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comment by AlderaanDuran
AlderaanDuran  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tips are not Optional - How a Good Waitress gets Fired by an Angry Customer

I'm surprised this story has gotten so much attention. People get stiffed all the time, it happens. She got fired for divulging personal information online. I tip well, but whether I do or don't, I don't want some waitress posting my receipt online without my consent, just seems kind of low and petty to me.

I've just found it kind of odd how our of proportion this story has been blown. She got fired because she brought national negative media attention on a customer, and here employer, yet has the nerve to say in that article "I don't see what rules I broke if any...". How bought violating your customers privacy? How about bringing negative media attention to your employer? You have beef with how service staff are paid, fine, so do I, but that wasn't justification for doing what she did.

She complains that her take home is $9 an hour most days. I used to work at Best Buy and make $7 an hour, and no tips or bonuses. Did I complain? Nope. Worked hard, got raises and promotions, used that to go to college, got out, and got a much better job. Working at Best Buy and Applebees aren't meant to be end-goal careers for people, they are for high school and college kids generally. Maybe I'm in the minority feeling this way, but low experience and low skill jobs also come with low pay... who knew?

I didn't eat at Applebees before this mess because I'm not really a fan, but the comments on Reddit about boycotts and what not are kind of ridiculous. She brought a bunch of negative media attention to her company for calling out a customer and posting their receipt online in a forum where people love nothing more than to mock religious people. I'm not surprised she was fired. I say again, when I go out to eat or make a purchase I generally assume they aren't going to post my personal information online or divulge our client to customer interactions. It's just unprofessional and stupid. If it happened to me, I wouldn't be happy about it either. A bunch of people calling you an asshole and threatening you online over something you assumed was private... how would you feel? Honestly, I wouldn't be thrilled about it. But because it's some "evil religious hypocrite" the whole internet is circlejerking itself to death over this story, and places ZERO blame on this employee for being so unprofessional. It's all Applebees fault, and all "that religious nutjob hypocrites" fault.

Why this girl has become some kind of martyr I do not understand. She acted unprofessional, got caught, and was fired. Sounds about right to me. Maybe if people like her took their job seriously and acted professional they wouldn't be making $9 an hour... but saying something like that generally makes ME the asshole.

First I've commented about this story, so sorry for the bit of a rant. I just don't see what the big deal is. If it wasn't for the religious angle, this story would have went no where.

IntimidatingScones  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Actually the company was not in the original post and the scrawled name was not widely legible. She didn't bring attention to the company, the angry customer did. The angle is about waitstaff not being treated as people.

Also, receipts are not in any way private. The computer has the credit card number, the receipt is just a way to say "you must pay this amount." The same result would have incurred if the offensive note had been left on a napkin.

And you can compare retail to waiting if you like, but it's a lot more accurate if you say waiting is like retail if when every time the clock is between 11 and 2, and 4 and 7 it's Black Friday.

AlderaanDuran  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

>Actually the company was not in the original post and the scrawled name was not widely legible. She didn't bring attention to the company, the angry customer did.

I get that part, but it still brought negative attention to the company. If she never would have posted this, it never would have happened. Don't get me wrong, the pastor sounds like kind of an uptight hypocrite about all this, but it happened. And the negative attention towards Applebees wouldn't have happened had she not posted that reciept, regardless of who eventually outted the company this all could have been avoided. I didn't say what she did was illegal, just that it was unprofessional, and it was. Mocking a customer online to a bunch of people (redditors) that can be easily swirled up into a frenzy over two things they seem to hate most; religious people, and people who don't tip. There's been numerous people who have done similar things on Reddit and been fired as well.

>but it's a lot more accurate if you say waiting is like retail if when every time the clock is between 11 and 2, and 4 and 7 it's Black Friday.

But that's also when they make the most money, and the ideal shifts people want, is it not? To complain that people get busy at work isn't something I can sympathize with, especially when they make more money during those times. People get busy in all kinds of jobs, and most of them don't get tips, so I don't really see what the big deal is with that point at all. If employees see a rush or busy as a bad thing, they might need to find a less stressful line of work for themselves. It's called work, and sometimes you have to work hard, but yes some jobs and situations are harder than others for the pay one recieves. And I think that's kind of a tangent anyway, because even if servers do get a fair living wage they are still going to get busy during those times... they just won't be making more money during that time. So should they complain more about lunch and dinner rush then?

I get where people are coming from on this story, and understand everyone is entitled to their opinion. But throughout all the articles and comments I've read about this, no one seems to blame the waitress even a tiny bit. I'm only trying to point out she played a role in herself getting fired, and there needs to be a little personal responsibility there. The whole new platform to use it as an example of how waitresses don't make a fair wage is besides the point. I agree with that, but that's not how this started. It started with her publicly mocking a customer, hidden name or not, and that's just unprofessional.

StephenBuckley  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The big deal is that if a customer stiffs a waitress on her tip, her employer should have her back. If the choice is between a customer who doesn't pay a mandatory tip and a waitress who did her job, why would you choose the customer? What kind of message does that send to other customers?

thenewgreen  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Getting stiffed is par for the course regarding being a server. When I used to manage restaurants, I couldn't give our servers $, but I would make up for it by giving them or a friend of theirs a comp'd meal or a bottle of wine. You can't just "pay" the tip to them though. That opens up a whole new can of worms that could be abused.

I'm with AlderaanDuran on this one, it could have been handled between the server and the restaurant until he/she made it public knowledge. I would have let them go too. The customer has a right to privacy/confidentiality.

I would have chosen "the business" as AD put it.

StephenBuckley  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not saying pay for it, I'm saying that when something blows up to a national scale they should say, "Hey, she should be outraged. You should tip waitresses, especially in large parties." Not fire her.

thenewgreen  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They should definitely not be pro-not-tipping. They cannot promote their servers posting the notes that customers leave behind online though either. This girl made her bed.

