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Waitress Fired For Complaining About Tip On Facebook

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the adjust-your-tip-status dept.

Idle 49

22-year-old Ashley Johnson lost her job after she complained about a poor tip on Facebook. She felt the $5 tip from a couple who had sat in her section for 3 hours was a joke, and wrote about it on the social networking site. From the article: "Brixx officials told Johnson a couple of days later that she was being fired because she violated a company policy banning workers from speaking disparagingly about customers and casting the restaurant in a bad light on a social network." Silly Ashley, as everyone who has worked in a restaurant can tell you, complaining on Facebook isn't the answer. If you want to get back at bad customers you overcharge them, or put something in their food.

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49 comments

Their is always someone ... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#32255710)

That is stupid enough to forget that they have people from work on their facebook and then gets fired over a post.

Re:Their is always someone ... (1)

shemp42 (1406965) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259592)

Yea people just don't get it. Posting on Facebook is actually worse then just bitching to your friends at the bar after work. What is shocking is that people are actually surprised when they don't get the job or are terminated over something they said on Facebook or twitter or whatever.

Re:Their is always someone ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32262466)

Almost as stupid as using "their" instead of "they're"?

Re:Their is always someone ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32262880)

Which is almost as stupid as "They're" instead of "There". Their is use to indicate a possession They're is abbreviation for "they are" There is a place.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259100)

People shouldn't think that Facebook is a special happy attention place where they can just whine without consequences and be told by their sycophantic friends that they are justified. If social networking needs anything, it's negative feedback for unpleasant behaviour. Back-slapping in echo chambers isn't good for society.

Boohoo (3, Insightful)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260858)

Boohoo. I was in a restaurant for a few hours recently, the waitress forgot our drink order twice (each time taking 15-20 minutes), gave our dinner order to another couple (incidently, it was a sushi place and the couple was ignorant to what they were eating), and then didn't bother to apologize or tell us we would be waiting (thirsty) for another 30 minutes. She was only waiting on 4 other tables. I made it a point to sit at the table till after she picked up the receipt so I could see her face when she looked at the $1 tip on a $90 check.

I was in good company so the wait didn't really bother me. But when the service is bad the tip is how you show it. People feel so entitled to getting money without doing the work to deserve it.

On the reverse side of the coin, when a waitress does well, I don't hesitate to leave 25%...

Re:Boohoo (1)

treff89 (874098) | more than 3 years ago | (#32261380)

Why on earth did you leave her a tip at all?

I realise that there is a difference between America and Australia when it comes to restaurant practices, but I am constantly amazed at just how ingrained the concept of tipping is in your culture, even if people do not deserve it.

Re:Boohoo (2, Informative)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 3 years ago | (#32261706)

Because it is so ingrained. If I left nothing, I would appear like a tourist (I am in Orlando after all). By leaving a single dollar, I believe I sent her a message.

Australia is an entirely different animal, especially in regard to minimum wage (I believe you call it fair-pay). The rate exchange for AUD/USD is something like 1:0.85. And after conversion, your minimum-wage (14.31AUD) is over twice that of the US (7.25USD).

However, this US minimum-wage requirements don't apply to "tipped" employees. They get a special minimum wage of 4.19USD (4.89AUD). And restaurants do not pay waiters/waitresses over minimum...ever.

But you are right, in the recent years even I have become amazed at the gall of some businesses/people. You can find tip jars at fast-food restaurants, coffee shops...I think I even remember seeing one at a gas-station recently. I will reward someone for service if they do a good job, but I refuse to put a single cent in the tip jar of a cashier that handed me a hamburger...and who wasn't even the one to throw the burger patty in the microwave before placing it between two stale peices of bread to warm under a heat lamp for 10 minutes before I even placed the order.

Alright, I'm joking here...the burger was likely under the heat lamp for 30 minutes before I ordered.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 3 years ago | (#32262928)

What's worse about the fast food places is the cashiers get the regular minimum wage while collecting tips.

That being, said I'm from Canada. I don't know when it started, but at some point in time we started tipping at the drive through. Now if you don't what to look like a jerk you have to leave something because everyone else does.

It's only polite, Eh!

Re:Boohoo (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32268138)

Fast food restaurant employees in the US do not, to my knowledge, expect tips. Of course, I think I've been to a fast food restaurant twice in the past year, so maybe I've just never noticed it.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 3 years ago | (#32268376)

I recently drove back from North Carolina, there are places where they have jars or cups marked for tips on the counter.

