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"Sundays are the Worst"

This site was started by a pastor to explore the reputation that has developed for the "after church" crowd in restaurants: http://sundaysaretheworst.com/stories/

Some of these stories will break your heart about how cruel people can be.

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  1. Oh my gosh...heartbreaking indeed. I do not know how people can reconcile that kind of behavior with being a Christian. Truly sad.

    I wonder if those stories come from a specific geographical region or are pretty much random across the country.

    I have attended church all my life (across a number of Protestant church denominations) and have often dined out with friends after church. I cannot recall ever seeing the type of rude, haughty behavior described, nor seen poor tipping as described. Or worse yet, tracts in lieu of tipping.
    I'm not saying it doesn't happen...just thankful that my church friends aren't like that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jlhinwa

      The pastor who started the website is in Tennessee, and it was first publicized by local and regional media, so I assume most of the people who posted their stories are in that region. I think part of the phenomenon is that in those regions, religious institutions are inextricably entwined with the social and political power structures. For many people church becomes more about asserting their social standing in the community than any spiritual practice. I'm thankful I don't live in a place where church is more about power than about god!

      BTW, this study on religious practice vis a vis tipping patterns is interesting. Basically, it says that Christians are not bad tippers on average; however, 13 percent of Christian report as tipping under 15 percent, as opposed to 7 percent of nonbelievers and 2 percent of Jews. http://tippingresearch.com/uploads/Ch...

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I think your point about social standing and asserting power is a good one.

        When I first read that blog, my immediate thought was that those were stories from the south or "bible belt." I couldn't really decide why I thought that, other than my own prejudices or stereotypical thinking, however.

      2. re: jlhinwa

        I read about this on Huffington Post today so I'm sure they are coming from all over now.

      3. wow - I'm reading this whole dang thing as I can see relatives in this. (ok not literally, but...)

        2 Replies
        1. re: hill food

          Oh no, I have relatives, thankfully only a few, who have actually done the whole leaving-a-tract-instead-of-cash thing. These same relatives gave me tracts only for birthdays and whatnot.

          1. re: LMAshton

            LMA - golly, and the only response you can make, oh how thoughtful for my eternal soul. the only time I have done anything like that was around 1985 and a loose group of people across the US were trying to bankrupt Jerry Falwell's 'Moral Majority' making use of their 1-800 #'s for questions of faith, the heart and how to fix stained grout. Every pre-paid envelope they sent was returned with a heart-breaking tale of poverty and a few coupons for putt-putt golf. just enough to keep them spending money on MANY dead-ends.

            eventually they did crumble, it took a few years, but gave us a chuckle.

        2. For a brief period of time in college, I waited tables at a seafood camp restaurant just down the road from a very well-known Christian theme park/compound. Folks would often come hit the all you can eat fried fish after spending some time there. I was trying to put myself through college and pay the bills at my crap apartment. The frequency with which I received prayer cards in lieu of money for a tip was amazing.

          11 Replies
          1. re: debbiel

            My mind is still boggled by all the people who go to a restaurant on Sunday and then blast the server for working on Sunday (or even use that as a justification for not tipping). If they feel that way they should stay home, instead of going to a restaurant and demanding service from people they think shouldn't be there!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              <blast the server for working on Sunday>

              Hypocrisy perhaps? How's going out to eat at a restaurant any different than working at the restaurant? Love to see how people make up their own rules to suit their own needs. Oh, the self-righteousness of it all.
              Staying home and resting is staying home and resting.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                These were mostly Friday/Saturday evening shifts, but the same thing did happen on the Sunday shifts.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  If you REALLY feel that people shouldn't work on Sunday, then don't go to a restaurant where people have to work to cater to you... don't go to the movies either, or put gas in your car, or stop at the 7-11 for a soda - somebody has to be working... I do NOT like DH working on Sunday but that's not because of 'church' it's because he works hard enough during the rest of the week and he needs a break! Sundays are for doing the things that 'I' want to do with him, which includes church... but also going out to eat or buying groceries or going on an outing. But we'd never be scungy enough not to tip our poor wait staff!

