Voices from Russia

Sunday, 8 December 2013

NO TIP FOR YOU! I ALREADY GAVE THE MONEY TO GOD! Tips aren’t Optional… They’re How Waiters are Paid in America

00 Pastor's Applebee's Reciept. NO TIP FOR YOU. 07.12.13


Editor’s Note:

Read this through to the end. It’s why I oppose tithing, and why I detest the mindset that it creates. In any case, “tithing” is a quirky Evangelical notion; why should we pick up such arrant nonsense? The Church NEVER put a price on the Mysteries… that’s called simony, kids, and it sets up a nasty, self-righteous, and smug attitude in those who practise it. Truly, if the parish needs money, bingo is better spiritually, unbelievably (you see, it’s corporate and requires cooperative effort, it’s not something individual and pridefully personal). Anyone who advocates tithing wants to bring all sorts of Proddie nonsense into the Church that we don’t need. Tithing is insidious and corrosive… think on that.

OPPOSE “TITHING” WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT. God demands it of you…



I was a waitress at Applebee’s restaurant in St Louis MO. They fired me on 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 for another server, who allowed me to take a picture of it at the end of the night. Someone scribbled on the receipt, “I give God 10 percent. 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 customer’s identity. 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 both my fellow server and the customer. I had no intention of starting a witch-hunt or hurting anyone. Now, they’ve fired me.

The person who wrote the note came across an article about it, called the Applebee’s location, and demanded that they fire everyone… 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 that they fired me not because I misrepresented Applebee’s, not because I did anything illegal or against company policy, but because I embarrassed this person. In light of the situation, I’d like to say something for wait staff everywhere… we make 3.50 USD (115 Roubles. 3.75 CAD. 3.85 AUD. 2.50 Euros. 2.15 UK Pounds) an hour. Most of my pay-cheques are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make.

After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than 9 USD (295 Roubles. 9.60 CAD. 9.90 AUD. 6.50 Euros. 5.50 UK Pounds) an hour on average, before taxes. They expect me to skip bathroom breaks if we’re busy. I go hungry all day if I have several busy tables to work. They expect me to work until 01.30, then, I have to come in again at 10:30 to open the restaurant. I’ve worked 12-hour double shifts without a chance to even sit down. They expect me to portray a canned personality that they found is the least offensive to the greatest amount of people. They expect me to do all of this, every day, and receive change, or even nothing, in return. After all that, they can fire me for “embarrassing” someone who directly insulted their server on religious grounds.

In this economy, 3.50 USD an hour doesn’t cut it. I can’t pay half my bills. Like many, I’d love to see a reasonable non-tip-dependent wage system for service workers as they have in other countries. However, having a flawed system isn’t an excuse for not paying for services rendered. I need tips to pay my bills. All waiters do. We spend an hour or more of our time befriending you, making you laugh, getting to know you, and making your dining experience the best it can be. We work hard. We care. We deserve compensation for that. I’m trying to stand up for all of us who work for just a few dollars an hour at places like Applebee’s. Whether it’s a chain steakhouse or a black-tie establishment, tipping isn’t optional. It’s how we earn our living.

I posted a picture to make people laugh, but now I want to make a serious point. Things like this happen to servers all the time. People seem to think that the easiest way to save money on a night out is to skip the tip. I can’t understand why they fired me over this. I was well liked and respected at Applebee’s. My sales were high, my managers had no problems with me, and I was even hoping to move up to management soon. When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. I did my best to protect all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook… I checked. However, because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness became public, Applebee’s made it clear that they’d rather lose a dedicated employee than an angry customer. I can’t understand that policy.

I’m equally baffled about how a religious tithe is in any way related to paying for services at a restaurant. I can understand why someone could be upset with an automatic gratuity. However, it’s a plainly stated Applebee’s policy that they add tips automatically for parties over eight, like the one this customer was part of. I can’t control that kind of tip; the computer that processes the orders does it. People have stiffed me on tips before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the “Big Man” used as reasoning. Obviously, the person who wrote this note wanted it seen by someone. It’s strange that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person’s ashamed.