It's also a common practice in Canada... Except at McDonalds, for some reason they're not allowed to accept tips.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | more than 3 years ago | (#32272388)

McDonalds has their own children's charity that they put out boxes for instead of a "tip" jar. They would rather have your spare change go to that.

You don't get much in tips, trust me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32276674)

> What's worse about the fast food places is the cashiers get the regular minimum wage while collecting tips.

This is because they can't charge you the alternate minimum wage *unless* the people getting tips get enough tips to bring them up to minimum wage. So when you only make $5 worth of tips on a good night, they can't take much out of your pay, because pay + tips has to exceed the normal minimum wage.

I say this as someone who once worked in such a place.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32263348)

Had a friend with a pair of hardened shears that would cut through pennies to leave a ha'penny (My god, I actually used ha'penny in a post) for that special waitress who took 45 minutes to get our first plate at an all you can eat restaurant after taking our orders, and left us without tea or other bevereages for 10-15 minutes at a time. Easy solution, leave a pitcher or two on the table.

She wasn't busy, we were the only group she was waiting on.

On the other hand, I worked in food service in college and can tell the difference between a kitchen screw up and a wait staff screw up. I never hold the wait staff accountable for a kitchen mistake.

And the true definition of chutzpah/balls/gall is charging $5 or more for a cup of coffee and putting out a tip jar. Barrista is to waiter as Sanitation Engineer is to garbageman. I have more respect for the latter.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32268848)

This does tend to be the case, if you leave no tip then "They're a furriner, they must not leave tips in (Insert Country Name here)." or "They must have forgotten to tip me." Usually with much more colorful language involved. However, if you leave a small (way below the 18% "expected" tip) it leaves a message.

One of my friends did something very similar to your dollar, but it was a quarter. Same basic principle, leave a very small tip to get the point across. What a lot of people don't know is that at the end of the night, waitstaff have to report their tips because that $7.25 USD minimum wage does apply to tipped employees in a manner of speaking. For example, lets say they worked 40 hours this week, at 7.25USD they'd make $290, at the 4.19USD special rate they would make 167.60 USD. If they don't make 122.4 USD in tips that week the employer has to make up the difference. So by leaving a very small tip, not only are you telling the waitstaff that they are not performing their job, but you are also making a statement to their employer.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32279098)

Woh woh woh!!!!! 15% is the expected tip. Not 20%, not 18%. It used to be 10%, but since waiters are bad at math, they complained that because of inflation they should be receiving a larger percentage as their tip. They forgot that inflation also means that the bill is going up, so 10% of a bill now is more than 10% of a bill 20 years ago.

Frankly, I'm sick of being expected to help pay employees because their employers are too cheap to give them a decent wage. It bothers me seeing tip boxes appear at more and more places. I'll happily drop my change into a box benefiting a charity, but it's not my job to pay the guy behind the counter.

Re:Boohoo (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | more than 3 years ago | (#32270068)

You can find tip jars at fast-food restaurants, coffee shops...I think I even remember seeing one at a gas-station recently.

Yes, this drives me crazy as well. And generally it's not so much about a "tip" as a place for people to throw coins they don't want to carry.

If I'm at a coffee shop, the only person who might be worthy of a tip might be the barista (if anyone), not the cashier (who sometimes does nothing except hit buttons and give change). But the tip jars are always located by the cash register. Why? They just want people to drop their change in... it has nothing to do with "tipping" in the normal context, since it's difficult to tip on an "service" in that situation.

That said, before tip jars were so common everywhere, I once tried to tip a guy at a fast-food drive-thru. He was incredibly pleasant and polite, apologized that it was taking an extra minute for the order, chatted with me a bit, etc. But he wouldn't take the tip, saying it was just his job. I wish more people had his attitude (though I do realize that fast food is generally a crap job to have).

By the way, people used to tip at gas stations, though generally for "full-service." Today, "full-service" means they pump your gas, but they used to clean windshields, check oil, etc. On the rare occasion when someone does something like that at a full-service station, I generally give him a tip.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32276664)

However, this US minimum-wage requirements don't apply to "tipped" employees. They get a special minimum wage of 4.19USD (4.89AUD). And restaurants do not pay waiters/waitresses over minimum...ever.

That is bullshit, and I hear this lie repeated often in discussions about tipping. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. [dol.gov] This means that all tipped employees in the US receive at least the Federal minimum wage, or their employers are breaking the law.