                  1. re: Kajikit

                    exactly! that is the proper response: if people shouldn't work on sundays, where would people eat after church? wonder if anyone has pointed out the hypocrisy? and if so, what was the response?

                    however, my theory is that going to a restaurant after church means the high-and-mighty can play a heads-i win/tails-you-lose game. servers perceived to be christian can be criticized for working on the sabbath. those who are not present an opportunity to spread the good news. in both situations, it's the server who gets stiffed.

                    1. re: wonderwoman

                      wonder - how would a server respond other than a sweet-as-pie: "Honey if you weren't here I wouldn't be either and just living on the streets without a job! isn't that funny how it works!!"

                      1. re: hill food

                        perfect! that is exactly the response those criticizing those who work on sunday should receive.

                        i'd love to hear from anyone who actually tried it.

                      2. re: wonderwoman

                        There is a chain restaurant that makes a big public deal out of being closed on Sundays for religious reasons (I doubt the moderator would let me name it but we probably all know which one it is). So maybe the post-church crowd that criticizes restaurant servers for working on Sunday should just go stand outside that closed restaurant and not-eat.

                      3. re: Kajikit

                        this is why I have get pissed at proselytizers. People of the Jewish faith (the very observant ones) simply arrange for a Gentile neighbor - the "Shabbos Goy" - to come over and do simple things (turn on a forgotten light, fix the stove's pilot light for the meal) acts that are proscribed for some on the Sabbath. and it's just done, no lectures. I'm happy to serve in that capacity for good neighbors.

                        no finger pointing. they are fine and comfy in their faith and I am fine and comfy in mine.

                        loads of respect for each other all around.

                        but next time ya roast a chicken or make latkes at least walk me through your prep. I'll take notes.

                        1. re: hill food

                          HIll Food -

                          I'm a "bad" jew. Married to a lapsed catholic and I don't keep kosher.

                          That said? I try and love a very ethical life, I've been my sisters Shabbos Goy myself, and whatever jewish recipe you want - ask, and I'll see what I can do!

                        2. re: Kajikit

                          I am sure one of those pastors would not be lecturing my SIL. He works on Sundays quite a bit as a cardiac ICU nurse.

                    2. Lets give credit to the pastor who started that site. He sees that behavior for what it is.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        Yes, he does, and he's trying to address every story being posted on the site to commiserate and apologize. I note, thought, that he's not shy about using it to promote *his* church as different.

                      2. Sad stories, and literally the direct opposite of the Christians I grew up with and know today.

                        Let us take note that the website itself was put together by a Christian pastor to apologize for fellow Christians who have mistreated the wait staff in this manner.

                        1. Folks, we've removed some posts from this thread that speak to peoples' feelings about Christianity, but have nothing to do with food, dining, or tipping. It's likely that there are other fora to express various feelings for and against organized religion; we're here to discuss chow.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                            Stick to the loaves and fishes, folks; the loaves, the fishes, and then finally the wine ;)

                          2. There are two things going on here:

                            People who treat waitstaff badly. I have a feeling a lot of these people are undiagnosed bipolar. Rudeness to servers, store clerks, etc is a symptom of some kind of mental illness. Seriously.

                            The church people making judgements on the 'misbehaving' child. This is the really sad part, because of gossip and the need to put other people down in order to make yourself feel good. The group is what magnifies the problem, because if you have nobody to share your criticism with, it is not as satisfying. Everyone thinks they know the whole story, but sometimes even the parents don't know exactly what is going on as behavioral problems are not easily diagnosed or treated. Having the correct diagnosis is the first step. Good/bad parenting has nothing to do with it.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Steve

                              <I have a feeling a lot of these people are undiagnosed bipolar>

                              Really? How about just calling it like it is without trying to figure out what makes them do what they do…I'm sure alot of bi-polar people would take exception to your assessment.
                              They're just plain discourteous, self-righteous and self important/better than assholes who think anyone working on their sabbath is beneath them.

                              1. re: latindancer

                                I'm a bi polar person who takes offence. I believe narcissistic, or borderline is what they were going for, as I try to believe in the best of people. ;) (that was tongue in cheek, before the flames start.) I am bi polar however.

