroger do?

                                                                                                                                                                          in terms of your signature, every time you send a letter to any business or institution, your signature is completely available to tons of people from the mail room on up. think of all the business letters you've ever signed and how many hands those letters passed through. ifany of your letters are stored electronically, your signature is already widely available.

                                                                                                                                                                          every time you show your driver's license as ID anyone can see your signature. now, as a result of the patriot act, even your landlord must keep a copy of your signature.

                                                                                                                                                                          truly, all of our signatures are already out there.

                                                                                                                                                                          also, at this point there is no empirical evidence that the posting of this customer's signature has caused her ANY material damage. in terms of "the pastor" being exposed for what she is: karma's a bitch sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                            Therefore, according to you, it's then OK for someone to post my (or anyone's) signature on the web? Just because it's available does not mean that's OK. If Safeway were to sell my information to others, they'd better inform me first when I sign up.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                              oh boy, safeway must be quaking in it's boots!
                                                                                                                                                                              i guess you never wondered why safeway would spend millions of dollars to create and maintain a computer system to track you and others like you purchase by purchase, location by location.
                                                                                                                                                                              exactly how do you think they justified that huge expense initially and continue to justify the maintenance expense to this day?

                                                                                                                                                                              my response to your question was posted 16 hours ago.
                                                                                                                                                                              after you read it, maybe you can ask a question the answer to which has not yet been posted.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                Selling certain consumer spending information is regularly practiced, however, in this case, if a financial hardship was suffered by an individual because someone obtained their signature off the net and committed forgery there could be a big problem for the deepest pockets which would likely be the restaurant owner. Even if the restaurant owner prevailed in Court, the legal fees could be substantial.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                  the "pastor" could sue whether or not applebee's fired the server.
                                                                                                                                                                                  the liability issue is not reduced by firing the server.

                                                                                                                                                                                  since we're speculating about this issue, though:

                                                                                                                                                                                  of course, to sue for damages, the "pastor" would need to get a lawyer to work on a contingency fee basis or would have to come up with the money to pay a lawyer to proceed with a lawsuit. if the suit were just for actual damages, the suit may not be attractive enough for any lawyer to take it on on a contingency basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                  also, if applelybee's attorney was competant enough to devise a counter suit, the "pastor" would have to come up with enough money to pay for her own defense lawyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                  all things to consider. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                    IMHO, firing the server was the right thing to regardless of civil ramifications. All good points with fees but notoriety may out weigh ability to pay in this case.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                      the justness of the firing of the server is a completely separate issue from the legal aspects of the act.

                                                                                                                                                                                      we disagree on the justness of the firing.
                                                                                                                                                                                      the legal aspects of the act are, at this point, moot or simple conjecture for pleasure (something that i like to do for entertainment).
                                                                                                                                                                                      gotta say, as i imagine the voir dire if such a case were to be tried in front of a jury, i crack up laughing.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                        taking a case like this, especially on contingency, would more likely IMPAIR a lawyer's reputation than enhance it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        most smart lawyers try NOT to become laughing stock and the butt of jokes.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                          Many will throw anything at a wall in hopes something sticks. Likely an OOC settlement would satisfy all parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                            or the casualty company can choose to make an example of this hypothetical action to show that these kinds of baloney suits will be fought tooth and nail, for decades if need be.

                                                                                                                                                                                            the insurance company can choose to play hardball just to stop any other scam artists or their lawyers from trying to play the same game.

                                                                                                                                                                                            don't forget, an insurance company "lives" forever and has attorneys and paralegals on staff that specialize in this stuff "forever."

                                                                                                                                                                                            in terms of variable cost (which is the only cost that would be appropriate for the insurance company's analysis) the cost to the insurance company to stall and fight this kind of BS is far less than the cost will be to the "pastor" or her attorney.

                                                                                                                                                                                            not only would the casualty company's costs be less, the benefit to them of discouraging future scam artists and the lawyers that represent scam artists from suing not just applebee's but suing ANY of the company's clients is FAR greater.

                                                                                                                                                                                            it benefits the insurance company and ALL it's clients for it to have the reputation of having a hard ass legal dept.

                                                                                                                                                                                            for an insurance company to allow continued payoff of such nuisance suits would be to assume that all of their decision makers are as ignorant of game theory as you appear to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                    Safeway keeps customer information so they can better market their own products and products of their suppliers to customers. For example, they know what I usually buy from their stores, so they custom their online coupon offers to me, which is different from other customers. I have never received any ad from any other company because of my Safeway membership. Other companies market to me through Safeway.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                                      safeway's name and trademarks can be used by any company to whom they give permission.

                                                                                                                                                                                      this means although you believe that <<Other companies market to me through Safeway.>>
                                                                                                                                                                                      truly, you have no idea of who is sending the material or how much other companies know about you and your shopping habits.

