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Tips are not optional, they are how waiters get paid in America

Tips are not optional, they are how waiters get paid in America | Chelsea Welch | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

I was a waitress at Applebee's restaurant in Saint Louis. I was fired Wednesday for posting a picture on Reddit.com of a note a customer left on a bill. I posted it on the web as a light-hearted joke.

This didn't even happen at my table. The note was left for another server, who allowed me to take a picture of it at the end of the night.

Someone had scribbled on the receipt, "I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?"

I assumed the customer's signature was illegible, but I quickly started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer. I refused to confirm any of them, and all were incorrect.

I worked with the Reddit 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.

Now I've been fired.

The person who wrote the note came across an article about it, called the Applebee's location, and demanded everyone be fired -- me, the server who allowed me to take the picture, the manager on duty at the time, the manager not on duty at the time, everyone. It seems I was fired not because Applebee's was represented poorly, not because I did anything illegal or against company policy, but because I embarrassed this person.