Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
189

Millennial Fired For Tweet

Until last week, I worked at a food truck downtown. We sold grilled cheese and milkshakes. One of the unusual things about this particular food service job was that the owner used customer comments and pictures on social media—especially Twitter and Instagram—to monitor his workers. Grilled cheese: gamified.

And it was explicitly framed as a game for workers. Members of whichever 'crew' got the most positive feedback on social media each month would win a $25 iTunes gift card.

But compliments are hard to track online. Even if a customer thinks she is paying a compliment online, she might not be. Like if you enjoyed your sandwich enough to Instagram it, but the color of the grilled bread wasn't exactly right, we’d hear about it.

Anyway. The other rainy Monday morning, business was slow when a group of about a dozen customers sprinted up. This was at our second location, a stall the company opened in South Street Seaport to support the area while Hurricane Sandy repairs were happening. This group placed a huge order: three of this sandwich, four of another, three of the one that takes forever on the grill, two of the one that takes forever to assemble. Five or six milkshakes. The order came to just under $170.

I was making sandwiches, another worker took the order and a third made the milkshakes and watched the grills. A line grew while we worked, and we had to tell other customers that their lunch orders would take longer than usual. They paid; I asked my co-worker who was dealing with the money how much of a tip they’d left. They had left actually no tip at all. (They had paid with a card so we checked the cash tips to see if there’d been a bump. There hadn’t.)

I asked some of the group as they were picking up their orders if they had intended to not tip. They hemmed and hawed and walked away.

Well. I could have not said anything. I could have made it a subtweet. I probably should have made it a subtweet. But I didn’t, because of some misguided notions about having "the courage of your convictions," or whatever.

Two days later, I got a text from the owner asking if I was free to talk on the phone at some point. We spoke later that afternoon.

He told me that he’d gotten a call from the company, Glass, Lewis & Co. The company provides shareholder advisory services. Apparently, those employees were mortified that their lunch truck had tip-shamed them—the home office in San Francisco even got involved.

And it was unfortunate but he was going to have to let me go. The company has a way of doing things and he thought I’d understood that. I had embarrassed him and the company and that was that.

The food truck apologized to the customers on Twitter, and Glass, Lewis accepted that apology.

Obviously I knew it was a possibility that I’d get fired. I guess I had hoped that the owner would have my back if they complained, but that was a miscalculation. And the stakes weren't too high, or I wouldn't have done it: I'd been thinking about quitting and focussing on freelancing, so I had a luxury of speaking, and then tweeting, my mind.

What did I get out of this? Hmm. A "story," maybe. A lesson about employers—at least in the food service industry—and what they think of workers advocating for themselves.

To be fair, maybe I'm not the best employee for a gamified grilled cheese truck. About a month earlier, I’d come into work on a Saturday and was told I’d need to work late the next day. (Our schedules are established on a weekly basis, so this was very late notice.) I believed this gave me some degree of leverage. So I started bargaining. If they needed me to stay late on Sunday with only 24 hours notice, surely it was only fair that they let me go early that night?

They weren’t too happy about this and my bargaining failed—they just found someone else to work late on Sunday. I suppose this is why ‘collective bargaining’ is a thing.

The justice or injustice of tipping is a question again under hot debate; the incivility of failing to leave a tip on an order of that size, in the current arrangement of things, is not. There is a reason so many restaurants impose a mandatory tip on parties of a certain size.

And also: If social media is going to be used in one way to monitor worker productivity, why can it not also be used to advocate for a more civil exchange between worker and consumer? And why wouldn't a food service entity, while it's judging employees on social media, also judge its customers? The business practice of running a restaurant is to cultivate great customers and spurn bad ones.

At least I wasn’t asked to delete the tweet. And I wasn’t asked to apologize. Not that I would have done either of those things. I was just canned. A part-time food-truck worker with 300 Twitter followers managed to shame some Wall Street firm into getting him fired. What a world.

189 Comments / Post A Comment

And this is why I only bitch about my job on facebook.

Really though I have a lot of weird feelings about this topic. I'm also afraid of being fired for claiming to be a witch and swearing a lot on twitter.

The Future is Here (#10,633)

While I've always thought tipping should be optional whenever you aren't getting sit-down service at a restaurant, if I worked in FINANCE, man, I would want to tip ALL THE GODDAMN TIME. It feels GOOD! How did not one person look around, take responsibility and think to themselves, hmmm, I make six figures, I think I'll put a ten in the jar?

Morbo (#1,288)

@The Future is Here
In the finance industry, you are taught to tip, and that it reflects well upon you and your profession. After all, you are fighting against some pretty unjust stereotypes.

My only hesitation here is that this might be a group of interns who did not know much better. Interns in this industry often get them through family connections, never really had to work in food service.

I know that in the past, I have got credit card receipts back from large lunch meeting orders, and no tip was given. When asked, thy looked me right in the eye and said "delivery fee was included right here!" I made him march down to the restaurant with a cash tip, and he got no lunch break for the rest of the week. Might have been the best lesson he got all summer.

RDM (#222,169)

@Morbo The author acts like he took on Goldman Sachs. Glass Lewis is a shareholder services firm, meaning its responsibilities are mostly related to paperwork, vote tabulation, and supremely boring corporate governance issues. People act like anyone who works in finance is some sort of high-rolling hedge fund manager, but the average Glass Lewis employee more likely resembles a paralegal. MSCI (a competitor) had average compensation and benefits per employee of a bit under 80k in 2012 (from publically available data). Given that management/executives are dragging that up plus the fact that it includes non-salary benefits, I'll bet with plenty of confidence that the average member of that lunch order takes home <50k and is far from a fat cat banker making six figures should feel compelled to leave massive tips everywhere they go.

Morbo (#1,288)

@RDM
Yep, I know. That part I had to laugh at, too. It all gets painted with the same large Occupy brush by a group that has never taken an econ course in their life.

MSCI isn't the best proxy (no pun intended) to use, though. They have a much more diversified model in a lot of data distribution businesses, along with ISS.

These might be supremely boring issues, but because they are supremely boring, they usually pay well. The people I know who worked at Glass Lewis had a nice salary, especially considering the rather regular hours they got to work. I still think it was interns, considering they were eating at the off-peak time and possibly wearing company branded apparel.

However, this comes back to the core issue of if you can't afford to leave a buck, don't eat out.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@The Future is Here That's weird because I make less than $50k and I leave tips.

jfruh (#713)

@Morbo see, this gets to the heart of my discomfort with this story and the tipping system as a whole. On the one hand, tipping is a voluntary and legally unenforceable act. On the other, many (most?) people recognize that doing it is very important socially.

The problem is that when it becomes very important socially it becomes quasi-required, which means that systems are built up around the expectations of people doing it. And then people base their financial lives on those systems. But when those systems fail, they have no recourse. It's not socially acceptable to complain when you aren't tipped, even if it means that you don't have the money you counted on to pay for your life. You have to depend on noblesse oblige, the social policing of your betters, if you want to make your life work.

PhasmaFelis (#246,241)

@RDM "I'll bet with plenty of confidence that the average member of that lunch order takes home <50k and is far from a fat cat banker making six figures should feel compelled to leave massive tips everywhere they go."

So what? I make $45K and I tip 15% for good service, every time. I did the same when I was making minimum wage. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out, period.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@PhasmaFelis We are in the same tax bracket and I tip 20% every time, regardless. I win?

RDM (#222,169)

@PhasmaFelis I wasn't the one who introduced the concept of income vs tipping, though I kind of regret following it up with a post. I always tip at bars and restaurants and pretty much (but not 100% of the time) throw my change or a buck or two into the cup at coffee shops, food carts, delis etc. What's at issue the conception that, as workers at a financial services company, OF COURSE they are extremely wealthy and should feel compelled to tip, and in fact they should tip A LOT, for their freakin' grilled cheese sandwich, when in fact they were probably interns, and if not interns, probably run-of-the-mill employed people. Tangentially related is my annoyance at what I perceive as the author's implication that he performed some great act of class warfare and challenged a mighty financial institution by embarrassing a bunch of vote-counting clerks for not tipping at a food cart.

anadromy (#245,693)

@jfruh Exactly this. This is the Gilded Age redux. And Manhattan's food service industry is the capital.

257942977@twitter (#246,379)

@The Future is Here Because even if someone makes millions of dollars a year, they are not REQUIRED to give a dime of it to the less fortunate. Is that selfish? Absolutely! But, I personally believe that if you are the only one working for your money, you should be able to do whatever you want with it, even if you want to be mean.

42333755@twitter (#246,399)

Maybe they didn't tip because the service was lousy. Who knows – but the last time I checked, there is no law requiring us to tip. Shame the non-tippers all you want on Twitter. The best way to ensure tips is to work your ass off to provide the highest quality service. This dude saw an angle that he could play up on his pathetic little blog, and took it. You can see from his article that he already was complaining about working late. What a whiner.

87768439@twitter (#246,460)

@The Future is Here People who make six figures Ive decided don't think like the rest of us..Im not berating them but I think there is some truth to the 'more you make, the more you want to hold on to it' Ive been on both sides, been with people on both sides of that coin and I always WANT to stay more in line with the worker bees of America…. I have mixed feelings on calling someone out for not tipping but worked for 8 years as a waitress so understand the frustration of not being tipped but it is at their discretion and we know that taking jobs that have a tip option. At any rate, huge part of me says Good For You guy.. you at least made the non-tippers think and perhaps think twice next time. I understand where the owner of the truck is coming from, he may have felt just as you do but needs to stay in business to survive too! Best of luck to you :)

Dr.Dinosaur (#241,476)

@257942977@twitter Let's see… anonymous user ID, only ever commented on this article, full of bile, postpostpostposting your little heart out… are you sure Glass Lewis is okay with you blogging on the clock, snuggles?

jfruh (#713)

What are the ethics of tipping (or not tipping) at a food truck or similar order-at-a-counter food service type place? I always err on the side of tipping and tipping pretty big at sit-down restaurants because I know that those workers are paid below minimum wage because they're expected to make up the difference in tips — that, essentially, tipping is built into their compensation structure. I think this is a shitty system and would prefer a different one, but since it is the system in place I don't want to see people getting screwed.

