Unemployment, God, & Applebee’s

applebee tipAn unnamed server at an unnamed restaurant was given this receipt as a tip. Automatic gratuity for parties of 6 or more are standard at this particular restaurant, but the Pastor took great umbrage against the policy, crossed out the tip amount, wrote a huge zero with an obnoxious slash through it in the “additional tip” space, THEN wrote “I give God 10% Why do you get 18?” Well la-di-fucking-dah. The tip was charged on the credit card regardless, but the Pastor clearly wanted to make a statement – and a statement she did make.

Another server, who didn’t wait on the party, took the photo above, shared it online, and it went viral immediately, sparking moral outrage in both Christian and Atheism communities (and everyone in between). Internet sleuths tracked down the Pastor by her signature. Here is a kooky video of her “preaching” at her store front “church”.

Once people found out her church’s name, they alerted her “congregation”. A friend of Pastor Bell’s told her that her name was all over the internet, which prompted Pastor Bell to call Applebee’s to complain. Mind you, no one on the internet knew which restaurant this happened at until this phone call. It’s been reported that she demanded everyone be fired – the server who waited on her, the server who took the photo, and the manager on duty. Applebee’s responded by firing only the server who posted the receipt stating, “Our Guests’ personal information – including their meal check – is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy. This individual is no longer employed by the franchisee.” Applebee’s has posted similar information on their own website, but it was regarding positive feedback.

“My heart is really broken,” Pastor Bell told The Smoking Gun. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.” SO CREATING A NEW UNEMPLOYED WAITRESS IS GOING TO HELP TURN THAT AROUND?!! On Pastor Bell’s website (which was hacked and now appears to have been taken down), she describes herself as a mother who was unemployed and homeless on the street before turning her life over to Christ. I would think she would understand the repercussions of getting someone fired. Here’s a news segment where she is trying to act meek and mild to regain some self respect.

This ordeal is a great example of religious entitlement. People sometimes think they have the moral superiority over someone else because of their relationship with God. God seems cool, and if he exists – great! But, for people to use him as justification for their complete horsecrap never ceases to amaze me. The act of preaching in public is the height of selfishness. If people want to participate in a sermon, they will go to church, or read their Bible, or harvest their unique relationship with God on a one on one basis. Stop making yourself feel like a better person by going out into the world and placing your insecurities in the middle of the public square. Injecting ones religion into someone else’s life, whether it be very adorable Mormon young men who knock at your door uninvited or voting discrimination into law, is weak. If you need others to believe what you believe, then how firm are your own beliefs? Where does your own truth go when you have to convince people of the “truth”? This is why when a subway preacher starts screaming at a trapped audience on a train I sing “Holiday” by Madonna in their face until all the hipsters join in and the preacher shuts up or moves to another train car.

Applebee’s has been dealing with a PR debacle ever since. Whoever heads their social media presence should be fired as well, or at least demoted to server for a few months. The public outcry on their Facebook page has been fascinatingly hilarious to read through. Applebee’s has succeeded in bringing all sorts of people together in outrage over this issue. Christians, non-Christians, gays, straights, all ethnicities etc. Everyone everywhere is raining fire and brimstone down on the corporation, who also recently has cut hours with their staff so they aren’t required to provide health insurance. Nice work, corporate America.

Anyway, this is what I’m mad about this week. Have a great day!

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