                                                                                                                                                                                      all you know is that the material has safeway's logo on it and that the material APPEARS to come from safeway. this is entirely legal if another company pays safeway for permission to do this and thereby is affiliated with safeway for the promotion.

                                                                                                                                                                                      keep in mind: safeway's main business is NOT creating, pricing, nor distributing marketing material for others.
                                                                                                                                                                                      on the other hand, they can sell their INFORMATION to others (which is how they justify the millions of dollars they spend to create and maintain these systems) AND they can profit from letting others buy the use of their name and logo for specific promotions.

                                                                                                                                                                                      when you get coupons in the mail from "safeway" and 90% of those coupons are for the products of one company (e.g. P&G, General Mills, etc) doesn't it make you think?

                                                                                                                                                                                      don't you ever wonder why you never see "safeway" coupon packets containing coupons from competing companies?

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                            I tend to agree. The waitress should not have posted the receipt online or should have, at the very least, obscured the signature.

                                                                                                                                                                            I am not condoning the pastor's behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                              the waitress exposed the thief.

                                                                                                                                                                              the thief, especially being a "pastor," should be proud to show off her behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                              the probable reason "the pastor" did what she did was that she believed that she'd get away with such reprehensible behavior without anyone knowing.

                                                                                                                                                                              appleby's was acting like the corporate douch that it is.

                                                                                                                                                                              a tiny bit of justice may have come to the pastor in that if she's in her right mind she should have felt profound humiliation. (doubt it though, her stunt demonstrated enough sociopathy that the odds are that she's probably just going to go on taking advantage of anyone she can)

                                                                                                                                                                              i'm hoping that the server uses this opportunity to find a better job. with a little luck someone who read the receipt on reddit will offer her a job in a decent place.
                                                                                                                                                                              sometimes getting fired from a bad place actually turns out to be a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: PeterL

                                                                                                                                                                              Pastor Bell called Applebee's management and stated that the waitress should be fired.

                                                                                                                                                                              And there is no client/business confidentiality guaranteed by law or oath.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        that's awful. And I just called them (Applebees) out on Twitter for it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          If that truly was a pastor, he or she needs to examine their heart.

                                                                                                                                                                          I agree that if everyone got fired that is a gross overreaction. The waiter should be fired though. There most certainly would be a policy about publishing or sharing customer credit card info. Any darn fool would know that would be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                          What people do for attention cracks me up. On the other hand I feel sorry for the pastor. He/she has no business delivering a message to per parishioners with that sort of mindset. I would take some time for reflection if it were me.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                            Well, until we actually see the Applebees employee handbook, we won't know whether there's a policy.

                                                                                                                                                                            As the server noted, she thought the signature was illegible enough. She made a judgment call on the illegibility, and I guess it was off.

                                                                                                                                                                            And I feel absolutely NO sorrow for the pastor. She chose to take it upon herself to gyp her server, because she didn't feel that Applebee's policy was correct, rather than take it up with the franchise management. That's total bullshit. And then to use religion on top of it to make her point and insult that server? Even worse.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              According to the ever-reliable Huff-Post, she is a pastor with the "St. Louis-based Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries".

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                Yup, hyacinthgirl posted the Smoking Gun link above and that had the same info. "Truth in the Word". Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh I think that it is bs too what she did and by sorry I mean that it is a sorry state of affairs faith wise. She was shameful. BUT I know common sense does not rule the day anymore, but you just do not go around posting people's credit card info online. If they want to do it to themselves - by gosh, have at it. And Applebees HAD to fire her. People need to know their credit card info is safe to use at their establishment.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                  BUT I know common sense does not rule the day anymore,


                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    Drats and a half... or when I act like a dork - Woopie!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              last I saw it was someone named Alois Bell

                                                                                                                                                                              but again, there's one mark up stiffing the waitress and another note ranting against God (since the waitress was stiffed)

                                                                                                                                                                              there's something else going on here.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. I am a real pastor and one who tips and tries to tip well... because I wasn't born a minister and have been on the receiving end of poor customer behaviour.

                                                                                                                                                                              I served as wait-staff at a coffeehouse back in the good old folk-music scene: black coffee (4 sugars!) and hot lemonade and honey, while Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia and Joni Mitchell were on stage. It was dim in the audience-serving area and I had to work hard to avoid dumping hot coffee on customers and dodge cigarette burns while placing cups and glasses on over-crowded tables between songs. My forearms bear the scars to this day.

                                                                                                                                                                              Tips were rare and much valued. I learned a few lessons that still work for me-mostly, "Be kind. Only be kind."

                                                                                                                                                                              That pastor sounds like he/she lacks humility and simple kindness, virtues of any religion and of humanity. I know there are arrogant ministers in my own church who mask their cheapness in a cloak of so-called "frugality", hiding behind their pastoral responsibilities as if they were holier than those who serve them...that ain't in any Gospel I ever read.