But my understanding is that this is not the case for order-at-a-counter service. Usually (but not always) at places like that I put a buck or two in a tip jar or add a buck or two to the credit card receipt. What are the pay scales like for those workers, and how are the tips in the tip jars distributed?

@jfruh My understanding is that in at least some situations (Starbucks), workers are paid as non-tipped employees (minimum wage) and the tip jar is split between shift workers. So I usually put my change from whatever I bought, or a dollar or whatever in because I don't make minimum wage, lucky me. I put in more if I made a bunch of dumb requests or they were extra nice (one time I was at Starbucks and a guy comped us a drink because they were out of the coffee blend my husband wanted, so I tipped him the cost of the drink).

I agree VERY STRONGLY with Brendan's point in the post, though, that large-group orders SHOULD ALWAYS BE TIPPED. And it really goes for a food-truck scenario where your large order is holding up everyone else's order, so you are probably causing them to miss out on sales and tips from people who are annoyed with the wait.

Benny (#246,448)

@jfruh Agreed. There is typically no onus of tipping at counter service, and I believe they are required to be paid minimum wage, as opposed to tip based workers (I could be wrong about that). In essence, its not much difference from going to any counter service, like a convenience store (do I tip when I get a hot dog at 7-11). Sorry, but tipping in that situation is a BONUS, not to be expected, regardless of the size of the order or how much money the person placing the order makes.

Courtesy would indicate, yes, you probably should leave a tip based on that size of an order, but answer this…if all those people came down individually and ordered, instead of having one person go pick up the food, would there be an expectation of 'tipping' for each of them?

All in all, I have an issue with anyone who isn't performing true table service expecting a tip (in food service, with hotel and other service workers generally expecting a tip as well), with the sole exception of Curbside pickup workers, who do have to dedicate some time and 'service' to take care of curbside customers that can cut into their ability to support in restaurant clientele that would be tipping.

abc (#246,195)

@jfruh Food truck/coffee shop jobs are not considered tipped labor and workers must be paid at least minimum wage. Tipping in those instances are nice but truly optional, unlike at a restaurant. I used to be a barista at a coffee shop with food, and while it was a little annoying when someone ordered 12 sandwiches and didn't tip, that's completely their prerogative, and doesn't necessarily make them a bad customer. I was getting paid $8 to make coffee and sandwiches, so preparing food for them was simply doing the job I was already getting paid to do. Humiliating a customer on the spot AND THEN calling them out by name on Twitter is appalling and of course he should have been fired.

Moff (#28)

I spent a good chunk of time waiting tables and bartending, in NYC and elsewhere, and I tip well as a matter of course, and I have no patience for the fools who argue that we ought to end the practice of tipping for food service. And it plain sucks to spend that much time on a huge order and not get tipped. The employees of Glass, Lewis & Co. were either appallingly thoughtless or straight-up dicks!

But yeah: You don't tweet about it. Honestly, I think it's questionable even to have asked if they meant to leave a tip. You bitch about with your co-workers for sure, but that's about it. Tipping is, at the end of the day, optional, and that's what you sign on for, and you do your job with grace and professionalism and dignity even when it blows. There is a karmic wheel of tip-receiving, and you ride out the lows as well as the highs.

jfruh (#713)

@Moff I have no patience for the fools who argue that we ought to end the practice of tipping for food service

Honest question: do you really prefer the current system over one where restaurant food would cost more as a matter of course and servers would get paid a steady, predetermined higher wage?

I guess I just don't understand why this one kind of service employee/customer interaction gets to result in a thousand tiny individual decisions about what you should get paid, and no other. Most people work at jobs where they agree how much they're working for, and if they do a bad job they probably get fired, eventually, but they don't have to prove themselves over and over again in every single interaction, going up against hundreds of variables that aren't under their control. I Just spent some time on the phone with a Delta customer service rep today. I didn't get to determine how much they make this week. Why should I get to determine a waiter's salary?

@Moff I have no patience for the fools who argue that we ought to end the practice of tipping for food service.

You know what the problem is? We've conflated tipping as a show of appreciation with tipping as a hidden service fee. I'm okay with the former, but the latter needs to die now.

I don't know if you've listened to/read the transcript of the Freakonomics episode about tipping, but people are demonstrably bad at determining what is and isn't good service. Chances are, we're rewarding servers for being attractive, blonde, not-black or skirt-wearing, rather than the quality of the service.

The thing is, the practice of tipping as it is in this country effectively asks paying customers to work as assistant restaurant managers. All to save the restaurant the indignity of charging fair market prices for their goods and services.

Moff (#28)

@jfruh: Yeah, I do. My experience — which by no means indicative of everyone's, obviously — is that you can make a perfectly good wage based on tips, and that in fact my co-workers and I always felt like we made pretty good money, and not just good money but cash in hand. I mean, food service people complain plenty, but I honestly don't remember any of us complaining about how much we were making, at any of the places I worked. On certain shifts, maybe, in certain sections, but it evened out pretty rapidly.

There's a real vitality that comes from scooping up bills when you turn a table, or seeing the numbers on the credit card slip. It's what makes the job fun. Sometimes you get stung, but that's part of the gig. Maybe it's just that I'm exceptionally good-looking (if so, no one has ever apprised me of this) or that I was an exceptionally good waiter (I was very good, but I worked with plenty of people who were just as good or better), but I never felt like it was mathematically feasible for one of my employers to consistently pay me in wages as much as I could make in tips. And getting $n per hour would have taken a lot of the game and play out of it. The flip side of getting stiffed is when you just rock a table and they leave you 50 percent-plus.

I dunno. There is a part of me that wishes I still waited tables, because I've never had another job that so effectively combined rhetoric and theater and dancing and physical activity and speed and memorization brain games — WHERE YOU ARE REWARDED FOR YOUR PERFORMANCE WITH MONEY. I try to envision it being as enjoyable without getting tips, but it's hard to imagine.

Moff (#28)

@holycalamityscreaminsanity: I haven't listened to that, and I admittedly come from a place of privilege. But while racism, sexism, lookism, etc. are pernicious problems, I'm not really convinced they're best addressed by eliminating tipping. I would guess that tip income is lowest at places like Denny's, which tend to be both staffed by and patronized by people without a lot of money, and I find it hard to see how they could pay a significantly better wage without raising food prices exorbitantly. It's been a long time since I was a front-of-house manager who did the books, but my understanding is that most restaurants' profit margins are pretty thin already.

Having been a restaurant customer for more than thirty years, and having been an assistant restaurant manager for a couple, I can't say I've ever felt unduly imposed upon by the process of tipping. I generally leave 20 percent, because I was in the trenches for so long myself. I tell other people to leave 15-20 for competent service. For truly outstanding service, I leave more. For truly terrible service, I might leave less and I might speak to a manager — but I'm kind of a softie and try to err on the side of Not Getting Someone in Trouble, because we all have crappy days. Anyway, even for those of us who are mildly OCD, I just don't think leaving a tip is all that fraught with angst.

j.a.b. (#241,133)

@Moff spent a while waiting tables in new york, and i'm one of those people who argues for doing away with tipping altogether. but i also tip generously. and while i will grant that it felt good to leave with a wad of cash every night, i lived in a shitty neighborhood at the time, and i was always worried that i'd be mugged and lose my entire night's income.

j.a.b. (#241,133)

@Moff restaurant ownership makes up the money to pay reasonable wages by raising the prices of all food items by 20% and passing it on to the wait staff in the form of wages. it would be pretty simple to implement. there are lots of practical logistical problems with tipping, but the biggest one is that people tend to be lazy, especially about math, especially when they're feeling full and drowsy and perhaps a few drinks in.

@Moff It's kind of a problem that a product is only affordable and viable by 1) creating the illusion of lower prices by leaving out the service charge, and 2) paying below minimum wage and depending on the generosity/non-assholishness of the patrons, isn't it? Plus, it's not like money magically appears in a customer's wallet just because the cost of the service appears after ordering.

It's first world lifestyle financed by third world attitude towards labor. And personally, I find it a bit degrading to be all, "You've earned your keep *this time*. Keep up the good work if you want to see more of President Lincoln", though that's neither here nor there.

More to the point, the arguments for tipping tend to ignore that quality dining establishments exist in markets where tipping doesn't exist, or is truly optional, or that tipping can exist alongside proper wages (basically, my original point, which seems to have been missed).

Moff (#28)

@j.a.b.: Yeah, but I don't think it's that simple. First off, I believe you have to raise prices by more than 20 percent, because if the restaurant takes in that money as income, it's going to have to pay taxes on it. So it's not just like you bump up the food prices and magically transfer the money over scot-free.

Second, even just 20 percent is a huge hike! This is what I mean when I say that while such a bump may improve things for low-income people working at Denny's, it definitely makes them worse for the ostensibly larger number of low-income people who eat at Denny's.

