As someone who has worked in the hospitality industry, I understand the value of a tip; you’d have to give really bad service to get less than 20% from me, and you’d have to be downright awful to get nothing from me.
But, for one young server, being gay was enough to get stiffed; and not in a good way.
A 20-year-old waiter provided exemplary service at a Carrabba's Italian Grill in Overland Park, Kansas, but his anti-gay customers refused to tip him because of his sexual orientation. In fact, not only did they not tip, they left a message on the back of the check:
"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 (homosexual slur) choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD's love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you."
Funny, because I think God may want to have a little mercy for the bigots who wrote the note. I mean, howsabout this, the next time you go into a restaurant ask for the Not Gay Section, where the straight folks serve you. Ask for the Not Gay Hairdresser next time you get your beehive teased. Ask for the Not Gay Checker at the Piggly Wiggly. Or, failing that, just stay home and wallow in your bigotry.
The young man and his mother, who works as a hostess at the same restaurant, aren’t giving time to the news media but the media is giving time to them. After the story broke, as happens, it flooded over into social media websites, people began heading over to that Carrabba's Italian Grill so that the young man could serve them and they could take good care of him.
One such couple who came, specifically for this particular server, Dr. Marvin Baker, who came with his partner:
"I said, 'We are here to meet your celebrity. The one who was mistreated.' She said, 'That's my son. Would you like a table or booth?' I said, 'Wherever he's serving.'"
Baker has served as a pastor for many years and currently leads a Bible study group for LGBT members, and he calls the customer’s behavior ‘ ungodly’:
"I was angry. I said this is not Christian as I know it. This does not represent Christianity. God really loves us. And God does not advertise or promote hate. That is not love."
Baker talked with the young man while he had lunch, and the server told Baker he appreciated all the support, adding, "It is nice to know that someone cares."
For their part, Carrabas said in a statement that the company does not tolerate discrimination from either employees or guests:
"We embrace diversity and believe in treating everyone with respect."
It remains unclear what they will do, however, if that bigoted couple returns.
Like I said, if you don’t want service from The Gays, please share your bigotry up front, because I’m sure The Gays wouldn’t want to service anyone who thinks so little of them , and who blames God for their own homophobia.
As Marvin Baker said, God is love.