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LJS


                                                                                                                                                                                Nothing more needs to be said!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like you run a great parish. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. It's probably a hoax. Someone wants their 15 minutes. There was a hoax where a rich banker (member of the 1%) supposedly left a 1% tip on a bill for $133 and wrote, "Get a real job".

                                                                                                                                                                                    It just doesn't make any sense why someone would include "Pastor". It's like someone leaving a miniscule tip and putting a title like "Senior Bank VP".


                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                                                                                                                      Doesn't seem to be a hoax. As you can see a few posts above yours (from hyacinthgirl) the pastor has been identified and interviewed - by The Smoking Gun as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. UPDATE: The server who posted the picture was NOT the server for the table, but was more or less ticked off on behalf of her fellow server. The server who posted it has been fired. The pastor (a woman, by the way) admitted she wrote it, but it was "a lap[sic] in judgement". Once she saw the receipt posted on the internet, she contacted Applebee's, demanding that everyone, including the restaurant's manager, be fired. Interestingly, if the pastor had kept her mouth shut, no one would have known who she was. Now they do. Wonder if she'll be fired for un-Christian behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                          there's a link to the Smoking Gun article upthread.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                                                                                            If I was a parish member of that church I would seriously reconsider her as my minister and head of my church. Turn about is fair play and she is not acting very christianly IMO. Not acting as a model for her flock. THAT is her job.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I complained to Applebee's that I was never going to eat at Applebee's again until they re-hire everyone they fired by way of sucking up to this cheapskate.

                                                                                                                                                                                            You can contact them, too:


                                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, considering I wouldn't eat at an Applebees unless it was the only game in town, my complaint wouldn't be fair. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, well, I didn't *tell* them I have only eaten at one in my entire life, about 20 years ago, because someone was taking me out on a date and wanted to impress me with his culinary knowhow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I can't boycott them any further than I already am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Both. He turned out to be a real freak.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                I sent them a message as well. They won't know the public doesn't approve of their actions unless we tell them. So I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                                                                                  the problem with their website is that it won't accept your written complaint unless you enter your phone number.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Transpose a couple of digits -- they have no way of knowing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you concerned that they would call you? If you transpose a number, they're just going to call someone else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Put in the number to the Applebee's restaurant where the incident occurred. Or how about that church?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Heh. I'm a little stinker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                            i finally decided that it was worth divulging my number in order to make an ethical point.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            i called on their toll-free number (which automatically gives them your phone number even if you have the blocked-number feature on your line) and spent about 15 minutes with their customer service rep politely explaining how it appears that they are a mean-spirited company that took draconian measures agains a young employee who had a lapse in judgement.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            too bad i no longer work at a call center, because if i did, i would have been able to get a room full of people to call in one by one to complain along with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              this is why we have this wonderful grass-roots populist tool known as the internet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              can you imagine how different the world would be today if the progressive movements over the last several hundred years had this? (ok ever since telecommunications were fairly commonplace anyway)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                the internet is now simple enough so that old farts like me can be proficient!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ( i remember buying a "dedicated word processing machine" for my office BEFORE the days when you'd buy a computer and just install a word processing program. it was SO cutting edge!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                              you can use several very similar digits to create a number that likely doesn't exist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              ps it doesn't have to be your mother's real maiden name either ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I often use my maternal grandmother's maiden name, it's less traceable and just so I can remember my lie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Not just cheap, but exceedingly rude and unclassy. I would not want to be a member of that pastor's flock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. She is no pastor nor is she a leader. She is a scammer and a rude b@&$&. She tithes 10% to her own church, her OWN church. So she "tithes " to herself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                                                                                                            and her flock is just 15 members....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh I have to search this church, it's in (well not my backyard, but that of friends)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              <edit> ok to keep this on food not far away from their address there's a classic Eastern European sausage place that Pope JP-II visited and acclaimed (good stuff - Piekutowski's). and on a different front not too far is one of the few places that still serves fried pig snoot sandwiches (Smoki-O's).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly - you can get "minister" papers on the internet - this woman is no minister.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Check out the car in the left of the photo. Yup it's the old man's brand new 1956 Mercedes Benz 180d
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The second photo is of my mom and her pet dear she raised from a day old fawn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                OT but it's a wonder that pet "dear" didn't kill your mother.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It used to hang around the yard and eat the crab apples in the fall. One day it just wasn't there anymore. The 'deer' I mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I apologize for the snarky "dear". Pet bucks have a reputation for getting mean by the time they grow a rack like that. I suppose one that was not confined could let off steam other than goring its owner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bet somebody enjoyed that apple fattened venison. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't take your comment as 'snarky'. No worries. I was too young to really know too much about the "dear" although I do remember we were never allowed near it. When it grew up it only showed up for the crab apples I think. Yeah that was pretty risky for my mother to be so close but I do think on some level the deer knew my mother's scent from the time it was a fawn and had no fear of her. In the 'rut' I'm guessing he would have been a pretty dangerous beast. But then he always took off when the first snow hit the mountains behind our farm. Yeah I bet someone had some dam good eats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Amazing this nasty 'pastor' went and got people fired. Apparently she feels they are responsible for her actions not herself.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So much for the "other cheek" or "golden rule" concepts . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Found this link: http://tinyurl.com/au5pjf3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pastor is from St. Louis. She apologized. She said this incident got blown up out of proportion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I don't know. I think the note on the receipt is pretty telling about the stinginess of the pastor toward her fellow human beings. JMO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It got blown out of proportion because she took a situation of her own making and blew... At least she's learned a lesson about the power of the internet, I hope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I don't know either. Unless there is another statement out there that hasn't been quoted in the article linked, I don't get an apology out of that. I get someone who is embarrassed that she got caught being such a jerk and that it's blown up in her face. True sincere sorrow for her actions and attitudes? I didn't get that. (Good thing that God gets to judge people and not me!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        completely agree with you jlhinwa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        no apology at all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        continued self righteousness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        this was not a misunderstanding.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the pastor never even tried to make amends (as most truly religious people would).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "(Good thing that God gets to judge people and not me!)"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah really - who wants that responsibility anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thing is, I've not read anything where Pastor Bell has said "I'm sorry." She has said she embarrassed HERSELF and her church, and has said the note was "a lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion,".....but no actual apology for her actions which caused the actual blowing it out of proportion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In other words, not sorry she did it, sorry she got caught.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like every speech given by every politician ever after being caught in a scandal - McGreevey, Spitzer, Arnold, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Always starts with, "If I hurt anyone . . . ." No sh*t you hurt someone - otherwise why are you holding this press conference to resign?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Right?? Always, if I offended... and never I'm sorry I'm an offensive dumbass!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This woman is a step below that: she hasn't acknowledged that she hurt anyone, only that she had a lapse of judgement that hurt herself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly. She's sorry she was stupid. That's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or, she's sorry she got caught being stupid and that some upstart waitress had the nerve to call her out on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't detect a hint of humility or regret.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The biggest irony is that this pastor claims she was homeless, with a kid, in '97 and that was when she felt led to start her ministry.So....I guess she fails to see a connection between homelessness and NOT HAVING MONEY TO PAY THE BILLS, SINCE NOW YOU'VE LOST YOUR JOB.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I see zero empathy. She seems to be confused about the difference between embarrassment and being truly regretful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's another case of ...{content redacted by me due to political rantiness and me trying not to politically rant where I like to talk about food} ... "I've got mine, screw you."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Serious LOL, Violatp. Content redacted by oneself is WAAAY better than posts being "disappeared," innit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            at least you knew to redact it, mine got pulled by the mods.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            would have been better if i had redacted it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent point. Most people who have struggled in their lives remember those struggles vividly and are compassionate to others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have found that when I am a remedial learner and forget a hard lesson I was taught, I get the opportunity to relearn it again...and again...and again. Not wishing homelessness etc on this woman/pastor, but God/karma/the universe/whatever, has a way of teaching us until we get it. I am not sure I would want to be her right now. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              at least, (let's assume that she really was homeless and is not just lying to garner some sympathy), if she becomes homeless again, her kid will be grown and won't be entangled with the mess. . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I don't understand cheap people. It doesn't matter whether the servers "need" the money. I have no idea whether they need it or have a lucrative sideline that puts them in the 1%. I just think it's better to err on the side of generosity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nobody goes home disgruntled that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    also, you get to go home knowing that you are a good and decent person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (related, but OT: when i go out to eat with some of my very wealthy friends, i don't expect them to pay for me just because they have more money. same idea with tipping)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Since I couldn't figure out exactly what part of what subthread this belonged in, I'll add it here. To me, the difference between being frugal and being cheap is that the former primarily is based upon how your actions affect you, the latter is based upon how they affect others. For example: always eating one's leftovers is frugal, always leaving ten percent (for God, Country, or a waitress) is cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Apparently the pastor has never worked in the Hospitality business. Its long hours, in some jobs low pay, and customers that aren't nice. If you eat out you should know what to tip. Big parties are "pains" in the neck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tips are part of waiters income. I don't think I would want this person to be my pastor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mar35

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i wonder if the "pastor" has ever worked in any productive business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. Pastoral service is totally unproductive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          /not saying what this woman did was right

