Jan 31 2013

Hacking Christianity :: Rev. Jeremy Smith: The Pastor No-Tipper: Why Everyday Hospitality Matters

Original post at http://hackingchristianity.net/2013/01/the-pastor-no-tipper-why-everyday-hospitality-matters.html

This past week, all over the Internets has been a story on a receipt posted by an Applebees waitress that is pictured above. The diner was part of a large party and per restaurant custom the 18% gratuity (halfway between 15% for okay service and 20% for good servi) was automatically added to the party’s bill. The diner identified herself as a Pastor and wrote “I give God 10%, why do you get 18%” and didn’t leave a credit card tip at all.

A co-worker server with the waitress server posted the picture on Reddit and it took off. The server’s error was not hiding the signature, and reddit was able to identify the offending pastor. The pastor got wind of her infamous receipt, called Applebees to complain.

The server was fired.

In response to the receipt (not the firing), the pastor stated (after claiming she had to pay the 18% anyway and also left a $6 cash tip–less than the 18% required):

“My heart is really broken,” said the 37-year-old [pastor]. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

No kidding.

And you know what? My church and ministry as well. We all share the same name, remember?

Process Theology has really helped me realize that every moment I have an opportunity to seek the best possibility that God is placing before me. Holding open a door for the next person, answering that phone call when I’ve already closed the office door, tipping a server, smiling at the clerk even when I’ve had a rough day, saying hi to the gas station attendant…all those are opportunities to offer the best possible moment to the person in front of me. And now that I know it, it’s ever-present in my mind.

Hospitality matters. And now, I have to share my title of Pastor not only with big-time megachurch pastors who make God look like a jerk, but also just one of many Pastors who are inhospitable to those around them.

My friend Katie Dawson suggested on Facebook that any Clergyperson reading this should give a better-than-average tip this week and sign our receipts “Rev.” or “Pastor” or something to offset the failing of one of our own here.

I hope for good things for the server and redemption for the pastor in the future. And hopefully, just hopefully, a better sense of our Christian hospitality to make God not look like a jerkface.


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