Re:Boohoo (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#32279620)

"By leaving a single dollar, I believe I sent her a message."

Yes, the message is 'I'm a boob.' Proper tip etiquette is to leave nothing if the service was poor. Period. Not leaving a tip is touristy? Since when??? If you get poor restaurant service leave nothing, that's message enough.

Re:Boohoo (1)

MadMatr07 (1278450) | more than 3 years ago | (#32263738)

Quite simply there's two parts to fix. If you are gonna stop tipping then waiters/waitresses need to get paid a fair wage. Also, it's kind of like a performance based thing. For instance, you have two people waiting tables. One does an amazing job and one is slacking and being rude to the customers. It is pretty much impossible for a manager to focus their attention on the waitstaff when running a restaurant. So, tipping is a good incentive for the waitstaff not to be pleasant and timely with the customers. p.s. Trust me, the deserving get the bigger tips and the non-deserving don't. It's your choice.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#32267594)

Why on earth did you leave her a tip at all?

If you don't leave a tip, the waitress might think you forgot, or maybe that you left cash on the table for her and someone else swiped it. Leaving a tiny tip says, "yes, I remembered - you just don't deserve more than this."

I'm a great tipper, to the point that the wait staff at a certain local restaurant argues about who gets my wife and me. I've seen a fist-pump and "YES!" when the winner didn't know we were watching. I'm willing and ready to leave a $0.04 tip when appropriate, though.

Re:Boohoo (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32268110)

Tipping in restaurants is traditional in America to the point where waitstaff actually make a significant portion (even the majority) of their income from the tips. The minimum wage for waitstaff who get tips in the US is set significantly lower than the minimum wage for the rest of the working population.

Leaving a very tiny tip (a penny is more traditional than a dollar) shows that you didn't forget about the tip, but you put some thought into choosing an amount that really expressed your feelings on the quality of the service.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32269920)

Minimum wage is 7.25
Minimum wage for waitstaff is 2.13
70% minimum, of a waiters income comes from tips.

The tips must be recorded for both tax purposes, and to ensure that tips+wage are equal to or greater than 7.25, or the restaurant must make up the difference. Restaurants will fire any staff that cant consistently make up this difference because they are either a) trying to scam the IRS and restaurant or b) bad at their job

Re:Boohoo (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#32276436)

People have pointed out how the minimum wage is especially low for tippable employees. Well, there's also the fact that it's not just the server. The cooks, bartender, and house might all get a cut of the tip. Depending on the exact splitting rules, a person can actually make negative money to wait on your table if you're stingy like that.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32279280)

Well, good. If they're a bad waiter and they make negative money waiting on tables, they'll either quickly shape up or quit and pick a different line of work.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32280944)

you leave a very small tip so they don't think "Oh he just forgot to tip you"

I did this at a Ruby Tuesday's once when the guy took over a hour to TAKE our drink order, then took another 45 minutes to bring out our drinks, then another hour or longer before we ate our COLD burgers. This waiter had to know no tip was headed his way or something; I left $0.02 and I normally tip around 20%

Needless to say, I will never go back to another Ruby Tuesdays even if they pay for my meal.

Oh and the only reason I didn't stay and complain was because we needed to head home (3.5 hours away) -- visiting parents that day.

Re:Boohoo (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32263010)

the $1 tip on a $90 check.

That's about $2 too much.
You're not obliged to pay what they put on the bill - the bill is just a starting point for negotiation with the business. As long as you don't *leave* until the negotiation has come to a mutually acceptable end.

The manager is quite likely to accept the $89 offered - he really doesn't want to be negotiating with a clearly disgruntled customer in front of all the other customers.

What happens to the waitress is her lookout. If for some reason you feel guilty, you can always donate the missing dollar to the business so that there are no ground for her to get the sack that night.

One of my friends (who works in sales) has the aphorism that "there is no good advert as good as a satisfied customer," and then backs it up with "but there is no bad advert like a dissatisfied customer". Many people forget about the second half.

Re:Boohoo (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32267920)

Paying short and getting my waitress sacked for "stealing" is pretty low.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32269334)

Paying short doesn't get the waitress fired for stealing, it comes out of their paycheck. So, when people do a Chew&Screw for 60 bucks, you basically stole 60 bucks from the waitress, not the restaurant.

Least, thats the way it works in Canada.

Re:Boohoo (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | more than 3 years ago | (#32269882)

Paying short and getting my waitress sacked for "stealing" is pretty low.

