Shaina Brown is a single mother of three, who makes a living waiting tables for patrons. While working an overnight shift on Mother’s Day, an anonymous patron left a $1,000 tip for Brown in the tip line. Now, the restaurant she works at, a North Carolina Waffle House, is forcing her to return the tip.
According to Think Progress:
[box type=”shadow”][O]ne man she was waiting on put $1,500 in the tip line and told her to give $500 to a woman there, and keep the remaining $1,000 for herself. “You have a good spirit,” the man told the single mother of three, according to the Observer, as he left in a cab.[/box]
The restaurant won’t let her keep the tip, though. According to the restaurant, such large tips must either be cash or check, and that “large tips” are refunded to patrons as a standard procedure to avoid patrons that come back later to dispute or ask for a refund on the tip. Brown was understandably upset, saying that “I feel like they stole from me. They did exactly what they teach us not to do.”
These “angel tips” are becoming more common, according to Think Progress:
[box type-“shadow”]Large “angel tips” have become something of a common occurrence in the United States in recent years. Across the country, anonymous or semi-anonymous patrons are throwing down thousands — sometimes over ten thousand dollars – on gratuities. One man, under the instagram name “tipsforjesus,” has even been traveling the country leaving mega-tips and instagraming the people who receive them. His profile reads, “Doing the Lord’s work, one tip at a time.”[/box]
The restaurant Brown works at isn’t really the villain in this situation, though; they’re doing what they have to in order to cover themselves in case a patron does come back on them. The real villains are the politicians who block minimum wage increases and their parrots online who spew the venal talking point with reckless abandon.
These individuals think that they can force waitstaff to get by on a minimum of $2.13 an hour, under the delusion that they somehow deserve it, counting on patrons to make up the difference. Waitstaff and restaurant workers suffer through almost three times the poverty as the rest of the country.
Shaina Brown, and others like her, are the picture of the hypocrisy this country preaches on a daily basis: we praise people who work hard, but then condemn them for working hard at the wrong jobs.