                              2. re: Steve

                                why in the world would you assume that just because someone is a horrible person that they are bipolar?

                                more likely than not, these are just entitled douchbags

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  They are simply using the term "bipolar" incorrectly and do not have a clue what it means.

                                  1. re: Cheflambo

                                    Sigh. Just as egregious as using "schizophrenic" for "frenetic." Or "Autistic" to describe "quirky". I could go on but I'll stop here.

                              3. This is the internet......you can't throw a dead cat on here without hitting on someone, anyone hating on someone else for anything under the sun.

                                For every blog like this you will find one that say's church going people are the kindest most generous on the earth. This is sad to read, but again you can find a similar blog for every other segment of society a well, this one just happens to be about religious followers.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  jr: I truly believe we can extract any faith-based indignation and still find the same folks. some are just going to be grumpy.

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    I think the point is not that within all groups there are people who are grumpy and treat people badly -- there are. This is about the hypocrisy of people treating people badly and *justifying it by their religious beliefs,* for example, leaving a religious tract instead of a tip.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      And the fact that there are actually pre-printed tracts made to look like tips or that say "We gave your tip to Jesus" proves that this isn't just random people behaving badly who happen to be Christians but a substantial number of people who believe they have a God-given (literally!) right to stiff their servers.

                                2. You know, my large Canadian city is not much known for church-going. But everybody knows servers hate working Sunday brunch and it often feels like restaurants hate serving them: demanding customers who would never spring for dinner, constant coffee refills without the tip advantage of alcoholic drinks, bratty kids, large family groups with slow fussy elders, etc.
                                  So I'm not sure this phenom is limited to Christians. And I'm not one, FWIW.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: julesrules

                                    jules: oh the attitude transcends faith (that phrase sounds kinda weird, is subscends a word?)

                                    I have heard elsewhere Sunday Brunch is the most hated of all shifts.

                                    1. re: julesrules

                                      How is servers hating to work Sunday brunch relevant to this topic?

                                      1. re: WNYamateur

                                        The blog/link was specifically about people having their post-church meal at the server's restaurant and how their behavior is in contraction to Christian teaching.

                                        I have to admit I was wondering how she knew that all these people were just out of church. The Sunday brunch was pretty popular where I grew up and it had nothing to do with whether you attended church or not, actually, the brunch crowd was less likely to be churchgoers given that most churchgoers are in church on Sunday mornings.

                                        A lot of brunch places are buffets, which does complicate the tipping issue. I can see why many people won't feel the need to tip 15 or 20% of the meal value if they only see the server bringing them drinks, not the meal itself. Brunches are also popular with families and large mixed groups, who can be more demanding.

                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                          This. Plus I think it's sort of implied, or I made an assumption, that these groups generally only eat out together Sundays after church. They are not otherwise regular restaurant clients or at least not with the same companions. For some there seems to be a performance aspect of acting holier-than-thou when out in these groups, after church service, in particular.

                                          But other Sunday brunchers are also considered to be a particular breed by some servers. Plus, it's just a pain to get up early for crappy tips.

                                          I didn't read the whole blog. Some of the encounters are with obvious church goers who treat servers terribly while talking about Jesus out the other side of their mouth. Obviously a huge irony here and the point of a pastor starting the blog. But some of the servers' complaints are about coffee refills, low tippers and other standard Sunday brunch issues.

                                        2. re: WNYamateur

                                          it is directly relevant.
                                          how can you be missing this?

                                      2. The author states that servers' wages have not gone up in 20 years, but since you tip on a percentage of the amount of bill, this is nonsense. There is an inflation factor built into every bill.

                                        I tip 20%, whether it was a 1994 bill of, say, $100 or a 2014 bill of, say, $160 (the same bill, adjusted for inflation). The difference to the waiter or waitress is nothing.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: gfr1111

                                          gfr - yes but do you offer coupons and devotional brochures?

                                          1. re: hill food

                                            I will admit that I once slipped some great 75% off at Hot Topic cupons in with my parents tip once when the waitress we had was young and really cool and had lots of peircings...

