A waitress at a St. Louis Applebee’s lost her job for posting online the receipt upon which a pastor had declined to leave a tip, with a snarky note saying she gave God 10 percent.
After her dinner on Jan. 25, Pastor Alois Bell crossed out the automatic 18 percent tip charged for parties of more than eight. “I give God 10% why do you get 18,” she wrote above her signature.
Employee Chelsea Welch — a colleague of the stiffed server — took a picture of the receipt and uploaded it to the online site Reddit. She subsequently lost her job, an Applebee’s spokesman confirmed to TheSmokingGun.com, for violating a customer’s privacy.
All this information, of course, is so yesterday. “Pastor gets waitress fired” was Chapter One in this strangely entrancing saga, on par with a slow-motion train wreck from which you cannot tear away your eyes. Chapter Two is where Applebee’s apparently wants to commit suicide in front of our digital eyes.
Applebee’s fired the waitress in question, named Chelsea Welch. This created a fury of rage on the Internet, with social media users taking to their weapons of choice and lambasting away, thousands at a time, against the restaurant’s decisions. Numerous “Boycott Applebee’s” groups sprung up on Facebook, along with “Rehire Chelsea Welch” and other similar groups. Applebee’s website has a “What’s the Buzz” widget, that shows what people are saying on Twitter about the company. It’s been non-stop attacks, all publicly displayed on Applebee’s own page:
But it started to get interesting last night. Earlier in the day, around 3 pm, Applebee’s made a status updated about the controversy:
Applebee’s social media team decided to respond to the growing clamor by saying, “We wish this situation didn’t happen…Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.” Around midnight last night, the reaction against this status had grown to a frenzy. There were well over 10,000 comments on the post, most of them negative.
There was a repeated theme to the comments, which the media has so far not covered. Applebee’s, just two weeks ago, had — according to comments — violated another Guest’s right to privacy themselves by posting a picture of a note from a guest that clearly featured the guest’s name. Most interestingly, Applebee’s deleted this picture right when the Chelsea Welch issue went viral. Here’s the original picture, captured by If You Can’t Afford to Tip… via screen shot:
Users of Facebook were sharing this picture left and right, using it to call bull@#$% on Applebee’s reasoning regarding “right to privacy.”
...The upshot of this is, the Internet is laughing. And Applebee’s is losing a lot of customers.
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