Update: Please see Carolyn Castiglia’s full update on this story here.
A New Jersey family says that not only did they not leave this note for Dayna Morales, they also left a decent tip. The Bridgewater, New Jersey couple, who understandably wish to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York their copy of the receipt, as well as their credit card statement. Ms. Morales denies making up the story. The restaurant is conducting an internal investigation.
“I think there’s enough hate and intolerance in the world, that to create it when it wasn’t there, is shameful and dishonorable,” the anonymous customer said to NBC 4.
Speaking of being dishonorable, a separate report says that Ms. Morales was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves after she “stopped showing up” for drills.
Is this a story of someone who wanted attention and copied what happened to a Kansas waiter last month? Clearly, someone isn’t telling the truth.
I have gay family members who have suffered discrimination in the guise of religion. If Dayna Morales faked this story, that’s disgusting, and not at all helpful to the cause. At this point what I’d most like to see is some proof that Ms. Morales is actually sending the donated money to the Wounded Warrior Project, as she said she would.
Dayna Morales, a server at a New Jersey restaurant, said a family of four dining at the restaurant this week skipped the tip on their $93.55 bill, with this explanation: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”
Ms. Morales told ABC News that when she introduced herself with the standard “My name is Dayna. I’ll be taking care of you,” the mom of the family replied with “I thought you were going to say your name was Dan.”
Ugggghhhhh. There was a similar news story last month of a 20-year-old waiter not being tipped because his “lifestyle” was “an affront to God.” Instead of a tip, that server was left this note: “Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your queer choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’s love, but none shall be spared for queers. May GOD have mercy on you.”
Ms. Morales, a former U.S. Marine, says if the family came into the restaurant again, she wouldn’t confront them. She would serve them professionally and courteously, the way she would serve any other customers.
I don’t care what religion you are: stiffing a hard-working waiter or waitress just makes you a jerk. It’s even more appalling when you’re teaching your kids to act like a jerk. Further, I’m not exactly a Biblical scholar, but I don’t think Jesus would appreciate you being a jerk in His name.
In fact, let’s take a look at specifically what this family is teaching their kids by leaving a crappy note to Ms. Morales instead of a tip, and what the Bible has to say about it:
Judge people based on their appearance. At no time did Ms. Morales identify herself as gay. She is gay, but she didn’t identify herself as such because it’s irrelevant to being a good server. She didn’t say, “My name is Dayna and I’ll be gayly taking care of you.” She is a woman with short hair. She wears a tie as part of her uniform. Ms. Morales’ customers made an assumption based on her appearance. Diners, may I refer you please to John 7:24, in which Jesus says “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Pick and choose which sins to care about. Does this family decline to tip servers who have been divorced and remarried (Luke 16:18)? Those who work on Sunday (Exodus 20:8-11)? What about servers who don’t worship the same God that they do (Deut. 5:7)? Hey, you know what Jesus really wasn’t a fan of? Hypocrisy–and in particular, combining proselytizing with hypocrisy. These diners may want to review Matthew 23:15, which advises, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”
You don’t have to pay people for their hard work. Tipping for good service is customary unless the gratuity is included in the bill, like for large parties. If this family had such a problem with Ms. Morales’ apparent “lifestyle” they could have chosen to leave the restaurant. Instead, they sat there and let Ms. Morales serve them. Would they let a contractor work on their house and then not pay the person afterward? Perhaps these customers should consult Romans 13:7, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
It’s okay to treat some people like crap. I have worked in restaurants, and I have worked in offices. You can tell an awful lot about a person by how they treat receptionists and waitstaff. It’s easy to be high-and-mighty with those who have, essentially, no power. When these parents left a rude note in place of a tip, when they had already enjoyed a waitress’ good service, they were teaching their children to bully those they see as beneath them. Jesus was pretty clear on how to treat others (love your neighbor, anyone?), but the Bible’s message on humility in Matthew 23:11 is perhaps more important here: “The greatest among you will be your servant.”
My final thought for those who would leave notes like this in place of tips: when Jesus ate dinner with the sinners at Levi’s house, He did not leave any hateful notes behind at the end of the meal. (Mark 2:15-17)
Update: Paying It Forward People have been flocking to Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey, asking for for Ms. Morales’ table, and leaving her generous tips to make up for the tip she lost out on. Ms. Morales also told New Jersey 12 News that donations have also been coming in from around the world. As a former U.S. Marine, Ms. Morales is paying it forward by donating money to the Wounded Warrior Project. The managers of Gallop Asian Bistro have said the restaurant will match whatever Ms. Morales donates, and send a donation to an LGBT nonprofit.
(Photo Credit: ABC News)
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