Friday, February 01, 2013

The Web descends on pastor Alois Bell after image post of cheapskate receipt gets waitress fired

What is posted to the Internet stays on the Internet. And, what is posted to the Internet can lose you your job. That is something that Applebee's waitress, Chelsea Welch, learned on Thursday, although some are questioning who really should have been punished for the incident.

Earlier this week, she posted the receipt of a customer on Reddit, the popular link-sharing site. On the receipt was an automatic tip of 18 percent, because the party was large (20). This is common practice at restaurants; large parties place stress on everyone in the restaurant, from the wait staff to the chefs.

However, upon receiving her receipt, Alois Bell, a pastor in St. Louis, wrote the following:
I give God 10 percent; why should you get 18?
She also wrote the word “Pastor” above her signature, and scratched out the tip and wrote zero in its place.

Welch chose to post the receipt's image on the Reddit’s Atheist page. However, she neglected to redact the signature on the receipt. It wasn't long before the Internet quickly determined it was Bell who left the snide comment on the receipt. There is no doubt in the matter, as Bell spoke to TSG over the matter.

Bell apologized -- to TSG -- and claimed to have left $6 in cash for the waitress. It is, of course, unclear if this is true. She added, as well, that she contacted Applebee's and complained about the receipt, once she became aware of it, which resulted in Welch's termination.

She added,
My heart is really broken. I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.
Ironically, and sadly, the receipt was not even for Welch's table. Rather, the server on the receiving end of the snide remark showed it to Welch, who snapped a photo of it later that night, then posted it herself. Indeed, the more-tech savvy Welch sealed her fate.
I originally posted the note as a lighthearted joke. 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.
While she later removed the image and replaced it with one without the pastor's signature, it was already too late.

Applebee's has distributed the following comment to media:
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. 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.
The Internet is now passing judgment on the incident, and has voted in favor of Welch, not Bell. What Bell forgot -- or maybe didn't care about -- is that waiters and waitresses rely on their tips to survive. The comments around the Internet seem to indicate that quite vociferously.

In addition, a quick Googling shows that Bell has begun removing her traces from the Internet. It also shows the Internet isn't kind.

The above screenshot of a Google search (second image in slideshow) shows two negative pages on the Black Preaching Network. It also shows what appears to be a valid current one -- though perhaps it is not -- and a previously valid one, which has now been removed, probably because of negative comments. The search results show on such comment:
I am totally ashamed of how you used Gods name to condone your actions I am sorry but that young lady had every right to expose you for the fake you are.

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