Third, I feel like it's just basic common sense that if the employer becomes the conduit for that money, the laborer is going to see less of it. Decades of history back me up on this. It correspondingly also reduces the customer's ability to reward or penalize servers for quality of service. On a macro level, customers may not be good at evaluating service, as holycalamityscreaminsanity says — but there are also many, many micro level incidents where it is fairly clear whether someone is doing a good job or not.

Fourth, I have generally not encountered this problem I hear about where people are lazy or drunk and leave bad tips. It happens, but if it happens a lot to a particular server, I think it's worth exploring whether the problem is really the customers.

j.a.b. (#241,133)

@holycalamityscreaminsanity so much this: "I find it a bit degrading to be all, "You've earned your keep *this time*. Keep up the good work if you want to see more of President Lincoln""

Moff (#28)

@holycalamityscreaminsanity: I guess I don't think that is so much "degrading" as "how a job works." And I think there's something advantageous to being beholden to dozens of different bosses per shift, rather than your economic fate being decided by one. Anyway, I am very sympathetic to a total restructuring of our capitalist system, but in the meantime, yeah, you do kinda have to earn your keep, and honestly? Carrying food and drinks to people is simultaneously awesomely challenging at times and just not that hard for many people to do competently.

I have not spent enough time in places where tipping isn't the norm to get a good sense of the overall quality of service. I hear many reports that it isn't as good as in the U.S., but every time I've been in Europe, I've been too busy being in Europe to notice how long it takes to be asked if I want another drink.

I dunno, I feel like you are coming from a pretty abstract-argument place, and that doesn't mean those arguments don't have merit; but in all my years waiting tables I never noticed the intense class warfare or oppression that so many of the no-tipping advocates seem to want to save us from. I think we had a better time than the suckers in retail.

Moff (#28)

"You've earned your keep *this time*. Keep up the good work if you want to see more of President Lincoln."

What I'm trying to say is: This sentiment does not jibe with anything I ever felt or experienced while waiting tables anywhere. I'm not even sure who's saying it.

jfruh (#713)

@Moff First off, I believe you have to raise prices by more than 20 percent, because if the restaurant takes in that money as income, it's going to have to pay taxes on it. I mean, I know this probably often doesn't happen (never happens?) but aren't tips taxable in theory?

@jfruh They are, but people really do under report the amount of tips they receive.

Moff (#28)

@jfruh: Different places have different systems for reporting tip income to the IRS, but in my experience, it's pretty much that you report either a certain percentage of your sales (8-12 percent, if I recall correctly) or your credit card tips, whichever is higher (since the credit card tips are actually trackable by the feds). In either case, you generally pay less in taxes than you would if the same amount of income were presented in the form of a paycheck. This is a TERRIBLE THING, if you believe that servers, bartenders, and busboys not giving more of their money to the government is What Is Keeping This Great Country Down.

Also, I'm not sure I answered your original question so much as penned a paean to the romance of waiting tables, so: Yeah, I actually I think it's kind of awesome that not everyone's salary is determined the same way. I think diversity in any ecosystem, metaphorical or otherwise, is healthy.

RDM (#222,169)

@jfruh the establishment would have to pay sales tax presumably, but businesses pay taxes on net income, ie, revenue less expenses (including salary and other labor costs). So if a restaurant started charging 20% more and passed 100% of the increased sales on to staff, the taxable income would not change.

Tips are taxable as income for servers but every server I know understates their cash income on their taxes. This can make a pretty material difference in effective take-home.

Moff (#28)

@RDM: Thanks, I wasn't sure how that worked. That said, I stand by my extreme skepticism that 100 percent of the increased sales would make it to the staff. And yes, the underreporting makes a material difference.

K. Mae (#240,479)

@Moff "Second, even just 20 percent is a huge hike! This is what I mean when I say that while such a bump may improve things for low-income people working at Denny's, it definitely makes them worse for the ostensibly larger number of low-income people who eat at Denny's."

These are not mutually exclusive groups.

TARDIStime (#238,737)

@Moff "while such a bump may improve things for low-income people working at Denny's, it definitely makes them worse for the ostensibly larger number of low-income people who eat at Denny's."

Those low-income earners eating at Denny's without tipping, can't actually afford to be eating at Denny's.

TARDIStime (#238,737)

@Moff re: increasing the cost of food + eradicating tipping – as someone who lives in a country where food service workers have a legally mandated, living minimum wage (Australia); I can tell you that a) the increased cost of cheap food does not stop the hungry hordes of low-income earners descending on their local McDonalds and spending up, b) tipping is not eradicated from our culture – excellent service here will still often lead to a full tip jar, on top of the increased price of the food itself for paying that basic living wage.

lbf (#2,343)

@Moff I've been too busy being in Europe to notice how long it takes to be asked if I want another drink. for the record, that's not what Europeans think is good service. If I want another drink I'll signal for you and let you know, duder. Lose the fake smile and leave me alone.

@lbf Seriously. The tipping-as-hidden-fee culture in the US fosters overbearing, over-friendly servers who won't leave you the fuck alone.

Plus, I've traveled in the States and gotten shitty service. I've traveled in Japan and gotten amazing service. I can find anecdotes to mean whatever I want them to mean, too. But the thing is, if I complain and/or under-tip in the US, the lesson isn't going to be "Wow, I've been set straight. I shall improve my ways." It's "What a shitty customer."

NinetyNine (#98)

Were they all young attractive females? That might explain a lot.

jonahphy (#246,229)

@NinetyNine Oh my you sound bitter. Gross.

Mr. B (#10,093)

"Smiley face!"

deepomega (#1,720)

@NinetyNine Yowza.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Try splitting a tip in New York.

@NinetyNine : A beautiful example of the "casual troll" cast. Just a flick of the wrist, really.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Wait? Do you make less than minimum wage?

I hate this idea of tipping people in regular waged jobs because it skews toward tipping people like this guy. Why should we tip this guy and his cohorts and not the people working the counter at McDonalds?

Also, I worked in food service for 5 years and the only thing worse than not giving a tip, is calling someone out for it. If I owned a restaurant, that would be a termination offense every single time.

lizard (#240,819)

@Tuna Surprise seriously. he would make the same amount wether hes sitting reading his book or grilling a sandwich. why is he getting mad at customers having the audacity to order for their co-workers and not tipping him extra?

Brendan O'Connor is dressing this up as a workers' rights issue, but the crux of the matter is that he made a customer look bad. It's basic customer service skills that publicly calling out a customer for not tipping — which in this case is completely discretionary — and not expecting to be reprimanded by your employer is naive at best.

@happymisanthrope: It's a worker's rights issue insomuch as 1) he is compensated so poorly that a $10 tip for his crew is a big deal and 2) it doesn't sound like the food truck is an awesome place to work.

But yeah he pretty much broke the cardinal rule that The Customer Is Always Right. Tip-shaming is never the right thing to do.

SkinnyNerd (#224,784)

@Subway Suicide@twitter Posting voluntary negative tweets about customers is a workers' rights issue?

Mike_B (#239,283)

@happymisanthrope Yeah but he also has proof right here that the customer isn't always right.

@Mike_B The author doesn't say that they were rude or mean. It doesn't sound as if they violated any rules of the customer vendor transaction except that they had the temerity to place a large order on a "rainy and slow" day. Doesn't exactly scream that the customer was wrong in this case.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

"When I was a kid, there was only one kind of Milk Truck. Moo Cow Fuck Milk Truck and that was it."

yeezey (#244,926)

i love everyone who does this. if you have never worked in food service, all managers are assholes. that's just how it is. they serve the owner who receives all the profits, and their job is to screw over the workers on a daily basis. tips are the only means by which customers can (sometimes) pay workers directly. managers may be duty bound to fire workers for tipshaming, but why wouldn't you tipshame if the only thing you have to lose is a terribly paying job working for assholes whose job it is to screw you and take all the profits? fuck customer service, fuck exploitative managers; all hail tipshamers.

Josh Michtom (#6,069)

This IS a workers' rights issue, but not because every worker should be entitled to a tip in those circumstances or to chide stingy financiers or to argue about last-minute shift changes. All of these things – the form of remuneration, the fairness of the manner in which performance is evaluated, and the employees' ability to have regular, predictable work schedules or receive some sort of compensation when shifts are changed on short notice – are the bread and butter of collective bargaining agreements. In other words, these are the reasons why people unionize – so that some lady's crappy camera phone won't cost them their job, and some manager's poor schedule planning won't affect their personal time. Mr. O'Connor, to his credit, recognizes that he was on thin ice in fighting against the workplace discontents the way he did. But his story is a good illustration of the usefulness of collective bargaining and working under a contract.

Morbo (#1,288)

@Josh Michtom
I'd love to see what a grilled cheese would cost if they had to pay union wages.

Oh wait, the food truck (and the jobs) would not exist.

Josh Michtom (#6,069)

@Morbo Union wages are whatever the workers negotiate with the employer. It seems conceivable that their wages could stay the same (because food truck margins are probably tight, and it wouldn't make sense for a union to negotiate wages so high that all the jobs are lost) but the working conditions (steady schedules, fair evaluations) could improve.

We're digressing, I think, but I still think it's worth noting that lousy working conditions can often be resolved with collective bargaining.

@Josh Michtom Hang on: what "lousy working conditions" are we talking about here? Mr. O'Connor makes and serves grilled cheese sandwiches priced between ~$7 and ~$9. He's a freelancer on the side (or perhaps food service worker on the side).

The only gripes he's expressed are a last-minute schedule change, an instance of getting stiffed on a tip, and perhaps being subject to an incentive program via social media. Not exactly shop steward worthy.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@Morbo The Las Vegas food service industry is heavily unionized and they give out *free steaks*.

Also you'd be amazed to learn that countries with high union density and high minimum wages still have restaurants. And even fast food!