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            what i was saying is that i doubt that she was productive as a pastor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it seems far fetched to me that anyone demonstrating this much immorality could be a productive pastor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the productive pastors that i've met all share a basic world-view of fairness, ethics, generousity, and even altruism.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            not this woman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            she sounds like one of the con-men type of "pastors" that talk a good line but are in it for themselves.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the kind that live luxurious life styles on the backs of their followers rather than the kind that support and help their followers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            we've all seen it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, I get it. Sorry for my misunderstanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my writing was ambiguous.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my bad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Many religious certificates are sought for tax advantages and the ability to participate in government funded programs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pretty damning for all concerned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. This is just one more in a long list of reasons why tipping should be abolished.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add the cost of service to the menu price. The End.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          61 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And pay service staff a living wage - maybe even the minimum?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 states and/or territories already do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly. Servers in the other almost 90% of the country, including many of the most densely populated areas, are virtually indentured servants, begging for pittances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the minimum wage in CA is not high enough to afford ANY kind of rental in the areas of southern california that have the most jobs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                if one lived in the outlying areas, the commuting costs would not be covered by a minimum wage job.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                add to this, most restaurants, especially chain restaurants like the olive garden in manhattan beach, CA juggle their employees' hours around so that the employees can never work enough hours to get any kind of benefits. they are all one doctor's bill away from financial disaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And you should be able to rent an apartment in Monterey for working the register at McDonald's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never been to Monterey, but are there McDonald's there? With people working there? Where should those people live?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shouldn't they live with someone that can afford the accommodations, which, if you're a server, is usually with roommates, a spouse, parents or some other benefactor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, you agree that minimum wage is not a liveable wage on one's own? I don't think people are demanding to live in luxury, just in dignity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let's say someone works 40 hours a week at minimum wage in CA. What is it for the state, $8 an hour? That's $320 a week. After taxes, what, $250? $270? So, just over $1000 a month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Even with roommates and paying, say, $600 per month, that's $400 a month left to pay bills and feed yourself and clothe yourself. You still need to get to work, bus fare isn't free. You need to wash your dishes (that you had no problem buying at the Goodwill since that is what you can afford) but dish soap isn't free. Toilet paper isn't free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And if you get sick? It's not enough for any situation, I don't care how many roommates you have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and your scenario doesn't even include the fact that many restaurants don't give their workers 40 hours of work a week while still requiring them to be "on call" to take additional shifts at the employer's convenience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the "on call" situation makes it impossible for the workers to line up any other work, and, yet, they generally are not given 40hours/week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          when EVERY server at a restaurant is part time (Olive Garden, i'm looking at you), it opens the door to this practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes. (And so should people on Section 8, food stamps, WIC, EBT, and welfare programs. But fyi, those non-working people they get their own apartment, complete with secured parking, private security at the door, a key card entrance for the elevator, AND a gym. People who work pay for this.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I cannot believe the debate over this. This fake pastor was wrong. The server was a working person who called attention to this jerk woman using the greatness of God to justify her rudeness. I used to wait tables and there is no gray area for me in this issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How about we look into these LONG term recipients of the taxpayer funded benefits you speak of and see if they have taken advantage of the countless taxpayer funded programs to become trained so they can become productive members of society and set a deadline if they have not. That would free up a lot of funds to help those who are trying / working but still fall short.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            in LA, being a server in a chain such as applebee's or olive garden will not pay enough even to support shared accommodations ( and by that i mean a small two bedroom apartment that is shared by 4 people) near many of the restaurant locations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          if you work in marina del rey, you should be able to afford a shared apartment in korea town. you shouldn't be forced to choose between living in pomona, or lancaster, but not being able to support the car necessary to make the commute or getting the car and having to live in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          re: monterey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i don't know anything about monterey, so i can't comment on that. i will say, though, that the reason my daughter isn't applying to nursing school in aptos--not too far from monterey (cabrillo college)-- is because she couldn't afford to live anywhere near there on the salary she would be earning working her way through school as an EMT.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in order to survive on an EMT's wage (and she is now working 56 hr a week, which she will have to reduce in order to return to school) she has to choose nursing school location carefully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I definitely understand the comment about a shared apartment, and most servers I know do live with at least one other person. I imagine this is generally the case - I don't know of many homeless servers. I took the living wage comment to mean that a server ought to be able to live on their own (in a house or apartment), pay utilities, and afford necessities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also understand your comment about the pay rate for EMT's. But isn't this really a supply and demand issue? I hear similar arguments about teacher's pay all the time. Fact is servers, line cooks, teachers, (I guess) EMT's and plenty of other types of workers are plentiful and easily replaceable. It doesn't really make sense for business owners to pay any type of premium for such laborers when they can easily find a replacement at the same cost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At the same point in time, and speaking to the point stated in the quote below, I know plenty of deficient servers that simply shuffle between restaurants I frequent. Granted, these are usually not the greatest establishments, but these people do not hurt for work in a position they have repeatedly been dismissed from. At the nicer restaurants I frequent, I imagine the servers are paid better because they are more conscientious, reliable, hard-working, attractive or all of the above because I see much less server turnover at these establishments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i think it's safe to say that the establishments that train and pay living wages hold on to their good employees and rarely deal with <<deficient servers>> for very long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              there is a terrific restaurant that i went to last year during restaurant week. when i returned this year for restaurant week, the whole kitchen staff was the same and 95% of the servers and food runners were the same.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              why do you suppose that is, being that it is a consistently busy, high-pressure restaurant?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              another one of my favorites lost one server in the last year: the reason being that she got a scholarship to a presigious law school on the other side of the country. why do you suppose that they don't have the turnover problem you describe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              my mom, 'n' pop favorite restaurant has all the same servers and kitchen staff as last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i believe my watteringhole/steakhous has only lost a couple of servers this year; one of which left because his band and his acting career started to take traction. (i see him in commercials now and again) why do you think the owner of that restaurant doesn't seem to have any problems holding on to staff?