Yeah, but that's a really hateful 18 dollars! (Screengrab via NBC News 4 New York)
Well, this is disconcerting. It appears that when gay waitress Dayna Morales claimed a family left her a hateful, homophobic note on a restaurant receipt explaining that they were withholding her tip because they didn't agree with her lifestyle, she may have made the whole thing up.
A couple that claims to have been the diners who filled out that receipt came forward to NBC News 4 New York with their copy, revealing not only did they not write the hostile note, but they did in fact tip Morales, and they presented their credit card statement which reflects the full amount including tip.
And they even tipped her pretty well! 19.2%. Yeah it's not the full 20, but 19.2 is not a bigot tip. Bigots never go above 15.
So this is....good news? That there's one less cheap, bigoted family dining at Asian bistros in Jersey? Bad news? That stories like this one might be making it easier for claims of bias and harassment to be dismissed? Yeah, probably the bad news wins out.
Morales's story of finding a note on a receipt refusing her a tip because of her "lifestyle" went viral last week, and she received an outpouring of support and donations from around the globe. A former Marine, Morales claimed she planned to forward a portion of the donations she received to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The motive for faking such a thing could likely have been the donations she'd expected to receive, given the recent precedent. In September, Toni Christina Jenkins, a black waitress at a Red Lobster posted a receipt on Facebook, on which she claimed a customer had written the n-word instead of a tip. That story inspired an online donation drive that raised over $10,000 for Jenkins. The man who claimed to have signed that receipt also came forward and denied that he'd written the racial slur.
Okay, here's the most ridiculously brazen detail of this whole ordeal. In the NBC report below, the family who filled out Morales's check present their credit card bill reflecting the full amount they were charged, which includes the $18.00 tip. Which means if Morales faked the whole thing, before she reprinted the receipt and faked the note, she actually processed the family's tip! Maybe she was covering her bets. Just in case it was a busy day on the Internet and the receipt didn't manage to go viral, she didn't want to lose that eighteen bucks? Which means, if this was fake, after all this mess, it was Morales who was the cheap one.
One thing's for sure. It looks like the bigoted note on a tip line story is hereby dead. We will still consider running stories about bigoted notes on restaurant customer comment cards. We'll also consider stories in which hateful words were filled in on the Junior Jumble on those restaurant placemats with the little word games all over them. And of course, on the flip side, family members writing heartwarming notes of acceptance to gay kids coming out will always have a home here at Happy Place.
(by Bob Powers)
Sources: NBC News 4 New York