Morbo (#1,288)

@stuffisthings

Yes, and those countries with high union density are falling apart at the seams. High union density usually leads to high unemployment, as anyone under the age of 30 in Europe can tell you.

But keep that romantic view of how life works, kiddo.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@Morbo Well now you're switching arguments. First you said unions would eliminate all our food truck jobs; now you're saying all it will do is make the country fall apart at the seams. Which I suppose is why bits of Denmark and Germany keep spilling off into the sea (despite having lower unemployment than the U.S.). Damn unions.

harrumph (#18,649)

@Morbo As someone under the age of 30 in Europe, I can tell you that you're ignorant as well as condescending! The highest rates of unionization in the world are in the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland), where unemployment is about the same as in the US (actually far lower in Iceland and Norway), even if you disregard the fact that US unemployment figures are a farce and that real unemployment there is about twice as high as stated (on par with, say, the Dominican Republic).

Those countries are all highly competitive and innovative, with not only far stronger welfare but also much healthier economies than the US. Many other countries with relatively high rates of unionization (e.g. Germany and Austria) have much, much lower unemployment rates, while the European countries with the lowest rates of unionization (Spain, France, Estonia, Lithuania) have some of the highest unemployment rates.

Not only could you hardly be more wrong about the correlation between unionization and unemployment, but it's bizarre that you would accuse Europe of "falling apart at the seams." Certainly, there are some European countries in dire straits (Ireland, Greece, and Italy all have modest rates of unionization, for whatever that's worth—much higher than Spain, France, or the US; much lower than Austria, Luxembourg, or the Nordics), but look at the US. Crumbling infrastructure, a completely incompetent, dysfunctional government, and a crushing debt burden that you will never, ever, ever in a million years be able to pay off.

Denmark, meanwhile, with its 70% union membership and near-identical unemployment figures to the US (not to mention much lower real unemployment, and unemployment benefits that Americans can scarcely dream of) actually has a balance of payments surplus.

But keep drinking that high-finance Kool-Aid, dummy.

MiguelCo (#246,307)

@harrumph Matter of fact the issue over here (Spain) is not high unionization but high minimum wages.

In fact some of the recent measures to improve employment for under-30s include being able to pay "temporarily" below that minimum wage. And they're quite effective at getting people on milk-truck-type jobs (or night guard jobs, as my in-law's got).

On the other hand, tipping here is strictly for good service and usually around 10% at most (more means you did wonders). The US tipping culture is quite different.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@morbo @MiguelCo @harrumph

Another fun fact: according to the Economist, a Big Mac costs $4.91 in Denmark (where the average minimum wage is $19/hr) vs. $4.56 in the United States. Thirty five cents' difference.

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

"The company has a way of doing things and he thought I'd understood that." Obviously, he needs to create a policies-and-procedures manual for employees and have all employees sign a statement that they've received and read it. It shouldn't be much trouble, given the primary policy is apparently that employees are disposable drones, whose opinions are irrelevant and who should shut up and do what they're told.

This post makes me glad I live in Durham, NC, one of the original hotbeds of the food truck craze and a place where many food trucks are owned by millennials, not just staffed by them.

The Commutes (#246,231)

Total dick move by the people who didn't tip. But you can't judge a company by a few of its employees (as the writer did of Glass, Lewis, and Co.) and not expect your boss to be afraid his company (the food truck) will be judged by the actions of one of his employees. More thoughts here: http://thecommutes.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/i-got-fired-for-tweeting-no-not-really/

caw_caw (#5,641)

Sorry you lost your job, but I think you've got a brighter future than a gamified grilled cheese truck.

It sucks that people actually have to work for companies that judge their team via compliments on social media. That sounds like something a brainwashed business marketing exec would do.

An entitlement standoff seen through the window of a food truck. Now we just need to figure out how to monetize it.

@Clarence Rosario Aren't we doing so right now?

@happymisanthrope Probably, but Choire and Alex will still have to split a sandwich.

jolie (#16)

@Clarence Rosario For whatever reason, that put me in mind of this. And now I feel sad for the olden times.

@jolie I don't tip at that place because they don't have beef on wick. And by tip, I mean I have never eaten there because I stick my head in, ask if they have beef on wick and leave disappointed.

(yes, yes yes. http://www.theawl.com/2012/07/beef-on-weck-buffalo)

Craig Brownson (#4,257)

@jolie "One of my biggest sexual fantasies is to perform cunnilingus on Lot's wife." Best ever

David (#192)

Glass Lewis "supports the creation and preservation of long-term shareholder value through best-in-class proxy voting solutions and high quality, independent analysis of governance, finance, accounting, legal and political risks at public companies worldwide" and "we empower institutional investors to make sound decisions by uncovering and assessing governance, business, legal, political and accounting risks at more than 23,000 companies in 100+ countries" but apparently don't train their people on best practices in how to compensate (with a gratuity) the likes of Brendon O'Connor.

Mr. B (#10,093)

Re the subtle-but-inspired headline change: do Millennials get mad when you call them Millennials? Some may (my girlfriend does, anyway); others may not. Story idea, guys!

What a whiny jackass. Dude, grow up.

Dilworth (#525)

I hate to say it pal, these guys may have been jerks, but your boss had every right to fire you. Think about it from your boss's perspective: Asking for a tip and then griping about it later demonstrated lousy customer service and could hurt his business. I think it's very black and white.

flossy (#1,402)

I'd have fired you too. However legitimate your gripe with the non-tippers, calling out your company's customers on twitter just screams "fire me." If you think you're too good for the food service industry, that's fine, but don't expect anyone to do anything less than fire you for acting like it on the job.

SkinnyNerd (#224,784)

You know what I miss? That guy Matt that used to complain about all the twitter posts.

Matt (#26)

That guy sucks.

NinetyNine (#98)

@Matt Agreed

Matt (#26)

Nasty.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

Nobody is mentioning the fact that the Glass Lewis head office got involved in this issue. Obviously THEY feel like it's a big deal that their asshole employees didn't leave a tip, no?

Or do we think they called a board meeting to be like "let's ring up our senator and get this food truck loser fired"?

stuffisthings (#1,352)

PS here is why they were concerned. This almost certainly the exact thing their PR team was hoping would NOT happen.

MiguelCo (#246,307)

@stuffisthings Which is why Brendan wrote the piece. Delicately poking a red-hot iron in their eye for getting him fired.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

So, someone has tweeted them a link to this story, right?

15436436@twitter (#246,238)

You may not like the "gamification" of your service, but that's irrelevant here. You publicly bashed a big customer by name. You demonstrated a lack of judgment that made your employer look bad. Ergo, fired. It happens all the time.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@15436436@twitter Yeah but a smart business in the 21st century trying to employ social media at the core of its marketing strategy would have BACKED their employee, publicly, on Twitter, still generating a news story except this time the hundreds of tweets this story has generated in the last two hours would be positive rather than negative, surely offsetting the loss of Glass Lewis's grilled cheese dollars.

ETA: Read these tweets and tell me that's not something any business would happily lose $170 in order to avoid.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

Not to mention the even larger destruction of brand value that this rinky-dink food truck's firing decisions has caused to their customer. "We appreciate your business so much we've inflicted a massive PR disaster on you, please come back soon!"

skyslang (#11,283)

@stuffisthings Smart employees in the 21st century do not tweet things that hurt their employers business. Anyone thinking of hiring this guy will think twice if they find out about this, too. As someone said above, his tweet reveals a shocking lack of critical thinking skills.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@skyslang You think the story he wrote that went massively viral will hurt his career prospects? Or were you assuming that he's a wannabe lifelong cheese griller to whom the Awl was just lending its platform?

The REALLY stupid people in this story are the food truck manager and the Glass Lewis PR team, all of whom ought to know better and have a lot more at stake.

skyslang (#11,283)

@stuffisthings I think any employer who reads that this dude posted something negative about his place of work (that hurt the profits of said place of work) will think twice about hiring him. Every place I've worked since social media has become so prevalent (magazines, ad agencies, IE the kinds of places aspiring writers often get their paychecks) has discussed this issue in depth. This sort of thing is an issue in the minds of employers.
Maybe not all employers. But it is definitely an issue among the employers who pay the most money.
And sorry, you think his boss should have backed him up? And said what? That it's OK to call out bad tippers by name publicly? Yeah, that's not going to hurt his business at all!
How do you think the owner of the food truck should have handled this? Because he was fucked no matter what he did.

Don't tweet the hand that feeds you.

Cynical_Buckwin (#246,240)

Wow Brendan you certainly have a huge sense of self entitlement and a very childish outlook on life. Are we supposed to feel sympathetic for you? Worried about not making good tips? Don't work in a tip based job. Bashing a company and besmirching the name of the company you work for because you didn't get tipped. And yet you seem somehow surprised you got canned. You act as if you are the only person in the world that has been stiffed. I like how you think because someone placed a large order that somehow you deserve more money for it. Doesn't look like this experience has taught you a thing.

skyslang (#11,283)

@Cynical_Buckwin Cannot give this enough thumbs up.

431829439@twitter (#246,246)

@Cynical_Buckwin Have you ever eaten at a restaurant with a large party or placed a large order for takeout? They made a $170 order during rush-hour, holding up the rest of the line. It's not like they phoned this in and someone forgot about it until the last minute, then scrambled to fill the order. They waited in line and took up everyone else's time, likely causing the food truck to miss business.

When you order a lot of food, it is common courtesy to tip as a sign of gratitude for the out-of-the-ordinary amount of food that just got prepared. This is why restaurants will automatically include gratuity for parties of eight or more, and why if you order $170 worth of food during the lunch rush, holding up the rest of the line, and you don't provide any further compensation for this obvious annoyance, you're a bit of a jerk.