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                re: EMT pay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                although emts may be <<easily replacable>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                some companies require a higher standard of service and maintain newer, better-equipted rigs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                these better companies tend to provide additional training to their employees, benefits, and perks such as free uniforms, and HIGHER PAY than the bare minimum necessary to get a certified person onto a rig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                also they maintain better staffing levels so that their customers have shorter wait times and their staff is not in a perpetual state of being behind, stressed, and frazzled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the fees that both the "good" companies and the "bad" companies can charge are basically the same because of the fee standardization employed by the insurance companies, medicare, et al.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the difference is at the top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the "better" companies have owners that are willing to forego some money themselves in order to run a professional operation. they don't have several levels of executives making six figure incomes sitting at desks doing nothing other than figuring out how to nickel and dime their customers and their employees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it's similar in the restaurant business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i think this line, that was posted by someone else later on in this thread, sort of says it all:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <<In my area, servers are often in short supply and owners sometimes have to hire people they would otherwise prefer not to hire>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              if restaurants in that person's area paid a living wage for that area, why would servers be in such short supply?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in my experience, when a living wage is being offered, and if training is being offered, normally it is not that difficult to fill server jobs with good people. this is especially true when the management is generally supportive of their employees in other respects as well. (i.e facilitating shift-trading, allowing employees to work enough hours to qualify for benefits, providing benefits, etc)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If the service is good we always leave 20%. If the bill is unusually small and the service good we usually leave more than 20% to balance out the time we spent at the server's table. Hell, I remember leaving a 100% tip on several occasions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have also had friendly but incompetent service and left a 10% tip. On rare occasion horrible service where the server made it quite clear they didn't want to be there and basically ruined our night out and their tip consisted of the smallest value coin I had in my pocket left on a napkin with a short explanation of what their tip would have been had the attitude not been there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do think the IRS would be in favor of built in tips though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i've heard that the IRS has calculated presumptive tip percentages for the staff of each restaurant and whether or not the staff actually received the presumptive tip percentage, they are expected to pay tax on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this is dated info, though, that did not come from a CPA so i'm not 100% sure that it's correct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it's true. Your witholding is calculated as if you made regular minimum wage, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's quite frequent to receive a paycheck of 0 or redeemable only for pocket change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My guess is your right and there probably is a presumptive % which is probably reasonably accurate for an "average" server. The ones who would get hurt are the best servers who for reasons of skill & personality generate higher tips than the average.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                but having "service compris" is exactly like having auto-gratuity for larger parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's right there on the bill -- and it's typically marked at somewhere around 18% (sometimes higher, sometimes lower,....but always more than 10%)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This person didn't want to pay for *anything*....so I'm not sure that it would have changed anything in this particular case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, it is not the same thing. Not even close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    why is a Paris restaurant bill that says "18% service compris" different than an auto-tip (for the moment we'll assume the amounts are the same - the reality is that there is no set percentage in Paris....so if it makes you happy, you can use 15% or any other amount.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's a flat percentage service charge that's added to the bill when presented for payment and is considered a part of the bill, just like a soda or a side of fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm very interested in hearing your explanation of how those are not the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sunshine, I totally agree with you, but am open to hearing Kengk's response.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mathematically, they might be the same. But the service compris method makes the gratuity less arguable because it's not so in-your-face. It's the psychology. (Or maybe it's just more in the psychology of American diners to argue about the cost of service.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Having the service built into the menu prices means you know upfront exactly what the total cost of the dining experience will be - take it or leave it. The service portion of the bill is less arguable since you can't really tell what it was. The auto-grat system with explicit accounting for service charges on the bill seems to encourage some people to think it's up for debate/negotiation, or attempts at manipulation, like jrvedivici describes above (asking for separate checks to evade the auto-grat).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is disputing the included service compris as common as disputing the auto-grat ? My sense is that the latter is much more common.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DagingKuda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In my area, servers are often in short supply and owners sometimes have to hire people they would otherwise prefer not to hire. With service built into the menu price, what recourse does a patron have when they receive sub par service? Will they be afforded a private area to state their claim for a reduction with dignity or will additional misery be added to their dining experience by being forced to argue their case in public? I know the generic answer will be just don't come back but what if the disputed % was a $100.00. Should a server be paid money they did not earn? Should a patron be forced to pay for a service they did not receive? If an owner does waive the service %, is the server still legally entitled to the %?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I dunno. How does it work in other service businesses where tipping isn't customary? The vast majority of the world seems to get along just fine without using tipping as a commentary on service.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I don't know either. I suspect in other parts of the world there are far less potential consequences for firing a sub par employee and it is done with swiftness & certainty which sends a message to all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or maybe people in other parts of the world treat servers with more respect and consideration. I'm curious, how does it work in your job when you have an off day or someone complains about your work? Summary dismissal? Docked wages?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You may be right, I don't know. Maybe its a combination of many things. Maybe its a fixed % in other parts of the world because people were even less considerate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A bad day or occasional complaint are usually rectified with counseling / training, not summary dismissal or docked wages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If it is a waitress and patron arguing in the restaurant, it could have could have ended in counseling or training. On the other hand, the same argument televised to a national TV broadcaster won't just ended with mere counseling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In this specific case mentioned by the original post, the incident got national attention. It simply isn't something can be swept under the rug.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh no no no....... I was responding to Ruth's post that I interpreted as referring to an occasional minor problem associated with having a bad day or making an honest mistake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Discussing your employer's business on the internet is not a mistake and recent case law affirms doing so can place your job in jeopardy. In this particular case, I don't see how any reasonably prudent person could possibly expect a different outcome. Guaranteed that Pastor's has a Lawyer and because the restaurant owner probably has much deeper pockets than the idiot server, I suspect the restaurant owner has been left with little choice but to written a big check to a lawyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        do you really believe that an operation like applebee's doesn't carry liability insurance?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        most casualty insurers have lawyers on staff that specialize in quickly quashing these kind of cases.