                                            1. re: girloftheworld

                                              gotw: young and stupid gets a qualified 'hall pass'. try it again at age 25+ and we'll have to talk.

                                              btw - what is Hot Topic?

                                                1. re: hill food

                                                  Hill Food, I read that gotw added the coupons on top of the cash tip, not instead of. Actually a sweet gesture, imo.

                                                  1. re: Ashforth

                                                    ahhh - gotcha (I'm so clueless when it comes to youth culture beyond the universals)

                                                2. re: girloftheworld

                                                  As teenagers my daughter and her friends loved Hot Topic. They didn't have piercings or do the the goth look etc. but I'm sure they would have appreciated a good tip plus some 75% off coupons:-)

                                            2. I live in the Northeast and always have done so. A few years ago, we drove to Tennessee to visit family who had just moved there. We stopped for lunch on Sunday at a Cracker Barrel ( no judgments! were hungry and on a schedule) somewhere in TN right as the post church crowd arrived. To the poster who questioned how to tell if the people in question were church folk: well, I have never seen anything like it. Everyone was dressed to the nines, suits and ties on the men and dresses and skirt suits on the ladies. All of the men wore ties with two big crosses on them and the ladies had similar pins on their dresses. These crosses were identical to the many crosses we saw erected on roadsides as we drove along the highway. Everyone knew everybody else. This was definitely a local cultural event unlike anything I have ever seen at home. Unfortunately, I did not keep an eye on their tipping!

                                              1. This type of stuff makes me SO glad I live in NYC... however, I am from NC and vividly remember this type of... shenanigans when I was waiting tables and working retail. It's a shame... one rotten apple spoiling the bunch.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: CarmenR

                                                  Well, it sounds like more than one! Sounds like it's prevalent throughout the Bible Belt.

                                                2. Well, I used to hostess at a chain diner, and the church ladies who came in every Sunday night, were well known for stealing everything that was not nailed down. I mean, bottles of steak sauce, seasoning salt, salt and pepper shakers, well, you name it, they stole it. Good Christian matrons, they were, oh yeah. Oh yeah, and they never tipped.

                                                  1. I used to work at my parents' restaurant on Sundays. I always liked the "after church" crowd because they were good customers. But as a customer in restaurants, I've seen other "after church" patrons who were a pain in the rear.

                                                    1. I've done many types of work and have to say that I love much about being a server. I like the pace, most customers are a joy and it is a pleasure to help provide a nice experience for them.

                                                      But no one , absolutely no one wants to wait tables on a Sunday. Several place I worked made it mandatory to work doubles on Sunday because otherwise no one would take the shifts. Because of the campers, the enormous mess to clean up and being run ragged (the first glasses delivered were always empty before the other end of the table's were in place) Sundays were a day of 16 hours without a break and coming home basically in the hole financially. Wednesday nights too - seems to be another big church time for this sort of group.

                                                      I've been subjected to insulting personal questions (how will your children be brought up right if you aren't with them in church on Sundays), yelled at when I recited specials which included the mixed drink specials (it's required and I'm not a mind reader) and left many a religious track in lieu of tip.

                                                      Not only is the server abused but every other table of well behaved patrons gets short changed in their quest for a nice meal.

                                                      Just reading the first page on that site caused me to remember how glad I am that I no longer have to deal with another after church crowd. Upon reflection, Wednesdays actually had worse behavior. The groups tended to be younger adults with small kids on the wild. It seemed that many of the women were SAHM's and were determined to enjoy their night "off duty" to the max. With so much milling around from table to table there were always a few bills that got stiffed. But the Wed. crowd was only for 2-3 hours.

                                                      I think my blood pressure just increased dramatically.

                                                      1. In my experience, religion tends to bring out the best -- AND worst -- in people.

                                                        1. I llive in the Bible Belt. I had a conversation with God, and she told me two things:

                                                          1. Don't go to church because it'll make you unbearably sanctimonious, and they'll want your money.

                                                          2. Don't go to eat on Sundays in restaurants frequented by people who do.

                                                          Works for me.