@431829439@twitter When you order a lot of food, it is common courtesy to tip as a sign of gratitude for the out-of-the-ordinary amount of food that just got prepared.

But…aren't restaurants…in the business of preparing…large amounts of food? And being paid for doing so, according to the amount ordered? Isn't that why they aren't called My Kitchen?

stuffisthings (#1,352)

"Thank you for calling Visa Card Services! How many I help you?"

"Hi It's @Cynical_Buckwin. I'm just calling because I noticed that my minimum payment was higher this month than last month, but my interest rate hasn't changed. What gives??"

"Well the balance is higher, so you have to pay more interest. It's a percentage, see, like, a tip at a restaurant?"

"????"

stuffisthings (#1,352)

"Sir? Are you there?"

"I'm sorry all I heard was 'entitled whining.' That's all I hear whenever anyone talks about anything, really. My mother. My girlfriend. My friends. It's been going on for years."

jfruh (#713)

@Clarence Rosario yeah, my side Q to this story is: would the writer have felt differently if the 12 people had lined up and each ordered and paid separately, and none of them individually tipped?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Cynical_Buckwin "You act as if you are the only person in the world that has been stiffed"

Plus, people in North Korea are starving to death, so yeah, why should we ever talk about anything else? All other injustices in the world are to be ignored! After all, this is not some off-beat blog, this is The Awl, the world leader in important news coverage!

TARDIStime (#238,737)

@jfruh most likely, yes. The pressure would have been lower, they would not have had to get all of the sandwiches done so that they were all freshly toasted and still warm, all at the same time (this is extremely tricky and if they had failed, would have resulted in some intern tweeting a pic of their soggy sandwich and getting someone in trouble anyway).
Not sure how this is not obvious to you – the only conclusion I can draw is that you have never worked in food service and shouldn't really be passing comment anyway.

musicmope (#428)

@431829439@twitter Wouldn't make more sense, then, to give the tip to the people waiting in line behind the larger order, who have to spend their hard-earned time waiting for its completion, rather than the guy being paid a considerably higher hourly wage than a waitperson, whose job is to do exactly what he'd be doing if it was a bunch of smaller orders?

Benny (#246,448)

@431829439@twitter It may not be the most courteous thing, but would it have held up the line any more if the people whose orders they were came down and stood in line as well?

This isn't a large party in a restaurant, where the bulk of your pay comes from tip and they monopolize the bulk of your time as a server. These guys monopolized a chunk of time, but in counter service, tips are typically not considered the primary source of employee compensation.

While a table service restaurant has a reasonable expectation for a tip, under no circumstances should there be an implied expectation for a tip in this situation from any customer, regardless of order size.

fusionkitty (#245,644)

Financial service workers who don't tip can't treat their own customers at all well. I know where NOT to take my business.

Morbo (#1,288)

@fusionkitty
Are you in the market for proxy voting services?

ThisGoesto11 (#246,391)

@fusionkitty Financial service workers who don't tip when it's not the convention to know how to avoid wasting money. I'd be happy to take my business to them. You don't have to tip at food trucks or take out. Do you tip the McDonald's cashiers? If not, is it hypocrisy or do you just know better? (#2)

29393312@twitter (#246,244)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like NY minimum wage is $7.25 regular, and $5 for tipped food service employees. Here in California, minimum wage is $8, regardless of profession. I believe that a lowered wage for tipped employees should be eliminated. Though I am a very good tipper, I don't think the burden of wages should be on ME. Livable wages + tips should be standard. What is the rule for walk-up or to-go service? 20% on my cheese fries?

Nobody- particularly someone who KNOWS their boss is actively monitoring social media- should think they can publicly bad mouth a customer and not expect retribution. In any job. YOU got yourself fired for doing a dumb thing. I don't necessarily agree with the way your (ex)employer manages their feedback, but that's their business.

Yes, the group should have tipped. Of course.
But calling them out- PUBLICLY- was wrong and only one of these is a fireable offense.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

Capitalism cannot be reformed.

K. Mae (#240,479)

@whizz_dumb Truth.

alicesherman (#237,158)

Yeah, they suck. They're not very nice people. But this isn't a standard tipped job-this is a tip optional job. He's making minimum wage, he's not a server making tipped wages. Sucks, but I can't get really riled up over this.

skyslang (#11,283)

@alicesherman For real. Let's make a distinction between table service and counter service. Huge difference.

MissMushkila (#42,100)

@alicesherman I'm always confused by the distinction because I live in one of the handful of states where wait staff are paid at least minimum wage, yet tipping at least 20% on table service is expected. I've also increasingly noticed people tipping on counter service – is this now expected as well? I don't mind tipping (and sometimes do) for pickup at places where the staff has been extraordinarily helpful or friendly, or every once and awhile if it is a place I go often. I don't want to do it all the time, but I also don't know how I justify the distinction when everyone makes at least minimum wage.

20267728@twitter (#246,249)

Food truck employees shouldn't be tipped the same way as a waiter. Line cooks don't get tipped.

DeGreg (#246,248)

A few things – 1. Just because twitter exists don't mean u got to use it (same w faceplant). I can all but promise your life will be better without it, no matter how young and cool you think u are or want to be.
2. Since when does the kitchen get a cut of tips?That truck is a kitchen on wheels _ no servers no tips. How's that for a can of worms. Also, what are the rules for sushi chefs ? Is that a separate, additional tip?Who says? Do the servers share their tips with the sushi chefs? Yada, yada…
3. The only reason there is confusion is because it puts more money in the owners pockets ,and the rest of us work in fear while the owners take advantage and treat their workers with no human dignity and then go to church on Sunday, think themselves good people and pretend that's the way it is explains everything.
4. I'd gladly pay 68 cents more for a Big Mac – if you are a decent human – you would too! Double the min wage now, then double it again after a year!

anonymouse (#241,559)

@DeGreg

"Double the min wage now, then double it again after a year!"

So you think the minimum wage should be $14.50, and a year from now, $29.00? For showing up to work, any work, 40 hours a week, everyone should make at least 60K a year?

I'm a decent human being and I think recent proposals to increase the minimum wage and then tie it to the consumer price index so people aren't taking effective pay cuts due to inflation year to year are reasonable, but… Increasing the minimum wage to considerably more than the current t median income sounds, uh… Like it might actually lead to the economic doomsday anti-minimum-wage lobbyists are always preaching.

olephart72 (#246,251)

IM GLAD I AM OUT OF THE EMPLOYEE FORCE TODAY!
> I DONT EAT SCHITT!
> OR KISS ASH WELL!
> SCREW GLASS, LEWIS & ETC! > BEWARE DOG CACA IN SANDWICH & SPIT IN YER SHAKE!

This is no different than approaching a customer directly to tip-shame – actually, this is more like approaching a person who you know works at the same company and saying "Hey, did you know your co-worker is a really shitty tipper?"

In either case, your firing is entirely justifiable. You can gripe about tips when the restaurant's closed and you're cleaning up. You can gripe while you're drinking with co-workers later. Hell, you could even make an argument for griping on Facebook or Twitter IF 1) You don't name the customer, or even the company they work for; and 2) You lock down your account so that your boss and the general public can't see it.

You did something incredibly stupid. Learn from it.

AndrewH (#246,253)

Does the author really not grasp that driving away customers (who place huge orders) is bad for business? Your job is to serve the customer, not drive them away. Don't know how else to put it.

I've heard other people express shock that they were fired after very publicly dissing clients or the company they work for – must be a generational thing.

Jkizzlemurphy (#231,542)

This entire article feels like a giant subtweet about the company not tipping.

barnhouse (#1,326)

My beef is with Brendan's boss. Why didn't he say: "Look, that was really wrong of you, it hurts the business, and you're going to have to phone these people and apologize if you want to continue working here?" And tell the company look, I'm sorry and we'll get this kid to apologize, and we will apologize on Twitter.

Anybody with employees under 25 or so should be ready to deal with the fact they are going to do less-than-professional things sometimes, they are just starting out!

Moff (#28)

@barnhouse: I feel like if you polled a high school class about this scenario, plenty of the kids would be like, "No, he should have known that wasn't okay." More to the point, "I could have made it a subtweet" suggests that even he knew it wasn't okay. More more to the point, if only someone on the internet had ever written something before now about how indiscreet use of social media could have a deleterious effect on one's professional life.

I dunno, this is great clickbait and fun discussion fodder, but at the end of the day: A guy with a low-investment job made a stupid but deliberate decision with predictable consequences and lost the low-investment job. There is no oppression here; there is barely a teachable moment. And frankly, it gets barfy when we get into "having 'the courage of your convictions,' or whatever." The sheer entitlement of that line radiated outward and sent a shiver of joy down Joel Stein's spine. Conviction is doing your job well even when it sucks — so long, of course, as the suckage is not of the extraordinary or abusive variety. Getting stiffed on a big order while working at a food cart is a crappy afternoon, not an atrocity.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Moff I don't disagree with a syllable of what you say, excepting the teachable-moment part. Like, adults should maybe at least try to show kids how to do stuff better, not just axe 'em?

@barnhouse "(The boss) told me that he’d gotten a call from the company, Glass, Lewis & Co. The company provides shareholder advisory services. Apparently, those employees were mortified that their lunch truck had tip-shamed them—the home office in San Francisco even got involved. And it was unfortunate but he was going to have to let me go. The company has a way of doing things and he thought I’d understood that. I had embarrassed him and the company and that was that."

Sounds like teaching to me.