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        they can do it in their sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and, though normally i wouldn't take their side in almost any other lawsuit, in this case i'd be rooting for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as part of our conjecture:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        if "pastor" were to try to demonstrate actual damages, d'ya think that she'd have to disclose a "damaged" flow of funds upon which she wasn't paying taxes?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the IRS used to pay people to snitch on others.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wonder if that program is still in force?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        maybe some money could be made here by alerting the IRS?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        also, if she has the "church" set up as a 501(c)3 organization, i wonder if the case could end up exposing information that would jeoparize their entire tax exempt status .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it would be hard for me to refrain from schadenfreude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No doubt you are one tough cookie but what if this was a privately owned restaurant? With so many costs through the roof these days something like this could be catastrophic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for abuse of charitable status I agree 100%. Skimming off SSI and other programs is a subject dear to my heart but in all honestly not appropriate for this site and if the moderators don't shut you down the excuse mongers will crush you. Trust me, don't go there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To use legalese -- you're assuming facts not in evidence. First, there's no indication that this pastor threatened any legal action against the restaurant, and I'm not sure what legal liability would attach from posting someone's signature online. A signature is not "confidential" -- by its very nature it's something that is shown to other people. A part of the story was that some people recognized the signature, and therefore is was clear it had been disseminated and was widely known. Signatures are often published: on documents, newsletters, etc. Furthermore, you'd then have to extrapolate that someone would be able to use this photograph of a signature to harm the pastor in some way, and there's no evidence of this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The woman was embarrassed, but she was embarrassed by something that she wrote and then handed to someone else with no expectation that what she wrote would not be disseminated, either by photograph or simply by retelling. There's no libel, because it was a simple publication of something she actually said. The server claims that her intent wasn't even malicious -- it was more one of those "look at the wacky things customers do" postings. What, exactly, would the grounds be for any legal action?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If there was a requirement that facts be the basis for a civil action we would need far fewer courts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lawsuits do need to qualify to advance......i.e. have merit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  True but many insurance companies settle OOC for 10k - 20k every day just to make a mess go away. I would not be surprised if Applebee's did that just to make this go away and there are plenty of lawyers who would gladly have their clerk spend a few hours completing the paperwork to make it happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    only an insurance company with no knowledge of game theory would do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    since they must have lawyers and paralegals on staff all the time that specialize in this kind of suit, their variable costs are the only ones that matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the variable costs to the insurance company to stall, and quash this kind of suit (even if it took decades) would be far less than what it would cost the "pastor" or her lawyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the insurance company and ALL it's customers benefit if it has a reputation for having a hard core legal department.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    a reputation for being unyielding and tough will benefit the insurance company and all it's customers for years into the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    don't forget, the insuance company, as an entity, goes on "forever" so they need to play a long term game to prevent these sorts of claims from arising. it makes more sense for the insurance company to try to bankrupt such claimants than it does for the company to pay them off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OOC settlements out number trials 50 to 1 for a reason, PERIOD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              most of the privately owned restaurants that i frequent would
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              not be very cordial to this type of group.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              people who actually own their own restaurant, have often signed a ten year triple net lease with a personal guarantee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they are keenly aware that they are paying rent 24/7 and out of that time there are relatively few hours that the restaurant really can generate enough money to support itself during all the empty (non-mealtime) hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              to survive, they need to weed out this kind of "customer."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they normally don't do it directly, but it does get accomplished as a matter of survival.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              truly, i never see these kinds of groups, the ones that take up a lot of space for a long time at peak hours while buying very little, in privately held restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in the restaurants without table service quite often the table space is arranged in such a way that it won't accommodate that sort of group, and often the seating is fixed in a way so that this sort of group doesn't take up residence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              there is a popular self-serve pizza place that i frequent, that enforces a rule that customers are not allowed to sit down until they have received their food. all of the tables are two tops. for most of the day, there is no way a large social group could amass enough two tops near each other to meet/converse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              so, given my experience, your "what if" question is sort of like "what if pigs could fly?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's very foreign to anything i have actually seen, so i really have no opinion about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              you even see, these days, some chain coffeehouses using techniques to roust unprofitable customers: small tables that are too small to accommodate much more that a few plates and cups, small chairs, less privacy, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the coffee houses are becoming far less interested in providing "office space" or meeting space for social gatherings of more than 2 or 3 people and for patrons that sit there all day and buy 4 cups of coffee and think that they are doing the coffee house a favor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              at any rate, none of the privately owned restaurants that i frequent nor the ones that i have represented would have fired a server for this offense. the owners i know are decent people. and, yes, they too carry liability insurance, earthquake insurance, business interruption insurance, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              not too many people who sign a personal guarantee for ten years worth of rent are going to fly this kind of liability naked, (i.e. without insurance).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in my town, restaurant owners are prohibited from discriminating against people in certain classes (i.e. disabled people) but, it is highly doubtful that any of those classes would have covered the "pastor."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              probably "the pastor" and anyone associated with her would become persona non grata after she signed the tab as she did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i know for sure that the owner of my favorite watering hole/steakhouse would bounce her forever if she stiffed any of his employees like she stiffed this server--however he had to do it. if the best way was to just let her sit at a table and wait and wait for service, that's what would happen. he simply would not subject any of his employees to that kind of abuse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              not every employer is a douch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with westsidegirl's comments about private owner restaurants. I personally know three restaurant owners. Each one of them has shared stories with me about how they learned, out of financial necessity, to "manage" groups that take up space for extended period of times without an appropriate level of spending.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Two of the three said they have banned customers for bad treatment of waitstaff and/or stiffing on checks/tips. The one actually has the names posted next to the cash register, where it is sort of visibe. Yes, I asked about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry Tom for misinterpreting your post. Thanks for your clarification.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No problem Chem. As my boss often says, keep him behind glass and only break if things are completely out of control. Bottom line, despite being highly educated, my cyber skills are quite limited and often misunderstood. More often my fault than not

