St. Louis, Missouri — Reports are circulating about a woman pastor that recently left a note for her waiter, which read, “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”
The incident occurred at an Applebees restaurant near St. Louis, Missouri, where Alois Bell of Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church, a small church of 15 members, had brought approximately 20 others with her to enjoy a meal. She asked that each be charged separately. However, when she saw that the waiter automatically applied an 18% gratuity to the bill, she was not happy. Bell scratched out the gratuity section and wrote a note on the receipt expressing disapproval. She also put a large “zero” next to “tip.”
Following the incident, the server showed the note to a co-worker named Chelsea Welch, who snapped a photograph. She later uploaded the photo to the social networking site Reddit.
“I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke,” Welch said. “I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical. I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”
However, the woman pastor did not find it to be entertaining when she discovered that her note was uploaded to the web for the world to see. She called management to complain.
In turn, Applebees’ management was not amused either. They fired Welch from her job over the incident. It released a statement as word spread about the firing.
“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,” the company stated. “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.”
However, Bell states that she regrets the entire situation.
“My heart is really broken,” she said. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
On the other hand, Bell stated that most news reports are only revealing partial facts.
“What [the photo] didn’t show is the money that I left and that we all left on the table,” she explained.
Bell said that a number of people have been upset with her about the matter as a result.
“I’ve actually been harassed because of this and it doesn’t tell the whole story,” who asserts that she routinely conducts outreach for the local community. “[I] would never want to tarnish the light of Christianity.”
Welch says that she hopes to find a better-paying job next time around as depending on tips to pay her way through college can be difficult. However, a Facebook page has been created on her behalf as well in an effort to help Welch get her job back.