Working in the food service industry is hard enough as it is.
Day after day you have to put up with rude customers, busting your behind to keep up with the mountain of work, and all for a relatively small paycheck. That’s not to mention the fact that you’ve got to have a smile plastered on your face at all times.
If things are that difficult on a standard day of work, even minor issues can upset even the most strong-willed and professional of wait staff. The one thing you can depend on is the fact that you can switch off to any part of your personal life, forget who you are for a few hours and focus on getting the job done well.
Unfortunately, some customers won’t deal with whoever is waiting on them with the same level of professionalism and geniality. Some can tip a low amount, which is a harsher blow than you would think for someone on minimum wage. And in some cases, they don’t tip at all.
While the idea of how much you have to tip is still contested, with a lot of people tipping the same each time just to have an easy life, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that good service deserves a tip. But it seems that for some people, it doesn’t matter how well their meal goes, as long as they have their own bigoted reason for refusing to tip.
Samantha Heaton, a 20-year-old waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockford, Illinois, was working a shift that seemed to be running smoothly. She served a family, sticking to her training and having what she believed was a fairly cordial exchange with the two parents.
But when the family left and she went to retrieve the credit card receipt they had signed, she noticed that she hadn’t received a tip. It wasn’t the lack of tip that upset her, what was added to the bill. Written on the receipt were the words: “Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus! Bad tattoo”.
What upset the customers was the fact that on Samantha’s arm is a rainbow tattoo in support of LGBTQ+ rights. You would think that in this day and age this wouldn’t be a problem, but for them it was enough to not tip at all, despite having no complaints about the service.
Samantha said that she had noticed the couple glance at her tattoo, but nothing about religion nor sexuality had ever come up in conversation. Had they brought it up, Samantha would have told them she is both openly gay and a devout Christian, both of which have nothing to do with her job.
“For them to leave that (note) kind of hurt,” she told the Inquistr, “I have bills to pay too.” She took a photo and sent it to her friend Emily, who posted it on Twitter, a tweet which now has nearly 20,000 retweets and nearly 50,000 likes.
But the thing that upset Samantha the most was the fact that they were accompanied by their children, who were both very young. “The kids are going to be under the impression that it will be OK to discriminate,” Heaton said, and asked: “What if one day their kids grow up and want to be with the same sex, are they going to disown them? Throw them on the street?”
Both Samantha and Emily received a warm response from others on Twitter, with some even offering to send them money to make up for the tip lost.
Emily replied online to say that neither want money from the publicity they were getting, and any money sent to them will be donated to a worthy cause. “Someone asked me the other day if I would go back in time and get the same tattoo and I said, ‘No I would get it bigger,'” Samantha joked.
While moments like this can cause us to wonder what is wrong with people, there are some instances that do just the opposite – like the time this celebrity tipped waitstaff $2,000 at Waffle House.