Family Claims They’re Fine With Server’s “Lifestyle,” Left $18 Tip

receipt_checkA few weeks ago, a New Jersey waitress set the Internets on fire with by posting a receipt, allegedly from her job, with a hateful message instead of a tip. “Sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle & the way you live your life,” read the message on the receipt. The customer has now come forward to say that they left a 20% tip and would say no such thing.

The family claims that they recognize their receipt, the amount, and even the husband’s signature under the obscuring blur. Yet their own copy of the receipt and their credit card statement show a different total…with an included 20% tip.

“We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service,” insists the wife, “and we would never leave a note like that.”

The receipt that circulated online showed a total of $93.55, but the total that the family actually paid was $111.55. Their copy of the receipt was printed at the same exact time and from the same terminal as the one circulated online. Their copy just has a tip and lacks the explanatory note.

They even showed a copy of their credit card statement to the TV station: there was a charge for $111.55 at that restaurant on the day in question.

The family says that the confusion may have come from their being startled to have a female server; they were told that “Dan” would be along shortly, and instead their server was a short-haired woman named Dayna, a fact that they remarked on.

The family wants to correct the record, but they also want to remain anonymous because of the hysterical Internet frenzy reserved for both non-tippers and bigots. The question is: who did write the note? NBC 4 confronted the waitress outside of work, and she claimed that it isn’t in her handwriting and she had nothing to do with it.

For people concerned about the donations collected on her behalf, don’t be: as a Marines veteran, she’s turning them all over to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The restaurant claims that they’re investigating the situation.

Family Says They Did Tip Gay Server, Didn’t Leave Note [NBC New York] (Warning: auto-play video)

Restaurant Has No Choice: It’ll Allow Customer Who Didn’t Agree With Waitress’ Lifestyle Back
Waitress Says Customer Denied Her A Tip Because She Disagreed With Her Lifestyle

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  1. Shappie says:

    So maybe the waitress was jilted because the customer took home the wrong copy? They left a tip but took home the copy that had the tip on it? Wouldn’t be the first time…

  2. MarthaGaill says:

    Eh, I think they just dug out their copy and filled it in. Most of the time I leave the customer copy blank and just shove it in my wallet.

    • indianajoel says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. Who fills out the customer copy? The handwritten style of numbers on the customer copy don’t match the numbers on the store copy. I would say that the customers had remorse for their actions, dug up the receipt and tried to save face…

    • econobikerredux says:

      Or it could be that the family would use the “completed” customer receipt as a business tax write off and claim the amount of tip that was not given.

  3. SingleMaltGeek says:

    I’d be very interested in seeing their credit card statement (with everything but the charge in question blacked out, of course). That would rule out the family feeling like someone might figure out it and faking the tip on their copy after the fact.

    If it wasn’t them, either the waitress faked it (and didn’t consider that she might get caught, odd since her manager could probably easily check the total CC charge for that check), or maybe the family forgot to put the tip on the merchant receipt and some third party (co-worker, bored customer nearby) added that note to it between the time they left it and the time the waitress picked it up.

  4. Reimu says:

    This always sounded too fake to me.

  5. oomingmak says:

    This whole situation seems fishy.

    One one hand, how does the restaurant have a receipt signed by the couple with clearly no tip written in tip column? How does the customer explain that? Writing in a tip on the customer copy would be very easy for the couple to do later.

    On the other hand the customer claims they were billed for the full $111.55. But how, especially if the only receipt the restaurant possesses doesn’t have a tip on the signed receipt.

  6. Edmunddantes says:

    Most likely written by different people. Fives are distinctly different.

    Still could have been a hoax by the waitress.

    I will say that something weird happened if the 111.15 got on their card, but the restaurant only has the 93.55 one. My wife got stiffed all the time if someone adds up the total wrong. Say someone puts a $20 tip on $98 check, but they put $108 in the total line. The restaurant would only put through the $108 since that was the agreed to total.

  7. shadowzen says:

    Sorry, I’m not buying the family’s story.

