God Hates Tips?


Via Yahoo News & The Consumerist:

A man claiming to be a pastor apparently tried to stiff a waiter on a tip, explaining that his work for God absolved him of having to leave one.
A photo of the receipt, posted to Reddit.com, shows a bill for $34.93 with an automatic 18 percent gratuity (or $6.29) added above a blank space for an additional tip.
“I give God 10%,” the diner wrote on the receipt, scratching out the automatic tip. “Why do you get 18?” He then wrote “Pastor” above his signature, and an emphatic “0” where the additional tip would be.

So, I know religion has been used to justify all sorts of things, but this may be a first for why someone is stingy. It’s also quite the reversal to the Prosperity Gospel, it seems.

On the other hand, the person who made out this payment is probably not the brightest bulb in the drawer. As noted in the news story, “[t]he automatic gratuity, however, had already been added to the total.”

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5 thoughts on “God Hates Tips?

  1. I am married to a church leader, and we always tithe ten percent of our income to the church. I also make damn sure that we tip 15-20% for decent service (more if our Olive Garden waitress to-gos us a pack of breadsticks). When my father-in-law takes us to dinner and picks up the tab, he only tips 10% with that same reasoning: “Why should I give God ten and the server fifteen?” Well, I’ll tell you–because the Bible says to tithe ten, and the rules of civilzed society dictate fifteen as the minimum when dining out. I am inevitably left to locate the server on the DL and pass him a five spot, usually on a fake bathroom visit. So your “pastor” customer was an idiot.

    • Hmm, interesting to hear that this is more common than I thought. But thank you for tipping your server. I have not had this job, but my mother did some time ago. And since servers are paid less than minimum wage, they depend on those tips just to make a living. It may be worth reminding your father-in-law that their server is depending on 15% just to get over the poverty line.

  2. Why doesn’t the restaurant pay the staff minimum wage? Isn’t that illegal? I thought a tip was voluntary? I also doubt the whole 18% goes to the staff member when it is put added on the bill like this. I am of the opinion that a tip is for good service and not automatic. I would agree with the Pastor on this if it wasn’t for the fact that he gives his money to imaginary people who don’t need money anyway.

    • Indeed, the waitress/waiter will be getting paid less that minimum wage directly. In a follow-up to this story, the person that posted the receipt online said they got $3.50 an hour. Why is this legal? My understanding is that it is allowed given the idea that tips will move their payment over the minimum amount. That cuts costs for the restaurant; depending on tips would also (in theory) make the person serving you want to provide excellent service. I don’t know if that is a good idea, but that is the current system, and it is legal.

      So, unless your server is doing poorly, you should tip them; that money is also pooled and split among all servers, so when you tip poorly, you are hurting all the servers. Fair? Arguably not, but that is how it is.

  3. A couple of things. The pastor is a woman. Her church has fifteen members, so I have no idea what giving 10% of her income to the church means. It sounds like a bookkeeping gimmick. The waitress who posted the picture wasn’t the same one who waited on her and she was fired after the pastor vociferously complained.

    The press says she apologized, but if you read the articles, she says she’s heartbroken that embarrassed herself and her church. She says nothing about the waitress. Oh, and she’s upset that it was blown out of proportion. Poor her.

    As to servers not getting paid minimum wage. That’s the result of a number of law changes stating in the Reagan years that have screwed food servers more and more. The first change was that servers, bar tenders and such are assumed to make tips and pay federal taxes on their actual pay plus 8%. Next came laws that allowed employers to assume they get much more in tips than that and to reduce they wage so that they only take home the equivalent of minimum wage. How much varies according to state law and many states force the employers to pay the state minimum wage. Starting in Bush I years, there have been many proposals from Republicans to create a sub-minimum category for fast food workers and those too young to vote. The rules have varied from proposal to proposal, but they all involve screwing workers at the bottom of the food chain.

    But if that’s the price the employees have to pay for not having union thugs push them around, then that’s a price their employers are willing to pay.

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