Waiter's Phony $10 Tip Includes Religious Lesson A $10 bill is a joyful sight for a server. But when one waiter went to retrieve such a note out from under a diner's plate recently, he reportedly noticed something curious. The tip it provided wasn't monetary, but took the form of advice. "SOME THINGS ARE BETTER THAN MONEY," it said on the back, "like your eternal salvation, that was brought and paid for by Jesus going to the cross."

The waiter, who makes $2.65 base pay an hour, didn't take well to getting so self-righteously stiffed. He posted photographs of the scene to the social newspaper Reddit, and wrote: "P.S. I have never been more atheist." "That's not very christian like behavior..." wrote one commentator.

But while that behavior certainly isn't the rule among Christians, it also isn't necessarily an exception. One waiter complained about the proffering of fake scripture-laden bills as tips on the "Friendly Atheist" blog in January 2009.

These phony bills appeared at least as far back as the summer of 2006, at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Greensboro, N.C. One blogger tells of going to a restaurant then and speaking to a waitress who was on the verge of tears. The convention attendees had been atrocious with their tipping, she said, but very generous with Bible verses and phony money.

"She asked us if we knew what it felt like to pick up what you thought was a great tip, only to find out that it was not real, and that the patron had actually been a cheapskate, after she served them well?"

Study: Christians More Likely to Stiff Their Server

The idea that Christians are poor tippers apparently has been whispered in service circles for a long time. Many waiters try not work Sunday brunch, so as to avoid notoriously stingy churchgoers, claims Justin Wise, the director of a Lutheran ministry in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Christians don't tip very well," he wrote for The Lutheran magazine in January 2009. "As a matter of fact, we're pretty cheap. What makes this worse is that we paint 'cheap' with a religious-sounding veneer and call it 'being a good steward.' Nothing like hiding behind the Bible to camouflage your stinginess."

One woman wrote back: "It was almost 100 percent true that the worst tips were on a check with a Bible verse or fish symbol."

This is a particularly uncomfortable phenomenon to face for a community that values generosity, justice and service.
"By leaving tracts and not tips, that person is saying to their waiter or waitress, 'You are not a person, but rather just a notch on my belt of evangelistic pride,' " explains Daniel Readle, a pastor at a Baptist church in Cleveland, on his blog "Christ and Culture."

An empirical study on this topic was conducted recently by Michael Lynn of Cornell University. He found that Christians are not in fact bad tippers; they gave an average of 17.3% for good service, well inside the 15% to 20% norm.

Only 13% of Christians left less than 15% for good service. That's a small minority of Christians, but still almost double the percentage of unaffiliated diners who left that amount, and more than six times the percentage of Jewish diners who under-tipped.

So while it is statistically false to say that Christians are bad tippers, it is true that Christians are more likely to stiff their servers than people of other religious (or non-religious) bents.

Because of these penny-pinchers, waiters are more likely to give bad service to anyone who appears outwardly Christian, Lynn suggests, or to call in sick for the Sunday shift.

Some things may be better than money, like trust, fairness, and tolerance. But a decent tip to your server can go a long way toward those goals.

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Russell Marcontell

Where can I get some of these so I can put them in the collection box at my local church.

November 18 2013 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

$2.65 base pay? Here's a tip....get a better paying job.

November 11 2013 at 9:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Lee's comment
Jennifer Cannon

Here's a tip for you, Lee. Don't eat out.

September 18 2014 at 9:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jessica Sideways

So, your idea is to alienate people out of the industry... I believe in paying people a fair day's wage for a fair day's work and $2.65 base pay is NOT a fair day's wage.

January 17 2015 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank Lee

People who go to church also tend to be old.

January 29 2012 at 9:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

As a college student who had attended church when I was younger and went out with the church groups-
they were the worst! Fact is a fact. I ended up picking up half the bill on many occasions with groups of 6-12 people.
My answer was to stop going to church and hanging out with cheap bastards! May sound harsh, but my Lord has blessed me abundantly and I am not only speaking of money here.
While I do not believe in wasting money by any means, if you can't afford to tip properly, you shouldn't eat out plain and simple or go through a fast food joint..... my 2 cents.

November 30 2011 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rdz69's comment

I hope you have found a church home that isn't hypocritical.

November 30 2011 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to savemycountry911's comment
Jessica Sideways

Heh, good luck with that. Since the Bible is self-contradictory, how can you find followers that aren't?