StephenBuckley  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Why not? Honestly, the only thing that reflects poorly on Applebee's here is that they fired her. If they called out the pastor instead this could have been great PR for them.

AlderaanDuran  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

>the only thing that reflects poorly on Applebee's here is that they fired her.

To the crowds of internet avengers that probably don't go to or frequent Applebees anyway it might reflect poorly... but anything remotely bad a religious person does is fodder for them to circlejerk over. They see this as "She did nothing wrong, and the religious person got her fired". Not "she posted a reciept online and mocked a customer which was unprofessional" which reflects poorly on the business.

>If they called out the pastor instead this could have been great PR for them.

Calling out a pastor publicly? Great PR? Sorry, but the media and religious groups would have a field-day with Applebees if that had happened. They avoided that by canning the employee.

Again, not saying it's right or that I agree with it either, I just see as what Applebees did as "logical". Why stand up for an employee who acted unprofessionally, and attack a customer, even if the customer was a douche, the employee screwed up too the moment they posted that reciept and started this whole mess. If she never would have posted that reciept and just shrugged off this asshole customer, she'd still have her job. Plus, like she said recently that wasn't even her table so she wasn't even the one that got stiffed!

I just find it real hard to see her as the victim in all of this when she instigated this whole issue that blew up.

StephenBuckley  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not only is it not illegal/immoral to post a picture of a receipt online, she kept Applebee's name out of it. The pastor brought Applebee's into it, not her.

    Why stand up for an employee who acted unprofessionally, and attack a customer, even if the customer was a douche
Because being perceived as a company that doesn't support douches is a good thing, and being a company that does support douches is a bad thing. For business.

And publicizing is not the same as instigating.

AlderaanDuran  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

>Not only is it not illegal/immoral to post a picture of a receipt online

Didn't say it was or wasn't legal or moral, just said it was unprofessional.

>being a company that does support douches is a bad thing.

Seems to be working fine for Tap-Out, Hurley, and Monster energy drinks. I hope you realize that no matter how you or I feel about "douches", douches are still a market and still spend their money same as anyone else. You don't want to alienate a demographic over one employee. In this case the fact that the person was a pastor, regardless of being a douche or not, probably would have caused quite a stir in the media and religious communities had Applebees took the side of the employee. It's just business. I would have done the same thing to avoid any heat against my bottom line as well. Personal quests for making points and standing up for things isn't always a bet you want to hedge with your company brand name.

Again, I don't like douches either, but most businesses still don't mind taking their money. Ever been to club on a weekend night?

PS: I keep using the > for quoting line but obviously that's not how it works here, what do you use to markup for quoting someone and indenting it like you did?

thenewgreen  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the 3 of us are having a similar but disjointed conversation: http://hubski.com/pub?id=67557

To quote use this method | quote | but put them up against the word on either side. Hope that helps.

Edit: you should see markup link at top right of comment box

b_b  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm sorry for her that she lost her job, but by posting this receipt she has kindled a very heated debate. I think, in that sense, she did a very good thing. This is an instance of her reporting on a perceived injustice. Maybe you don't agree with this particular gripe, but if everyone stood up to what they see an perceived injustices, then we might have a much livelier debate about what's right and wrong in society. I applaud her for it, independent of what anyone thinks about the rightness or obligatory nature of tipping.

AlderaanDuran  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I applaud her actions too, I'm just trying to point out that she shouldn't be surprised she lost her job for what she did. If her goal was to make a point, well she certainly has made national media attention now and has used it as a place to speak about what she sees as an injustice. I'm all for that part of this story. I just don't see why people are so shocked or dismayed that she was fired.

StephenBuckley  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The firing is part of the injustice. If Applebee's had said "Wow, that is unjust, what the hell" then Applebee's comes out of this on the side of someone fighting a perceived injustice. As it is, much less so. I'd hope that most people would not be swayed by the pastor's argument- I would be surprised, even, if Applebee's hasn't just planted themself squarely against the majority.

thenewgreen  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think that you are projecting your values on to Applebee's, meaning that you're assuming their target demographic are people like you. However, it is far more likely that their target demographic are the type of people that would have more empathy for the pastor in this situation rather than the waitress. Therefore, if we are thinking of the best interest of the organization that we run, the best decision was to fire the girl.

Most people who empathize with the pastor, will see this as if someone that filled out a "comment card" and had that comment card displayed on the Internet for all to see. Most people don't care about details, they care about perception. People want to know that the customer is always right, even when that customer is a D bag. You may read this and say I'm never going back to Applebee's ever again, but then the chances are you were never a big Applebee's fan to begin with. Now if a big Applebee's fan reads this and they think to themselves I can't believe they did that to the poor pastor, and made that privacy thwarting waitress a hero...Then, you've lost a customer.

AlderaanDuran  ·  3175 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wouldn't choose the customer and would back my employee, but when it blows up to national negative media attention I wouldn't choose the customer OR the employee, I'd choose the business. Again, the company might have had her back if this was ONLY about being stiffed, but it was being stiffed and then posting it online for all to mock. Again, that's unprofessional. Sure, have the employees back, take care of that shitty customer... but when she posted it online and everyone got outed publically that kind of goes out the window and it's not just about the tip anymore, it's about an unprofessional employee in addition to a shitty customer.

Again, the customer was a dick and the business should have had the employees back if it was just between them, but she kind of didn't give them a leg to stand on after she posted it online and everyone was eventually found out. That was unprofessional, and not a good way to handle the situation. What kind of message did she send to other customers? "If you eat at our restaurant and we don't like you we will publicly mock you on the internet!"? That's not a good message either.