Open Post: Hosted By A 0% Tip From Pastor Bell
Chelsea Welch of St. Louis, Missouri is out of a job today after Applebee's pink-slipped her and gave her a one way ticket to the unemployment office for going on Reddit and posting a note on a credit card receipt from a pastor who left a server a not-so-Christian message instead of a tip. Pastor Alois Bell of The Truth of the World Ministries church crossed out the automatic 18% tip for parties of 8 or more and wrote: "I Give God 10% Why Do You Get 18." Somewhere God is wondering where his 10% is, because his PayPal account is empty and he knows those Sunday morning donuts and cups of coffee weren't donated from Dunkin' Donut and he knows they didn't pay for themselves.
Chelsea tells The Consumerist that she wasn't even the one who served Pastor Bell at Applebee's on January 25th. The server showed Chelsea the receipt and she thought it was funny so she took a picture of it and posted it on Reddit for laughs. The server claims that Pastor Bell and her party of 20 didn't have a problem with the service and didn't complain once during the entire meal. But when it came time to get the check, Pastor Bell tried to work around the whole "18% tip for parties of 8 or more" rule by asking for separate checks even though she's the one who was going to pay each check. It's a shady, shady move, but my abuelita approves! Pastor Bell's shady move didn't work and an 18% gratuity was still added to each check. The server said the computer automatically did it.
When Pastor Bell and her party paid up and left, the server found the bitchy note waiting for them. After the served showed it to Chelsea, she posted it on Reddit with Pastor Bell's signature in full view. Chelsea said that she didn't block out the pastor's signature, because she didn't think anybody would be able to make it out. The receipt went viral in a quick minute and ended up on Yahoo!. That's when Pastor Bell found out about it, called Applebee's and demanded that not only Chelsea get fired, but she also asked for the heads of every single person who works at that location. Pastor Bell wanted all of them fired.
Applebee's didn't clean house for Pastor Bell, but they did tell Chelsea to get the fuck out, because they say she violated policy by sharing a customer's private information. Chelsea says that she looked in the policy book and as far as she knows, she did nothing wrong. After a bunch of people jumped on Applebee's Facebook page and demanded that Chelsea get her job back, they said this:
"Our Guests’ personal information – including their meal check – is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy. This individual is no longer employed by the franchisee."
Pastor Bell wah-wah-wah-ed to The Smoking Gun and said that it was a "lapse in judgement" and this whole mess has "brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.” Pastor Bell says that she left a $6 cash tip and that Applebee's charged the 18% to her credit card anyway. Chelsea isn't moved:
“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.”
WWJCS: What would Jesus Christ say? Or What would Joan Collins say, depending on what your religion is.
Posting a customer's receipt on Reddit maybe isn't the smartest thing to do, but getting fired over it? Isn't waiting on non-tippers at Applebee's punishment enough? And you know, this makes me feel not so bad about the time my abuelita dragged me to church and when the donation basket came around, I put in $5 and took four ones. No, I didn't do that. Okay yes, I did.