That's not what GP was suggesting. See this:

As long as you don't *leave* until the negotiation has come to a mutually acceptable end.

In other words, he was suggesting that you complain and say you didn't get acceptable service, and therefore you think you shouldn't have to pay full price... and if the manager has to get involved, so be it.

I've eaten at restaurants a few times where I've had things go really wrong, but waitstaff or managers make up for it. For example, once I was having drinks with some people, and it turned into dinner. We all started ordering stuff, but for some reason the waitress forgot my order. She brought out the orders one or two at a time, and I thought I was just the last to be served... except she never came back.

After about 5 minutes, we finally flagged her down, and she said she'd check on it. Ten minutes later, we flagged her down again, and she said she'd go look into it right then... and discovered that it had never been placed. I finally received my food another 20 minutes later... after all my friends were done eating.

In this case, the waitress brought the manager over, who apologized for the situation, and gave me the meal for free AND a free drink.

Similar things have happened to me on a couple other occasions. When something goes really wrong as a waiter/waitress, the right thing to do is to fess up and keep the customer happy. It's better for you to tell the manager the problem and let him comp the meal (even if it costs you) than to wait for the customer to complain after getting the bill. As long as such a thing doesn't happen a lot, the manager probably won't fire you.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#32276472)

No, that's exactly what the GP was suggesting:

"What happens to the waitress is her lookout. If for some reason you feel guilty, you can always donate the missing dollar to the business so that there are no ground for her to get the sack that night."

Re:Boohoo (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32277286)

No, that's exactly what the GP was suggesting:

No, that's exactly what you're reading into what I wrote, not what I was meaning.
I was, of course, assuming that you were writing the value of the "tip" into the space for it on the bill, which is the norm here. Whether it's the norm in your country, and whether your tax authorities allow the waitresses (tipped staff in general) so much leeway to dodge tax, I don't know. Different taxmen, different regulations.
So, what the waitress puts in the till is (in precís) :
Bill
====
Meal (blah + blah + blah)
Sub-total....$90
Tip..........-$1
Total........$89
(Along, of course, with $89).
If the waitress does that, then the till will balance and there's no grounds at all for suggesting that she's stolen a thing ; which she hasn't. Of course, he (gender switch - and why not? Don't you get fed up with women being the ones fucked into waitressing?) also knows that at least one of his customers has felt so shit about the service that the manager is going to know about it. But he probably knew about that already. If he didn't know that, and didn't even read the bill, then he/she/it/they really do need a wake-up call.
This then leaves the customer who has no beef with the food, décor, etc the option to voluntarily donate the "missing" dollar to the restaurant, ensuring that the target of their ire is the only one left out of pocket.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#32276464)

Making somebody pay for the honour of serving you is dickish, even if they did a poor job. It's not "her lookout" anymore if you're deliberately taking from her to prove your point. If you pull a stunt like this, you better have been physically hurt by the server.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32267654)

incidently, it was a sushi place and the couple was ignorant to what they were eating

Ignorant plebs. That's what they get for not ordering in Japanese, or better yet, Klingon.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32275348)

You're aware that waiters are grossly underpaid, yet you proudly talk about how you stiffed a waiter for poor service? Seriously, if the service sucks, go complain to the manger, get the person reprimanded/fired. But under tipping just makes you look cheap. You should also know that many restaurants collect all the tips and evenly distributes the results to the waiters. So yea, you punished the waitress, good for you; there's a good chance you also fucked with all the others servers there. And to keeps things a bit on topic, automatically assuming the facebook waitress deserves the small tip just so you can rant? Yea, you just come off as a dick.

Re:Boohoo (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 3 years ago | (#32275432)

If I just wanted to rant, I would have remained an "Anonymous Coward." ... A little like you.

But I will take my licks. I am a cheap dick for letting the waitress know what I thought of her service by using the instrument of payment (ie tipping), which is designed to illicit quality service, in a way that let her know just how valuable I thought her service was. Am I getting your point correctly?

Re:Boohoo (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#32276518)

*elicit*. Illicit means something different and is ironically apropos.

You're a cheap dick for the part where you waited to watch her face as you passive-aggressively punished her. And probably the waitress and management will write you off as a cheap dick for a stunt like that, rather than effect real change.

Re:Boohoo (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 3 years ago | (#32276978)

meh. Rather than of effected change, I hope my actions affected that individual.