Moff (#28)

@barnhouse: Yeah, I sympathize — I always want everything to turn out nice for everybody — but I feel like the stakes and context are such that firing was a perfectly appropriate method of teaching in this case. I'm all for second chances, but I don't think its incumbent upon a food truck owner to do a full Coach Taylor with an intelligent, legal adult over an issue where Brendan clearly had a good sense he was acting inappropriately.

Also, as the comment above points out, it sounds like the boss was pretty good, as far as the firing goes!

ahduth (#246,271)

@Moff "Conviction is doing your job well even when it sucks — so long, of course, as the suckage is not of the extraordinary or abusive variety." Sounds a whole lot like getting played. Where's the equity in this whole thing anyhow? He is "mortified" they didn't tip, and takes it to twitter. They're "mortified" he took it to twitter, so they… have him fired?

And how is it "barfy"? The guy works at a food truck, so he's supposed to say thank you when people kick him? He knew it was going to be a problem, but said damn the consequences I'm doing it anyway (that's the "barfy standing by his convictions" part). And now we're here.

This whole thing mortifies me. I'm taking this to twitter.

Moff (#28)

@ahduth: I don't know if you've never had a job, but mostly they all suck at certain times, to a certain extent. Certainly, customer service jobs carry with them an inevitable degree of suckage. And when you agree to do one of those jobs, yeah, you're promising to put up with some of that.

Sorry that sounds so awful to you! But frankly, it's kind of insulting to those of us who have spent many years putting up with customers' bullshit without publicly embarrassing our employers, to suggest that it's such a terrible burden to ask anyone to carry.

ahduth (#246,271)

@Moff Yeah, I don't know… perhaps I've been dwelling too much on stagnant incomes, decreasing pension outlays by companies, and paltry or non-existant healthcare benefits. The implicit contract wherein you take crap for the company now, and they take care of you later, is quietly disappearing, no matter what your experience was in your many customer service engagements.

So, as we've said: he knew he was going to catch some flack, he did, and now it's on the internet. I kinda like it, personally. Sorry if you're insulted by it.

Dishy (#246,301)

@barnhouse "My beef is with Brendan's boss. Why didn't he say: "Look, that was really wrong of you, it hurts the business, and you're going to have to phone these people and apologize if you want to continue working here?" And tell the company look, I'm sorry and we'll get this kid to apologize, and we will apologize on Twitter.

Anybody with employees under 25 or so should be ready to deal with the fact they are going to do less-than-professional things sometimes, they are just starting out!"

There are organizations that foster intergenerational communication, but seriously? O'Connor's boss was NOT obligated to explain the consequences of O'Connor's actions to O'Connor. There are a zillion examples daily, a lot of which make what pitifully passes for the news, of how a loaded Tweet can affect a job. If O'Connor hasn't figured that out by now, then he's been living under a rock and needs to come out for more than blog posts.

And yes, folks in their 20s are going to eff up, but they're doing so more publicly than previous generations and if they're not learning from each other's mistakes (has NO ONE learned from that a$$h@t Dooce'd chick? REALLY?) then they've got bigger problems than small business owners who are keeping an eye on their bottom line.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Dishy "obligated"–here we differ: in my view the boss is indeed obligated to do right by his young employee. This idea that "business owners" are have no responsibility to employees, only to customers, has actually really fucked up our economy.

Dishy (#246,301)

@barnhouse No, actually, our economy is fucked up because a bunch of folks tried to buy things they couldn't afford with money they didn't have.

And yes, we do differ, because I live in a world where a person's boss is not their parent and where people don't intentionally shoot themselves in the foot, as O'Connor even admits to doing ("Obviously I knew it was a possibility that I’d get fired. I guess I had hoped that the owner would have my back if they complained, but that was a miscalculation. And the stakes weren't too high, or I wouldn't have done it: I'd been thinking about quitting and focusing on freelancing, so I had a luxury of speaking, and then tweeting, my mind."), and then whine about how they were wronged. If he wanted his boss's help or guidance, he should have said something BEFORE taking to Twitter, and instead he "assumed" his boss had his back. You know what they say about assuming, right?

No 20-something today can get away with this kind of behavior because they've never NOT known things to be as they are. We live in the age of Dooce, of Kim and Kanye, of stupid things said in a very public fashion. Blaming something else for his mistake and his callous disregard for someone else's livelihood? THAT, my friend, is going to fuck up our economy even worse.

In the end, his boss DID do right by him- s/he fired him so that O'Connor could find a job that was better suited to his temperament and skills. Hey, customer service isn't for everyone and that's fine, but bitching about it? Lame.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Dishy Oh, boy. Why don't you read up a little bit the history of the 2008 crash, trends in accumulated corporate capital, the rise of CEO compensation relative to middle-class salaries and the GINI index in this country over the last three decades and then maybe we can talk.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

NO JUSTICE, NO GRILLED CHEESE!

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Were you paid anything to write this post about not getting paid anything?

KarenUhOh (#19)

Look. This is simple. You've just blundered your way into a film script.

Start with your premise, supra, then have your Protagonist (let's call him 'Brandon') seek his revenge by obtaining a job at Wass, Gleiss. . .where he works his way up through 30 minutes of humiliaing menial tasks until suddenly, based upon an amazing yet inchoate business acumen (i.e., I haven't figured that part out yet), he is named CEO of the company (I've got it: the CEO dies, in Brandon's presence, as Brandon is serving the CEO his takeout lunch).

Whereupon Brandon FIRES ALL THE ASSHOLES who didn't tip him, then celebrates by going to the Milky Way Truck, where orders a cheese sandwich, and DOESN'T TIP.

FIN.

When life gives you lemons, write a screeplay.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

For what it's worth, this is why I always overtip. I'm basically subsidizing the lifestyle of these "self made" assholes out there by keeping our servers in their jobs.

On the other hand, this is also why I don't have Twitter or Facebook, and never post anything under my real name on the internet (and never anything bad about my clients, even anonymously). I have a family to support, after all.

lbf (#2,343)

@Niko Bellic Wait, you're NOT a taciturn ex-boxer from the Balkans?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@lbf Nah. Just very passable.

Koremega (#246,263)

They place a giant order on a slow day and you shame them for not tipping? And on Twitter at that? I hope you never own your own company. Who wouldn't fire you?

The title should read "Millenial Fired for Gross Entitlement"

Markbo (#246,268)

As someone who has worked as a short order cook and now am in retail, I have to say this article is a display of irrational entitlement. You compare yourself to restaurant wait service who makes a fraction of what you do. Good luck at what you do. Just please never come to New England

461685263@twitter (#246,273)

You said: If social media is going to be used in one way to monitor worker productivity, why can it not also be used to advocate for a more civil exchange between worker and consumer?

But your tweet wasn't civil, it was said in a completely douchey way.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@461685263@twitter How would you have phrased it?

barnhouse (#1,326)

I thought it was flippant and immature, not douchey. I mean check out the news today. So much douchey out there.

512583793@twitter (#246,278)

It's a fucking food cart. Your level of entitlement astounds me. Others had to wait longer so you should get a tip? How are the two even related?

lbf (#2,343)

@512583793@twitter Other people in the line got worse service and (in the fucked-up logic of US-style tipping) may not leave as big a tip as a consequence.

Wait, what the fuck is a subtweet? Are people just making shit up now? Like paying $7 for a grilled cheese?

lbf (#2,343)

@Clarence Rosario It's when you refer to someone without using their Twitter handle – tweeting about them behind their back. Which is pointless because people/corporations trawl through Twitter for mentions of their name.

bellafigura (#246,300)

This "article." Hahahahaha. I mean. I just. Can. Not. Seriously? I am so sick of people in their twenties. Every party to this nonsense comes off like a baby-jerk, including the writer. And please for the love of whatever god you choose, STOP INSTAGRAMMING YOUR LUNCH. It's moronic. And writer, kid, ssshhhh. Just sssshhh. You're killing me, young people. Killing me.

Dishy (#246,301)

"I asked some of the group as they were picking up their orders if they had intended to not tip. They hemmed and hawed and walked away.

Well. I could have not said anything. I could have made it a subtweet. I probably should have made it a subtweet. But I didn’t, because of some misguided notions about having "the courage of your convictions," or whatever."

Look up "courage of [your] convictions" and you'll see that that you are, actually, quite misguided. Your boss is the one with courage, because s/he fired you despite (I'm sure) knowing they'd be excoriated online. You, on the other hand, just proved Joel Stein right yet again.

It sucks that you got stiffed, but the minute you sent that tweet, you became worth less than a $170 sandwich order and any repeat business it might have resulted in. And the game thing just sounds like sour grapes.

Do yourself a favor and, if you ever work for a small business again, pick your battles. Tipping is done at a customer's discretion, and while it sucks to not be compensated for your time and effort, your boss has a product to sell and tips are the frosting, not the cake. Want a tip? Be awesome. Don't get one? Try again.

And a hint: "Did you guys want to leave a tip?" or "We accept tips!" said in a pleasant voice goes over better than "Did you mean to not tip?" or whatever you said (which clearly didn't work).

17169100@twitter (#246,306)

those cheap-ass bastards!

Creinauer (#246,316)

I would like to point out that not everyone in the service industry gets tips. I worked hardware retail for a number of years and the level of effort to serve customers is no less than what wait staff put into their jobs, but I NEVER received a tip. I understand that service related jobs are low-pay, but why should one group feel entitled to a gratuity over another? Also, why assume that someone who doesn't tip is a cheapskate? Maybe they can't afford a tip. Maybe they thought the level of service didn't merit a tip. People should be happy they're working, gratuity or no gratuity. If you're not happy with your job, find another.

