The Internet is joining one server in disappointment over this receipt she received from one of her tables.
Jess Jones is a 20-year-old student at Rutgers University in New Jersey. This summer, she's waiting tables at D'Jais Bar & Grill, a beachfront nightspot in Belmar, to help put herself through school. She relies on generous tips from wild Jersey Shore partiers, so when she got the receipt you see above on August 17, she was pretty pissed off about it. She had waited on the table of eight all night, and they had given her nothing. Not only that, instead of just putting "$0" in the tip field, they wrote "LOL." It's like they tipped her with a sarcastic laugh! That's like 20% of a gut punch.
But rather than stew about it and stay up all night bitterly listening to Springsteen (the traditional Jersey Shore moping ritual), the young woman decided to take her response to Facebook. As the Asbury Park Press reports, she posted an image of the receipt with the cardholder's personal information obscured, along with her thoughts on the incident. Jones wrote:
"Last night, I was stunned by this receipt that was left for me by a party of eight people," Jones wrote. "I would have preferred a '$0' tip than a 'LOL' tip, but as a waitress, bad tips and harsh notes are all part of the job. Even though they did wait an hour to eat, they remained satisfied with filled drinks and proper notice that the kitchen was a bit busier than normal. I've worked in the service industry for five years and I take pride in providing great service to my customers."
"Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make," she wrote. "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, and we really do care."
As Jones points out, servers in New Jersey receive $2.50 an hour, because it's assumed most of their income will come from tips. And she also had a response to the inevitable criticism that the table did wait much too long for their food:
"My experience with this table was cruel and unnecessary but sadly it's not uncommon," Jones wrote. "With that said: Please be good to your waiters. I know it's annoying when things aren't right. I know how aggravating it is to receive a hefty bill when all night you've been wondering why the table that came in after you was served before you. But waiters are mere messengers most of the time, and it's wrong to shoot them, however bad the news."
She raises an excellent point. Although undertipping or stiffing a server after a long wait certainly feels good in a vindictive way, it doesn't accomplish anything. You never know what's going on in the kitchen. What's more, chances are the restaurant is understaffed and your server is suffering more than anyone as a result. If you really don't want to tip them, let it be because you're cheap. At least that's honest.
Many people agreed with Jones's message, causing her Facebook post (which has since been taken down) to go massively viral. It even came to the attention of Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, who made his own Facebook post to address it. Doherty said:
"If you visit Belmar please treat the hardworking men and women in our service industry with the same respect you would expect at your job. This is ridiculous."
He should know.