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Tom34


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    what recouse do you have when you go to a grocery store and you receive sub par service?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    what recourse do you have when you go to Target and receive sub par service?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    really, you get most of your service from people who are not relying on tips. you would deal with the restaurants the exact same way you deal with all the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    p.s. a little tip from someone who eats out at least 6 times a week:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    if you consistently tip lavishly, and you are consistently pleasant and nice, you will normally get superb service.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To me 3 minutes with the clerk at the grocery store or target is not the same as a couple hours with a server. Funny you mentioned it because we just got back from a wonderful dining experience with great friends. Nothing but appetizers which were cooked to perfection and the service was great. After quite a few microbrews my mental math was not as sharp as usual. A mathematician was with us and I said min 30%. Everyone agreed the server deserved it and she got it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am fortunate enough to be able to afford it as are most of our friends and I want to be able to look the server in the eye with a big smile and say thank you and good luck on your finals if they are a student.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "PS little tip".......not only do you get better service but having been there I feel better having done so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Having been there, I also understand the other side of the coin (Stiffs) and don't have an answer for them and only hope the decent folks make up for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yes, my friday night dining group has also settled on 30% as being the percentage we tip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        we are aware that our group (usually 8 or 9 people) is taking up space during prime hours and that serving a group our size is more difficult both for the kitchen and for the servers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        seems only fair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        if a restaurant is too expensive for us to tip this much, we will opt for one with lower prices.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        we also, make sure that the tab gets run high enough to make it worth it for the restaurant ownership.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        by ordering beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, we pretty easily can run up the tab in a way that gives the restaurant better margins than the food margins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If the service actually warranted a $100 difference in what the server should receive, it really needs to be addressed directly with management, not surreptitiously by tipping low and taking off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never seen "18 percent service compris" --"service compris" means the service is included in the listed prices, not that an additional amount will be tacked on automatically. In Italy it's typical to charge a flat service fee per person (often known as a "bread charge"), again, not a percentage.