TurboKitty (#6,068)

From my understanding, it is illegal to solicit tips … a tip is supposed to be a gift of appreciation however, it's illegal to ask for one. It's also bad form for the boss to fire his employee and reinforce the patron's arrogant behavior. I work in the service industry and there's an old saying that most of us ought to live by … " Even if you lose one client, 10 more will come to replace them."

Cobalt (#7,571)

Regardless of the author's youth and inexperience, the order was large enough to hold up the line, and tipping would have been a reasonable thing to do if nothing else. The author though might have tweeted something along the lines of "Our food truck employees always love tips for huge orders because we are epic" or some such comment. It would have indirectly singled out Glass Lewis without specifically shaming them in front of others — they, if they had a clue, hopefully would have thought, I wonder if that's us? The author may have kept their job and next time Glass Lewis hopefully would have tipped to make up for it. However if these people from Glass Lewis are young and entitled themselves, no amount of badgering would make them tip for food service regardless, at a food truck or elsewhere.

TheBigBabyP (#246,322)

And here you have the perfect example of the entitled youth of today. Yes not getting a tip on a huge order sucks. And those people that did not tip you they suck too.

But part of customer service, and yes you are in customer service whenever you deal with a customer. Is dealing with the sucky ones and move on to the good ones.

People need to be more cognoscente of what they put on the internet.

Take this as a lesson learned in life moment, instead of a woe is me life is so unfair I deserve more moment.

petey (#8,666)

This is fundamentally a restaurant v. food truck thing? A truck is not a restaurant, I have to stand and come get it, and esp. if it's under $5 bucks… the whole tip thing is looking way optional. If I see other people tipping, if extra effort and care or attempt at charm was made, if it's a place I like or go to a lot… tip! Otherwise, it's a truck? I don't know.

It would have been nice for the Glass Lewis folks to have tipped given the size of the order. I worked in retail for years (which sometimes required handholding, patience) and almost never got tipped.

According to the authors own words – the facts

12 people showed up to the truck

12 people ordered about 12 sandwiches and 5 or 6 shakes

12 individual people – 12 individual orders = 170.00 = about 12 sandwiches and 5 or 6 shakes according to the menu.

Paid with one credit card – paying with one card should have made things easier – since it wasn’t 12 individual people paying cash or whatever

However I don't have an issue with tip shaming when it is deserved – as consumers we have the right to say just about whatever we want about goods and services – I think it’s only fair for companies to be open and honest about douche-bag customers – why not?

The kid was wrong – tips aren't necessary when individual customers pick up food at a window – there are instances where tipping probably is a good idea, I don't think this was one considering the facts.

The PR fallout from this tho…was equally as bad. Someone should have been smart enough to realize that firing some minimum wage kid who made a stupid tweet shaming them for not tipping – could possibly blow up in their faces. (see the Streisand effect)

Should have learned from Amy's Baking Co – keep a low profile, keep your mouth shut – the whole thing will blow over in a day or two -

c7thivjkn (#246,335)

Get over yourself, you uppity nobody piece of eternal trash.

You didn't shame anyone. No one will ever feel shame for not handing over free money to a total stranger because it's expected of them. We just feel pride that we don't allow ourselves to be pressured by society into wasting our money. Then three seconds later we forget scum like you exist and move on with our lives. You aren't important enough to have shamed anyone and you never will be.

topher (#246,336)

"maybe I'm not the best employee for a gamified grilled cheese truck."

" I'd been thinking about quitting and focussing on freelancing."

haha, good luck with that, captain work ethic.

Myrtle (#9,838)

No one has yet proposed the truck adopt a standard used in restaurants: orders over () subject to a service fee. Oh, and then, unlike Amy's Baking Company, that money goes to the employees.

Shinyonne (#246,348)

@Moff I spent 6 months as a server for a mid-price, sit-down chain restaurant during a brief break from corporate life and despite knowing what tips mean to your bottom line as a server, I think they should be abolished in favor of higher food costs and a higher wage. As far as I could tell, servers were basically considered independent contractors who were "tipped" by the company to take orders and deliver food, with most of our wages coming directly from the customer. We brought our own pens and order pads. We had to bring our own money to make change. We had to pay for our uniforms. The company saw us mainly as hourly labour costs that needed to be minimized on an minute-by-minute basis. If business was too slow and the employee-to-table ratio too low, we'd get cut. They'd try to pay us in food because under the law they were required to pay you for min. 3 hours of work unless you were paid in something other than money – aka a free meal. It was entirely up to the customer to ensure that we earned a living wage. This was *after* customers had shelled out far too much for sub-par food to the restaurant. We were also required to remit 3% of our sales as a tip-out to the kitchen (and I'm sure management skimmed a bit off of that too.) That's a fair policy, but it meant that if I wasn't tipped, I still owed 3% of that sale back to the restaurant. Sometimes I'd do my best to offer great service but the kitchen was in such a disarray that it would take an hour to get a salad during a busy Friday lunch. (This is a not an exaggeration) You don't get tipped if it takes an hour to get a salad, for good reason, but I still owed 3% of the cost of that salad to the restaurant.

As much as I live by an ex-server code of honor that says I must always tip well (unless service is appalling and then I tip nothing and let them know why) tipping has become a hidden service fee. The consumer should pay the market rate for that meal, which would include labor costs. If it takes an hour to get a salad and the customer gets up and leaves, everyone, not just the server, should pay the price for that. Restaurants with great food and great service can charge more for it, and pay higher wages. Those who treat their employees like crap will lose business in the end. (My restaurant franchise was almost taken over by the corporate office it was so poorly managed.) What appears on your bill should reflect the true cost of creating that meal, service included. If you want to give a little extra for someone who goes out of their way to give you a good experience, that's up to you. But required tipping is a joke perpetrated by restaurant owners who want to fleece both their customers and their employees. Anyone who supports it has been brainwashed by the restaurant industry. I've lived in Europe and service was no different there than in North America, probably better in some instances. Food costs were higher in some countries, but lower in others. It was a point of pride among servers there that they didn't need your tips. They weren't pushy about upselling you either, which was a big part of my job.

If a food truck wants to implement an extra fee to process a large order for a corporate client, perhaps that's fair given that the time it takes to process that order might mean you lose a few other customers who don't want to wait around for some grilled cheese and a milkshake. But I don't see any reason to tip a food truck driver, just as I don't tip for any take out unless it's delivered. The cost of your meal should reflect the cost of getting it from the farm and into your mouth. If it's a great place to eat and a great place to work, it will attract great employees who deserve a higher wage and customers willing to pay more. That puts the onus on everyone at the restaurant to make the experience great, not just the server.

Carlos Danger (#246,363)

1. Food trucks don't deserve tips. No waiter = no service = no tip.

2. Got a problem with a client? Gee, I dunno, ever tried being a normal human being and having this thing called a PERSONAL CONVERSATION? Maybe a little less time texting/tweeting/facebook-ing and a little more time in face to face interaction with other people would give Brendan the interpersonal skills to better manage disagreements.

235323722@twitter (#246,378)

The irony is that by having this story written after he was fired the food truck company just spread his tweet beyond his 300 twitter followers. WAY beyond.

Let's see how Glass Lewis & Co do against the free press.

themegnapkin (#201,538)

@235323722@twitter I think they'll do pretty well. IMO, the author comes off as an entitled brat, and Glass Lewis & Co did the food truck owner a favor by letting him know his employee was acting inappropriately.

Rex Curtis (#246,389)

1. You worded your Tweet so it forces the public to believe a dozen employees represent the whole company. They don't. Your complaint is about 12 people whom you think acted inappropriately. Just because you don't have their 12 names doesn't mean you lay it on the company. 2. Could the other employee have pocketed the money and told you there was no tip? 3. Although tipping is part of your pay and not a favor or gift, you never complain about tips. That's inappropriate. It affects attitudes and bad attitudes will affect service quality and that affects future tips. On the most basic level of future tips being affected, how many tips are you making now that you're fired? 4. A customer has the right not to tip. You talked to people in person about not tipping, you sent an accusatory Tweet that hurt the image of the whole company and then you wrote an article about it. Maybe you have a bad enough attitude that your service wasn't worthy of the tip in the first place. If a guy's service isn't worthy of a tip, I can understand why the people "hemmed and hawed and walked away" when being confronted. Maybe they didn't feel like telling you about your poor service. 5. If my opinions are totally wrong, at least I'm not blaming Milk Truck as a company. It's you, Brendan O’Connor, on whom I'm placing the blame. Rex Curtis

ThisGoesto11 (#246,391)

The reason restaurants put tips on large parties is because wait staff rely on tips and tipping wait staff is customary. Tipping food trucks or other take away service is not, and never has been. I occasionally tip the local independent take out place I get burgers from, but that's a sign of support, not a response to custom or expectations.

Large take out orders don't come with tipping expectations either. Just ask the people at Mickey D's.

This is a story you would have been better off not writing, as it's brought you far more embarrassment than the company you "shamed." Their employees were right not to add an unnecessary cost to a food order (or to pay it themselves, if they were buying the meal on their own). You were dead wrong to complain.

dank (#246,393)

We take turns picking up the food for large meetings at my office.

Do I tip the workers at Chik Fil A when I get the platters there? Do I tip the worker at my local grocery store when I get the sandwiches there? Both places on the receipt there is not even a place for a tip.

ShanG (#246,390)

Awww, another entitled brat bitching about losing their job after they demontrated a complete lack of decorum and respect for their employer. Suck it up, buddy. Everyone has had a crappy job or two in their lives; it's how you learn character. The fact that you were given a global platform to whine on boggles my mind.