    For starters, in the article the lady claims she can’t make that type of slash in the tip line of the original receipt because she is left-handed. That’s utter BS. I’m left handed and I make slashes like that all the time. In fact, because of the direction of the stroke, I’d say a left-handed person would be more likely that make that type of stroke because they are pushing the pen away and the downward angle would be part of the momentum of building up the stroke; for a righty, they’d be pulling the stroke and any directional shift at the beginning of the stroke would be less pronounced unless they developed it as an embellishment. I’m no handwriting analysis expert, but this statement itself seems like a smokescreen and casts doubt on the family’s version of events.

    Since the internet is good at spotting photoshop jobs, I’m going to assume the merchant receipt is a legitimate picture of a receipt and not edited. Doesn’t mean that the receipt can’t be forged but I think it’s unlikely.

    What I think happened is the family left the receipt in question and then when it blew up on the internet and possibly someone recognized the signature, the family tried to save face by digging out their customer copy of the receipt, filling in a generous tip in a different style of handwriting to claim the merchant receipt was a hoax, and then, as icing on the cake, obtaining a downloadable version of their CC statement and then massaging the numbers (easy to do with an HTML or PDF document and difficult to prove authenticity outside of a legal process) and getting the news involved to try to clear up their sullied reputation as hatemongers.

    Unless the news station was to verify the CC statement directly with Visa, there’s no way to validate it here and the truth is in what amount is present in the restaurant’s ledger. Unless someone sues someone over this, there’s no way to clearly prove who is telling the truth but the family has not managed to offer any tangible proof. The original receipt came from somewhere and doesn’t appear to be a reprint so unless it’s the most awesome photoshop job ever, it’d be extremely hard to fake in this fashion unless the family left a blank receipt that someone else filled in, in which case they wouldn’t have been charged the 20% tip on their CC statement.

  8. maestrosteve18 says:

    The customers left a tip. They had the credit card statement to prove it. The fact that they showed a bill with a tip written in – how else would you have it? Anybody ever get a receipt with the tip printed on it? You write it on the bill after everything’s been done. Their bill matched the amount they were charged on their credit card. They are in the clear, and the fact that they came forward to talk about it shows that they have nothing to hide.

    There has to be someone else in that restaurant with the ability to print out an additional bill who did print one out and write that note on it. Probably meant as a joke, but when it got too far, decided to just keep quiet about it.

  9. econobikerredux says:

    Related aside: what does anyone think about tipping on the sales tax such as shown here?

    I live in an area with 9.375% sales tax (on everything) so I tend not to tip on the sales tax. Often restaurants only present the credit card receipt showing only the total and a space for the tip and then grand total space.
    And don’t cry for my region since there is no state income tax and property taxes are very very very low…

    • Laura Northrup says:

      Where I live, sales tax is 8% or thereabouts, so I usually double the sales tax and round up to the nearest dollar for a regular tip. I guess in that case I am not including the tax in my calculation.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      I’m a generous tipper, but I ALWAYS tip on the pre-tax total. There’s no logic in not tipping that bit extra in Delaware (the only state with no tax on dine-in purchases) but including it in New Jersey or Maryland. Plus there’s a case for tip creep (from 15% to 20% as standard) since the minimum tipped wage hasn’t increased since 1991, but IMO having done that, there’s no logic in also adding the tax to the amount upon which to tip.

  10. StevenB says:

    Has anyone been able to see the statement? The video on the linked page won’t play for me. Until I can see the statement with my own eyes then I will believe the family is just trying to save face.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I saw the statement when I first viewed the video this morning – now it won’t play, probably because of heavy traffic on their site.

    • DustinDopps says:

      I saw the statement as well. The video was accessible earlier today.

      • DyinMyelin says:

        I do not believe Dayna at all. She is very equivocal and does not deny doing it, but merely says, “I don’t know.” She doesn’t make eye contact with the interviewer or the camera. From tutoring a CJ major, research shows that people who are falsely accused usually strongly protest. . .like this family. I think Dayna and a friend went into the back room and hoped to serve up the “haters” over a misunderstanding. Then, Dayna set up a Paypal to monopolize on the sympathy. Seeing people bullied over being LGBTQ often where I work, I think she indeed needs to fess up, apologize to the family, and either return or donate every last dime.