Coon Rapids, Minn. — Applebee’s waitress Nicole MaHobbes’s Tuesday night shift ended in misery after she received a tip so extremely average that it could only be explained as “an obvious insult.”
The $6.17 left on a $35.26 check, a tip of exactly %17.5, left MaHobbes infuriated and confused.
“I just don’t understand it,” MaHobbes said. “I gave grade-A service according to the Applebee’s handbook and I get left with this. I ususally get fifteen percent from total jerks and twenty percent from nice folks, but seventeen percent — that’s just cruel. How am I supposed to judge my customers based on that?”
Tipping has been a hot topic lately as servers continue to post pictures of their tips on social media. Some enjoy exceedingly generous tips while others are left with goose-eggs, but very few are left with the empty feeling MaHobbes experienced.
“People don’t understand that servers rely on tips that people leave us,” she said. “If you add six dollars from that tip to the seven that I’m making per hour, that’s only thirteen dollars an hour. How can I live off that? Plus I have other tables to worry about. People just don’t account for the stress of having so many tips to calculate in a day.”
Floor manager Gary Gubiak was alerted of the insulting gratuity shortly after it was left, and was able to track down the couple that left it.
“The customers, who shall remain unnamed, claim that they always leave exactly seventeen point five percent,” he said. “The Johnson’s told me that they feel seventeen point five is highest amount they feel comfortable with and they carry a calculator to leave the exact amount. I didn’t buy Rick and Diana’s charade, but instinctively gave them a free dessert to take home and two ten dollar gift cards to ensure a future visit.”
The Johnson’s wish to remain anonymous, but agreed to comment on their visit to Applebee’s.
“Diana and I thought the service and the food was good, but not outstanding,” Rick Gerald Johnson of 5689 Roark Avenue, Coon Rapids, MN said. “We had decent food at a decent price, so we left a decent tip. We didn’t mean to leave any emotions with our six dollars and seventeen cents.”
The incident sparked by unknown customers Rick and Diana Johnson, parents of Josh, Paula and Natalie Johnson who graduated from Coon Rapids High School, sparked fury from the service industry workers across the country.
“I don’t know who these ‘Johnson’s that attend Mount Calvary Luther Church every Sunday at eight o’clock’ are, but their actions will not go unnoticed” Nashville Applebee’s server Tom Babcock said. “You do the math America. Servers only get seven dollars an hour. Now add horrible tips like six dollars, times three tables and hour, and we can only add eighteen dollars to our wage per hour. Who can live off of twenty five dollars an hour? I have a cat to feed!”
On the other hand, the AARP claims that senior citizens are living off a fixed income and should diligently watch their monthly spending.
“I wish senior citizens could make twenty five dollars an hour,” AARP spokesmen Arty Betker said. “We live off an average of eight dollars an hour and now we get criticized for leaving a six dollar tip? That’s…. We gotta stop these damn kids from skateboarding on the sidewalk!”