I always base my tips on the service rendered. Bad service? No tip. Outstanding service? Huge tip. No one is required to tip, especially when it's not a sit-down service.

kelly1987 (#246,396)

I would like to take a moment to first state that I worked in food service for 5 years in a similar environment where I prepared food behind a counter and served it to customers in line. I was not a waitress & while I was occasionally tipped, I made a normal hourly wage and never EXPECTED people to tip me regardless of what they ordered or what their social status was. I was getting PAID to do my JOB which was TO MAKE FOOD. This author comes off incredibly pretentious to me, and this paragraph alone is so nauseatingly self-righteous… I've inserted a few thoughts pertaining to each section in brackets.

"And also: If social media is going to be used in one way to monitor worker productivity, why can it not also be used to advocate for a more civil exchange between worker and consumer? [probably because most major corporations don't feel the need to talk back to a twenty-something whining about doing his job while making a statement that he admittedly said may cause him to lose his job on a social networking website. Perhaps you should have approached the topic in a more "civil", mature manner if you wanted to be treated with more regard]

And why wouldn't a food service entity, while it's judging employees on social media, also judge its customers? [Because it's not paying its customers to make food and serve it]

The business practice of running a restaurant is to cultivate great customers and spurn bad ones. [Likewise with employees]"

I also love how he states he was going to quit anyways. It's like when a psycho girlfriend is broken up with and is all "I didn't even like him that much"

BrotherSpike (#246,402)

Not sure who this leach (author)is, or who he thinks he is, but frickin' A, what a prick! If you want a certain price for the food you serve post that price. Try being honest for a change, you might like it. Nobody owes you nothing. Don't post a cost, and expect more than what's posted. Tipping has become nothing more than ransom for intant welfare.
$170.00??? How long did it take you, 20 minutes? That's $510.00 an hour dude! what do you frickin' want? Even with a 33% food cost your still clearing $340.00 an hour! Try honesty, you might like. Hey I got an idea, ask your BOSS to pay you what you think you're worth instead of strangers.
You sir, are a frickin' wimpy ass prick!

38774827@twitter (#246,403)

Tips used to mean "to insure promptness" and seemingly the promptness of your team making and serving the sandwiches should have included a tip. However,tips are not a required item for those who order food or for services in general. They are at the discretion of the one ordering. No matter how bad mannered it may have been to not leave a tip it was equally bad mannered to comment on it. At one time tips were not expected at a food truck. Times have changed and expectations have also. If all of us treated others better than we were treated than life would be one we wouldn't complain about.

ESanders (#246,410)

If I ever must say "to hell with" my health and eat off food trucks, I'm expected to tip?

Also, if tipping is expected for a large group, food establishments add a conspicuous notice (on the menu or somewhere visible in establishment) that tipping for large parties is automatically added to the bill. I seriously doubt a corporation of this size would ignore such a notice, which I seriously doubt was posted anywhere.

In any case, tip shaming would give me one more reason to do my body good by not eating that (expletive) to begin with.

And I must leave one parting shot, since this is the Internet and it would be inappropriate not to speak one's mind. If anyone (individual or group) does not tip, obviously they didn't personally feel it was worth it. I would have kept silent, personally, because it's embarrassing to admit I failed to inspire the customer to tip. A food truck, really? People that eat off food trucks often are on a strict budget, it's not like they can necessary afford to shop at Whole Foods. If people can afford to tip and want to tip, fine. If it's expected, add it to their bill instead of shaming them.

Buck4it (#246,414)

I don't tip the ice cream man and I don't tip at a taco stand or McDonald's. Why would I tip a food truck worker?

49869820@twitter (#246,430)

So glad you got fired for acting like a little sh*thead. What goes around comes around, whiner. The fact that you could reflect on this and still not get it shows you what a punk you are. In Japan they don't tip at all–perhaps you should move there until you learn some manners.

Annie Bart (#235,897)

Am I the only one who knows that if you earn tipped employee wages and your declared tips do not equal non-tipped minimum wage, your employer is responsible for paying you the difference? Example: non-tipped minimum wage is $8 and tipped is $3. You averaged $5/hour. Your employer is responsible for paying you the extra $3/hour. So no matter how crappy your tips/slow business is, you are guaranteed non-tipped minimum wage. Thus, working for tips is better than minimum wage, because you can make more than that, but not less.

238845944@twitter (#246,449)

So you are reporting all those tips you did receive as income on your tax return, right? All wages and tips are subject to taxes and by exposing the fact you usually get tipped and this time you didn't, you are giving the IRS all they need to do an audit on you, charge you back taxes on unreported tips as well as penalties and interest. If that doesn't teach you to keep some things to yourself, nothing will.

PuppetMaster (#246,461)

This is what is wrong with some people who receive tips; they expect them all the time. Tips are EXTRA! Tips are something a customer gives a worker for exceptional service, if they CHOOSE too! Get it? It's optional. You, as a worker, are paid a wage by your employer. I, as a customer, pay a price for a product, food or service. That's it. The transaction is done. If I choose to tip you, I will. If I don't, keep your mouth shut. And if I don't leave you 15%, 20% or whatever you think I should, still keep your mouth shut! Why should a customer be expected to impose an additional tax (your tip) on themselves just because you want more money? You think you work hard and deserve it? Yeah, you and everyone else. Get over yourself. Brendan O'Connor should have just chalked this experience up to a busy day (which is what it was), but instead had to act like a whining idiot and get himself fired. The food service industry is better off without him.

OhAWLNo (#246,465)

I'm not sure why you think making their large grilled cheese order should earn you more money than making one for someone else in line. You're there to make and serve grilled cheese sandwiches to whomever shows up during your shift. In order to keep the business running and stay employed you need customers to return and buy sandwiches, so focus on the customers' needs and serve the business as you were hired to do. You should not expect tip just because there happened to be a lot of people who want and like the product and ordered at the same time. This isn't a sob story – you weren't abused or mistreated, you just thought you deserved more because you had to work a little harder. Grow up. I'm glad your potential freelance employers now understand how flexible and dedicated you will be to serving their needs, particularly in high-pressure, tight deadline situations. Bravo.

Dhaya (#246,549)

First of all, your employer is an asshole. They should have followed up with an inquiry asking whether there was something subpar about your service. And if there was nothing subpar they should have supported you. People who are saying you shouldn't be tipped are either CHEAP AS FUCK or DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW THE SERVICE INDUSTRY WORKS IN AMERICA. The only time it is okay to leave ZERO tip is when the person does a BAD job. An adequate/mediocre job = an adequate/mediocre tip aka 10-15%. A good job = 20%. An exceptional job = more. I think the bare minimum is 10% if there was no complaint, and that's even on the cheap side. And I am someone that has NEVER relied on tips because I have NEVER worked as a waitress or bartender. I do field marketing and deal with the general public on a daily basis. Collectively, people suck. Have compassion for anyone that is forced to be nice to strangers as part of their job description. But finally, I just think cheap people should stay home. If you can't afford to tip, don't go out. If you don't want to tip, reevaluate yourself.

bettyboop (#246,566)

@Dhaya

Why is the employer an asshole? Because they expect an employeee to do their job, take the pay offered, and not resort to public tantrums when they don't get their way?

Awwww, poor widdle baby, had to make sandwiches that took just forever, FOREVER I tell you, to assemble. What do they think he is, a slave?!

Unfortunately, the writer is a sorry, sniveling example of the entitlement mindset that is making life less and less pleasant every day. You see, I tip. I tip at SIT DOWN restaurants. Not food trucks, where you stand out in the rain to pick up your own damn food. This "man" was looking for an opportunity to start a bit of a shitstorm and got it. It will be quickly forgotten, though he will still be out of a job. Don't worry, though, he still has his parent's cash to rely on:

“I was only able to speak/tweet my mind because my family is supporting me as I get on my feet as a writer and editor and journalist here in New York. I have a safety net that lots — most — people don’t.”

My mother always told me, to point out the bad manners of another person simply makes you look like an ill bred douchebag (she used another word). Lets face it, we all know moms are right, and on this one, she really hit the nail on the head.

Korsgaard (#246,572)

Regarding O'Conner, let me just say he seems like a self-entitled spoiled hipster twat who fully deserved to get fired for what he did. Now that he's trying to act like some working class hero when he has mommy and daddy paying his rent while he 'finds himself', he's actually become even more loathsome. Hopefully this will blow over fairly quickly and he'll have to get a day job. Some of us aren't lucky enough to consider them 'optional' like he seems to.

Dr.Dinosaur (#241,476)

@Korsgaard I'm sorry, we just had a meeting and you're no longer allowed to use the word "hipster" until you get a handle on what it means. Consult some dictionaries, observe its use in context, maybe try having a respectful conversation with a young person, and we'll reevaluate your case next year.

Ralph (#246,617)

its a bit silly to think you are entitled a tip. perhaps your service was mediocre. perhaps you didn't smile at them. Be happy that they are going to your place of employment and spending money which in turn gives you a job. To continue writing about it here because you have a medium to do so instead of finding something more worthy to write about is probably part to blame but frankly, i think that your entitled position that you deserve a tip for doing your job is just downright wrong.

Del Coro (#246,718)

My god, what an obnoxious, entitled little shit you are.

IHateLosers (#254,998)

You sound like an idiot. I hope nobody is stupid enough to hire you after that incident. After all, you sounded like you were proud of what you did and didn't seem to care stating, "I was going to quit anyway, and I'm going to find a freelance job as a writer." Your article was even funnier than unskilled McDonald's workers demanding $15 an hour.

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