There was a time when I didn’t know any better and seldom if ever tipped my waiter at a restaurant. Part of the reason was because my own resources when younger were significantly limited, especially compared to incomes I earned as I got older. But I also asked myself why I should increase a person’s wages who already made what I thought was a normal salary for doing something they are already being paid to do. I still apply this logical thinking today as it relates to our federal and state subsidies to profitable oil companies that enables them to do something they’re supposed to be using those massive profits for. But I digress.
It was only later in life when I came to learn that wait people at restaurants and other similar jobs make less than minimum wage, significantly less in a lot of cases and rely primarily on tips from customers to make an income that will pay for their rent, food and clothing. So today I automatically take this situation into account when eating out and factor in a 15% gratuity to my bill and up to 20% if the service is exceptional.
Now I suspect there are still plenty of people out there today that look at tips similar to the way I did when I was poorer and younger. I can empathize with the poorer part though I would hope that knowledge about what wait staff make these days is more commonly understood and if these people do decide to eat at a sit-down restaurant and are waited on for their meal, they do so with the understanding that a tip will be part of their final bill.
Anyone who doesn’t get this is not only a cheap skate but an insensitive lout towards people whose income relies upon tips in order to survive in today’s economy. So you can imagine my surprise as well as my disgust upon discovering someone who most people expect to be a role model for human kindness in society not only fails to tip their waiter but justifies it by making a comparison between this low-income wage earner and God.
A pastor’s note on a restaurant bill has unleashed an unholy outcry on Reddit. A snapshot shared by an apparently stiffed server shows the gratuity scratched out and a big “0” written in its place. “I give God 10% Why do you get 18” the diner scrawled on the $34.93 receipt, adding the word “Pastor” above his signature. SOURCE
Now this waiter may hardly be starving or struggling to make ends meet but as I indicated earlier, anyone who has worked in a restaurant or knows someone who has, knows that waiters make less than minimum wage. It would have been one thing to forego a tip if the service had been lousy but clearly this wasn’t the reason this “man of God” gave. No, he had to invoke the most High and compare his waiter to someone who supposedly paves their roads with gold
Somehow this pastor feels that the Creator of heaven and earth, who’s supposed to be capable of giving “sunlight to both the evil and the good, and … sends rain on the just and the unjust alike”, needs 10% of this or any man’s earnings. We all know that anyone who can make the resources we humans value by simply willing it doesn’t need 10% of what we have taken, rightfully or not, from this creator of universes.
When pastors refer to tithing and other donations as “giving to God”, we all know that this is merely semantics to thinly conceal where it really goes. It is in fact partly the necessary revenue for the pastors services who congregations engage to serve them. You could probably even stretch this to say this is their way of tipping the pastor for services rendered, no?
What stumps me most about this entire episode I think is the fact that someone so vulnerable to criticism for withholding a waiter’s tip would make it known to that person – and now, as a result, to the entire universe – that his station in life is one that most people would least expect such miserly behavior from.
The individual who actually posted this story on their Reddit account said “the man’s party of 20 ran up a big tab but asked for separate checks, ‘thinking it would get them out’ of the automatic 18 percent gratuity for large groups, ‘even though the same man paid for everything.’” It’s not clear then if someone other than the pastor paid for everyone’s meal or each had to pay for their own.
What is clear is that the good reverend justified giving nothing at all based on the assumption that he pays the King of the Heavenly Host 10% of his wages. Wages, mind you, that essentially come from the tithing and generous giving of church members. For someone whose income depends almost exclusively on the giving of others you would think he would reciprocate such generosity.
Way to lead by example padre.