I have no agenda here. I seek no revenge against the note writer. I have no interest in exposing their identity, and, at this point, I’m not even sure that I want my job back. I was just trying to make a joke, but I came home unemployed. I’ve waited tables to save up some money so I could finally go to college, so I could get an education that would qualify me for a job that doesn’t force me to sell my personality for pocket change. This story garnered immense media attention, but my story isn’t uncommon. Bad tips and harsh notes are all part of the job. They fire people to keep customers happy every day. As this story has gotten popular, I’ve received inquiries about where people can send money to support me. As a broke kid trying to get into college, it’s certainly appealing, but I’d really rather you make a difference to your next server. I’d rather you keep that money and that generosity for the next time you eat out.

1 February 2013

Chelsea Welch

The Guardian



When Pastor Alois Bell wrote a rude note along with a zero tip on her receipt at Applebee’s, she didn’t know her callousness would become a viral sensation. Her first response was to get the waitress who posted the receipt (and if possible, everyone she works with) fired. After that, she tried apologising… sort of. Neither response won the St Louis minister any fans.

3 February 2013

Huffington Post



Saturday, 6 October 2012

Study Suggests that the Affordable Care Act Would Slash American Abortion Rate


According to a new study, providing birth control to women free of charge, a measure contained in new healthcare legislation signed by US President Barack Obama, would “significantly” reduce unintended teen pregnancies and abortion rates in the USA. On Thursday, Dr James Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said after the study was published, “It’s just an amazing improvement. I’d think if you were against abortions, you’d be 100 percent for contraception access”.

The study, conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis and the pro-choice organisation Planned Parenthood, showed “a clinically and statistically significant reduction in abortion rates, repeat abortions, and teenage birth rates” among subjects who received free contraception. The study was conducted in the St Louis area over a course of four years and comprised 9,256 women and teens between the ages of 14 and 45. It simulated the free contraceptive mandate under Obama’s controversial Affordable Care Act, which critics referred to “Obamacare”. All of the subjects in the study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, were uninsured low-income women or those otherwise considered to be at risk for unintended pregnancy. The researchers said that when cost wasn’t an issue, the women chose the most effective and permanent methods of contraception including implants, that usually cost several hundred dollars. This resulted in significantly less unintended pregnancies and abortions compared to the national average.

The researchers said, “We observed a significant reduction in the percentage of abortions that were repeat abortions in the St Louis region compared with Kansas City and non-metropolitan Missouri”, adding that overall abortion rates amongst the study group were less than half the regional and national averages. The study showed 6.3 births per 1,000 teens who received free contraception, compared to a national teen average in 2010 of 34 births. It also showed there were 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study versus a national rate of 20 abortions per 1,000 women. The findings came two months after the Affordable Care Act began requiring private insurance companies to provide free contraception. The law stipulates that any insurance contract starting on or after 1 August must offer free access to birth control along with seven other women’s health services, including pap smears. Obama’s opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romneyvowed to repeal the healthcare law if he’s elected.

6 October 2012

Sasha Horne



Editor’s Note:

There’s something called “zeal without knowledge”. The Church condemns it; always has, always will. Foxy ol’ Bishop Mensurius of Carthage showed us what this meant back in the day… he decreed that anyone who was a “voluntary martyr” was no saint. That is, if you died in the persecution because the pagan authorities dragged you off, you were a saint. If you goaded the authorities and forced them to kill you, you weren’t a saint, you were just a misguided putz.

We have Orthodox loudmouths such as Reardon, Josiah Trenham, Fathausen, and their konvertsy claque, who shout that contraception’s a sin. That’s bullshit, full stop. Fr Vsevolod Chaplin said that contraception’s licit via oikonomia. That ends the discussion, because when Fr Vsevolod talks, he’s usually talking for HH. We don’t agree with the papists on this.

The real Church agrees with the Affordable Care Act (HH is FOR state-provided healthcare for all); it doesn’t agree with the Republicans who want to repeal it. The real Church blesses economic justice and it denounces the Free Market as a fraud, where only the workers suffer. Don’t be fooled by the loud konvertsy ignoramuses on the internet. They don’t inform themselves of the doings of the real Church; everything that they spout is nothing but idiosyncratic ungrounded babbling. As for me, I prefer to find out what real leaders like HH say… that’s much safer. After all, whom would you trust? Some jumped-up semi-converted Episkie/Evangelical frauds or the real leaders of the Orthosphere? For me, there’s no contest…

Never forget, anti-abortion does NOT equal pro-life!


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