I thought we already established that I am cheap dick, that you should always tip 15% and then go cry directly to the manager like a whiny little bitch. Or, maybe I should of left the dollar and ran out the door with my tail between my legs because I didn't have the conviction to stand behind my actions.

Re:Boohoo (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#32281080)

Were you Cheap? Not IMO. Poor service gets a small tip. Were you a jerk about it? Somewhat.

If you really wanted to effect change in restaurant service, you would have left an itemized list of the things which the server handled poorly. Sometimes things like kitchen mishaps affect the timely arrival of your food (though in your case, I don't see how that could have been the case)

If the server is new, they might not know specifically what they need to improve. In any case, a list of Poor Service examples helps both your server and their employer get it right next time.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32283338)

Oh please, tell me you don't seriously ascribe to the view that posting with a pseudonym is a sign of "bravery." Especially in the Idle section.

My point was you might've punished the entire waiting staff which is a dickish move unless you know the tipping policies of that restaurant, and that there were better ways to get your complaint across which gknoy did a good job explaining. Strange how you automatically consider giving verbal feedback as whining like a bitch. You CAN still skimp on tips if the management is also a dick y'know?

At least in Japan, you don't have to tip (1)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 3 years ago | (#32272844)

One things that's cool about being in Japan is you don't have to tip. Of course, there's a downside. Even when a restaurant makes a mistake, you will *NEVER* get comped. This was about 10 years ago, but I was eating and a cockroach appeared on the table. No joke. The waitress was mortified and came over and immediately killed the roach and cleaned the table. I then had to pay full price for my meal. Hello? A roach shows up on the table and I still pay? They should have paid ME! Other than that, you don't have to tip here. Kinda nice.

Re:At least in Japan, you don't have to tip (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32275890)

You've been living abroad for ten years and yet you *still* expect the host culture to imitate the one that you left? Let me guess, you don't speak Japanese despite living there for so long...I know the type...

Re:At least in Japan, you don't have to tip (1)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 3 years ago | (#32275910)

Actually, I not only speak the language, I have a degree in it. :) Relax man, I meant it tongue in cheek.

Re:At least in Japan, you don't have to tip (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32275940)

Sorry. In my experience, foreigners who use Japanese names on English sites tend to be the worst sort of douchebag.

Re:At least in Japan, you don't have to tip (1)

kuriharu (756937) | more than 3 years ago | (#32276056)

Hey, I didn't claim I wasn't a douchebag. :) I know what you mean, though. I used to bitch and moan about being here a long time ago. Got over it. I guess I grew up.

Pay a little more per plate, have a better experie (1)

bradcb212 (1141199) | more than 3 years ago | (#32275240)

That's one reason I like to eat out at fancier restaurants. Yes it costs more, but the wait service pays a lot more attention to you, the food is generally better, and god forbid if a mistake is made you'll be taken care of. For instance, in a local chain tex-mex place (and tex-mex is never THAT fancy), my girlfriend and I discovered a rubber band in our salsa. We didn't want to make a big deal out of it, and weren't all that grossed out (hey, I'd rather find that than hair). We just wanted a new bowl of salsa. Anyways, we discreetly motion to the waiter and whisper to him about the rubber band. He takes the evidence away and his manager returns. They went into the kitchen to try to figure out where the item came from, turns out it's the rubber bands that hold the stalks of cilantro together. He comes back, explains this to us, then immediately comps our entire check. We tried to talk him out of it (not that big of deal, we're not super squeamish or anything), but he wouldn't listen. We walked away very happy customers, and left like a $20 tip for dinner/drinks that would've been $50-$60. Another instance at an awesome, yet surprisingly cheap, steakhouse in Seattle (USDA Prime corn-fed beef from Nebraska, dry-aged for 28 days), a waitress walked by and dropped a cup of horseradish on the floor. A little bit of it landed on my shoulder but I didn't even notice. At some point later she saw this and offered my girlfriend and I a free round of drinks. It wasn't even that nice of shirt! Again, I told her it wasn't a big deal, but she did it anyways. I would go out more if my meals were cheaper, but I'd rather go out less and have a better experience.

Are tips mandatory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32311488)

Are tips in USA mandatory? Is there a law or is it simply a very widely accepted thing? I do not see why:
1) I should give a waiter more money other than what he gets from his employer
2) If I must, why it has to be a linear function of the price of the food? The waiter does not make more effort if I choose the most expensive item on the list
3) Are tips taxed? If I must, at least I would like the state not to get part of that money

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