G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Gawker links to a story of a pastor who wrote on his receipt “I give God 10% why do you get 18.”
An ex-girlfriend that I used to work with experienced this exact same thing. Exact same wording too. The patron wasn’t a pastor, just a rank-and-file Christian. I’m about as critical of the belief that servers deserve X% of tips just ‘cuz, and I have qualms with automatic gratuity, but the lack of logic here is most disturbing to me.
You “tip” God 10% of your entire income, if you’re a good and hearty Christian. You tip your server 18% of your food and beverage cost, before tax, if you’re in a larger party. One reason for the automatic gratuity on large parties is that the server is putting all of his eggs in one basket. His income for the next hour or two hours or whatever depends on this one large table because that table requires much more attention than small tables. One can quibble with the norm, but if they abscond the tip they are being either cowardly or they are free-riding on other patrons. If you don’t want to tip but want service, admit so up front and accept the service you get. Don’t wait until after the fact after you’ve received service under the cover of tipping norms – thereby free-riding on everyone else.
Plus, here’s a little fact: the Church has probably the worst pass-through rate of any charitable organization. God receives virtually zero percent of those so-called tips. So if you don’t want to tip a certain percentage then just say so, don’t blame it on God.
And I can’t avoid mentioning this wrinkle of the story, especially as one of Gawker’s commenters wrote “I bet that pastor was rich and white and old.
Old, rich, white guys”. I smelled something here so I checked up on it. The server in question wrote on Reddit where he initially posted the receipt:
No. I’ve been receiving requests to verify various internet sleuthing targets and none of them have been correct. It was an older black man who I would not suppose would have a strong internet presence. I appreciate the help, but please don’t threaten, harass, punish, or dox people on a guess. The visible name is fairly common.
What did I smell? Well, in my experience, nearly all complaints about automatic gratuity come from black patrons. One Saturday night about a year ago was especially interesting. Two separate large parties of black patrons on different sides of the restaurant complained about the automatic gratuity and had it removed. I’d never seen that happen in all my years waiting tables. This is racist to say, of course, and I’m a bitter heathen for pointing out these patterns which have a real impact on the incomes of working class people.