January 17 2015 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

A lot of the Christians are older people and very frugal...but they don't have a problem giving money to the church because they supposedly will be blessed the more that they give. There's not much upside for them to doling out a few more coins to someone who provided them good service.

November 29 2011 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GamblingMan's comment
Jessica Sideways

So, they'd rather pay more for an imaginary product than a real service...

January 17 2015 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i can put in all in a nutshell...eating out is expensive so guess who gets a small tip the server...reduce food prices and i can give more to the server plain and simpleeeeeeeee...my boyfriend and i eat out at least 3-4 times a wk...we seldom order soda to save money...our bill still comes out 25.00 every time...not talking fast food...so just cause we can't leave a 15% we shouldn't go out to eat...2.00 is all i can give...it has nothing to do with bad server ,bad moods ...that 8.00 for 4 days eating could of went to taco bell one time a wk...so don't take it personal and the 10.00 note thing was stupid and shame on them for doing that...

November 29 2011 at 6:24 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
8 replies to gladymills1@aol.'s comment

Another demonstration of Christians who neither understand nor truly practice their faith. Generosity, patience, and kindness... all shown by Christ, none of which are demonstrated by these self proclaimed Christians that believe just going to Church and saying some bible verses somehow allows them to be greedy, self righteous, and full of hate the rest of the week... These false Christians seem to drive more people away from Jesus then any other group in the world!

November 29 2011 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is just more Christian bashing by AOL. They would post an negative article about Muslims.

November 28 2011 at 9:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to savemycountry911's comment
Daniel Annweiler

While that may be true...even as a Christian I understand that hard-working servers need tips to survive. The so-called Christians leaving scripture laden fake money for a tip are ignorant cheapskates. Do you really think any of these servers are positively affected by this behavior? Thoughtless actions like this are what give Christianity a bad reputation.

Dan Annweiler

November 29 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Daniel Annweiler's comment

If you can't tip, you shouldn't eat out. I'm just saying they love to bash Christians.

November 29 2011 at 8:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down
Jessica Sideways

That, and of course, all of the other horrible things Christians do, like oppressing gays, pushing abstinence-only education, suppressing scientific research, harassing women who receive medical care and brainwashing children.

January 17 2015 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Kit Love

The only war on Christianity is from the people fed up with Christianity's war on everyone else who believes in anything else. This kind of action DESERVES to get bashed, as with all the other high profile things they get bashed on. Don't blame other people for pointing out the obvious blame your Christians that are the farthest thing from Christ-like possible!

September 04 2012 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

This makes me laugh. I have been a waitress for 4 years while I go to school and I also have another full time "real job" ( as ntersmikem ays) I think that its funny that you used to be a waitress knowing the work that waitressing entails, though it is easy work its easy because I've done it for 4 years. Ive never showed up at work with stains on my shirt, I dont smoke and I dont have any children. So not every waitress receives welfare checks. Its also so funny that you comment on every person that wrote on this wall. And before you say anything about how I commented as well. I spent maybe 10 mins on this page including typing this up you prob spent an hour.... You are the person that everyone talks about when we walk away because you are the quitessential *******. You think that you are entitled to our services. We are SERVERS not SERVANTS ( sound it out I promise you can do it) . Maybe if you were nicer to people and not just assume that they are receiving welfare checks or smoking when they go outside maybe you wouldnt be so damn angry.

I have actually given back tips on some tables because obviously they needed it more than I do. Also I have asked people why they didnt tip more or tip at all, what could have been better with the service. Thank god Ive never waited on you before, your night would definitly be ruined and you would never want to come back.

November 28 2011 at 7:12 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to caitlyn's comment

And do you list your tips on the income tax form? Hhhmmmmmmmm

November 28 2011 at 9:21 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to savemycountry911's comment
POed Lib

Gee, you are not very smart. These days, it's all done automatically. If you undertip, THIS ACTUALLY COSTS THE WAIT MONEY, since the Feds ASSUME 15% tips.

December 04 2011 at 1:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
POed Lib

Waitresses deserve a fair tip for service rendered. In many ways, we would be better with the European system, where service is simply included. I have never had bad service there.

December 04 2011 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How about a good athiest tip story? Maybe the athiest leaves a twenty because we will all be dead soon and you can't take it with you.

November 28 2011 at 4:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply