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Old 01-31-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
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The Applebee's Sh*tstorm. Employee fired for posting insulting receipt.

TLDR:
Pastor tips $0 @ Applebee's, with insulting remark
One of the waitresses takes pic of the receipt and posts it to Reddit
Internet Hate Machine figures out who the Pastor is
Pastor gets wind that she's gone viral, and contacts applebee's to get everyone fired
The waitress that posted the receipt is fired.
Internet shit storm ensues.


Quote:
Source:Waitress Who Posted No-Tip Receipt From “Pastor” Customer Fired From Job
Earlier this week, we posted a story about a restaurant customer who not only chose to deny the waitress a tip, but also wrote “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18?” on the receipt. Now we’ve learned that the server who posted the receipt online has been fired.
“I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke,” says Chelsea, who was dismissed from her job at Applebee’s on Wednesday, as the story began to spread across the Internet. “I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical. I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”
Chelsea tells Consumerist that the receipt was actually not even for her table. Rather, the server on the receiving end of the note showed it to Chelsea, who snapped a photo of it later that night.
As posted originally on Reddit’s Atheist page, the image contained the customer’s full signature. Chelsea says she didn’t think to edit that out because she had assumed the name was illegible.
But the Internet is a remarkably curious place, so sleuths began trying to identify the self-described “pastor” on the receipt.
“All throughout the comment thread on the Reddit post, I withheld any identifying information,” Chelsea explains, adding that she provided an inaccurate physical description of the customer just to throw people off.
She eventually replaced the image with a version that did not contain the signature, but by that point, people were posting their guesses as to the customer’s identity.
“I had already started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and blogs and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer,” she says. “I refused to confirm any of them, and all of them were incorrect. I worked with the website moderators to remove any personal information. I wanted to protect the identity of both my fellow server and the customer. I had no intention of starting a witch hunt or hurting anyone — I just wanted to share a picture I found interesting.”
Her post immediately became popular on Reddit, and then multiple national news sources began picking up Consumerist’s write-up of the story.
Some time on Wednesday, Chelsea says the customer who had left the receipt contacted her Applebee’s location, demanding that everyone be fired, from the servers involved to the managers.
According to Chelsea, until the receipt story got out there, her time at Applebee’s had been without incident.
“I had been well-liked and respected,” she explains. “My sales were high, my managers had no problems with me, and I was even hoping to move up to management sometime this year.
“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light,” she continues. “In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. 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.”
For someone who makes their living off of tips, it seems like the customer’s note was salt in the wound for Chelsea.
“We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make,” she explains. “After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9/hr on average, before taxes.
In her job, Chelsea says she skipped bathroom breaks when things got busy, went hungry when she had to work several tables at a time, would work until 1:30 a.m. and then come back in at 10:30 a.m.
“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.”
Chelsea agrees with those who argue in favor of a payment system that doesn’t make restaurant servers reliant on tips.
“But the system being flawed is not an excuse for not paying for services rendered,” she adds. “I posted a picture to make people laugh — but now I want to make a serious point. Things like this happen to servers all the time. I’ve had worse tips just in the last month. People seem to think that the easiest way to save money on a night out is to skip the tip. But when you don’t tip a good server, that means that server might move on to a better job. And a worse server might take their place. When you tip a good server well, you are ensuring good service.”
As for the customer’s claim that they “give God 10%,” Chelsea says she’s “utterly baffled” at why someone would try to make a connection between tithing to one’s church and tipping at a restaurant.
“I’ve been stiffed on tips before,” she says, “but this is the first time I’ve seen the Big Man has been used as reasoning.”
“I can understand why someone could be upset with an automatic gratuity,” she admits. The customer’s bill had included an automatic tip of 18% because, according to Chelsea, it had been part of a table of 20. “It’s a plainly stated Applebee’s policy, and it is company policy for parties over eight. I cannot control the auto-gratuity at all; it’s done by the computer that the orders are put into, and the gratuity is not determined by the bill, but by the size of the party.”
Chelsea says that the customer told her manager that their reputation had been ruined by having the receipt posted on Reddit.
“If this person wrote the note, obviously they wanted it seen by someone,” she points out. “It’s strange to me that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is now ashamed.”
Even though she’s now without a job, Chelsea claims she has no agenda, nor does she have any interest in exposing the customer’s identity to the public.
“I was just trying to make a joke, but I came home today unemployed.”
So, for now it’s back to the job market to look for a new gig. Chelsea says she’s been waiting tables to save money so she could pay for college.
“In the meantime, hopefully I can find a job that pays more than $3.50/hr,” she tells Consumerist, “Or where people are willing to tip well.”
We are reaching out to Applebee’s for comment and will update if we receive a reply.
UPDATE: The folks at The Smoking Gun have interviewed the pastor who left the receipt.
“My heart is really broken,” she tells the site. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
The pastor claims that though she scratched out the automatic gratuity on the bill, she left a $6 cash tip at the table. She also alleges that the restaurant charged her the 18% tip anyway.

Quote:
Source: Pastor Apologizes For Snide Remark On Meal Receipt | The Smoking Gun
-The St. Louis pastor responsible for the credit card receipt heard ‘round the Internet termed her snide scribblings a “lapse in my character and judgment,” adding that the Applebee’s employee who posted the receipt online was fired yesterday after she lodged a complaint with restaurant managers.

In a TSG interview, Alois Bell said that the online firestorm created by the receipt has left her stunned. “My heart is really broken,” said the 37-year-old Bell. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

The Applebee’s receipt, which was posted earlier this week to Reddit, includes Bell’s handwritten notations referring to an 18 percent tip added to the bill (for groups larger than six). “I give God 10% why do you get 18,” wrote Bell, who scratched out the tip and added a zero in its place. She also wrote the word “Pastor” above her signature.

The January 25 meal came after an evening service at the Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries church, said Bell, who added that five adults and five children were in the group that dined at Applebee’s (a traditional post-service destination for church members). The subsequent bill was divided up amongst the parties.

Bell, seen above, said her notation on the receipt was a “lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion.” Despite scratching out the tip added to the bill, Bell claimed that she left a $6 tip in cash, adding that she subsequently discovered the 18 percent gratuity had been charged to her credit card.

Bell said she learned yesterday that a copy of the receipt was online when a friend called to say she was “all over Yahoo. You went viral!” In response, she called the Applebee’s to complain about the dissemination of her receipt, which includes her easy-to-read signature.

In a follow-up conversation with an Applebee’s manager, Bell said she was told that the waitress was immediately terminated.

According to The Consumerist, the receipt was not uploaded to Reddit by the Applebee’s worker who waited on Bell’s party. Instead, the server showed it to waitress Chelsea Welch, who photographed the receipt and later shared it online. Welch told The Consumerist she was fired yesterday. In a statement, Applebee’s spokesperson Dan Smith reported that, “Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest” for violating the patron’s “right to privacy.” The individual responsible for the leak “is no longer employed by the franchise,” Smith added.

A mother of three, Bell heads a 15-member church that rents a storefront space. Bell said she has a separate full-time job--which she declined to describe--and tithes 10 percent of her earnings to the church.

According to her biography, Bell “gave her life to Christ in 1997 while she was pregnant and homeless with her youngest son.” Living at the time in a Catholic homeless shelter, Bell recalled that she was laying in her bed one afternoon when “the Lord touched her heart and she invited him in.”
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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I'm happy that Pastor was found out because that was a joke what she put on the receipt.... People should now protest in front of the church for her evil doings for getting the server fired!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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stupid pastors and stupid employees make the internet fun
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:03 PM   #4
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Welcome to America, where you can push the blame of your personal jackassery onto something else (in this case, religion)
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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I should go that church the pastor "works" at.. when he asks for a donation I should say "Why does God need money?"

Then if he says anything bad, complain to his boss saying he insulted me, and get him fired.

TL;DR: Pastor = Cheap Asshole.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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I'm happy that Pastor was found out because that was a joke what she put on the receipt.... People should now protest in front of the church for her evil doings for getting the server fired!!
You would think, as a Pastor, they would be the first to forgive others and just let it go.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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The pastor is a woman. And surely not a Christian, just pretends to be.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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What the pastor did was unnecessary but 18% gratuity at applebee's is kind of ridiculous too. So is paying your employees $3.50 and not hesitating to throw them under the bus.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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I didnt even know there were female pastors..
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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Oh Applebee's...
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:14 PM   #11
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The pastor just needs to get laid.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:34 PM   #12
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Applebee's has the shittiest food.

I give no fucks.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:37 PM   #13
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Applebee's has the shittiest food.

I give no fucks.
thats why the Poco one closed down
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #14
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:09 PM   #16
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The pastor is a woman. And surely not a Christian, just pretends to be.
because shes catholic and not Christian...
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:27 PM   #17
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18%?! At Applebees?! lol I'd tell them to go fuck themselves
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:43 PM   #18
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because shes catholic and not Christian...


Christian is those who believe Jesus was Christ and savior.
Catholics are Christians.
You're probably thinking Protestant.


I'm a Christian.
I have to hang my head in shame everyday.

From humanity.

And from other Christians.


Who's to say that I'm any better though?
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:48 PM   #19
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I'd just like to clarify that It's the love of money that's the root of all kinds of evil.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:50 PM   #20
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If I was Applebees, I'd fire her too.

Now, if you want to pass that around the break room and laugh your ass off, go nuts. But do NOT post that shit on the internet with my company name on it.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:19 PM   #21
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I wouldn't fire her. Especially if it's something on Reddit. Streissand effect and all that.

Just post up "from now on it has been clarified that you may not..." &c &c. Sure, you take flak from a single customer, but you don't have the Internets shitting on your front door.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:20 PM   #22
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A good restaurant/chef/manager knows when to stick up for their employees when their patron/client is being a massive cock.

Boy they really blew this one.

Their facebook page is taking a pretty nasty hit.
Too scared to search for #applebees
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #23
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Their ministry website is getting owned.

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:55 PM   #24
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It's a 15-member ministry.


...kind of makes you wonder.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:10 PM   #25
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Elaborate Graeme, I have no idea about churches & ministries and how they operate. (Did you mean, 15 of them went to Applebees and ordered 2 appies and a bunch of hot water with lemon?) And sat in the restaurant for 3 hours talking about God? lol, this happens a lot on Sunday I bet.

I do agree that they shat the bed on firing her. Too many people take actions that were once the smart thing to do, now? With social media, you better think twice about your actions and the consequences.

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