Bad tippers, be warned: If you stiff your server but leave a snippy note, the Internet might hear all about it.
On Monday, a customer at Washington, D.C.'s popular Busboys and Poets coffee shop paid a measly 10 percent tip and included a handwritten rebuke for the server. The object of the patron's ire? A slogan emblazoned on the server's t-shirt, which read, "OCCUPATION ISN'T PRETTY," a reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
DCist reports that, when Nuria Kalifa-Jackson collected the tiny gratuity, she found the following note: "Displaying your political beliefs on your shirt cost you a % of your tip." The customer also enclosed literature from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is currently in D.C. for its annual policy conference.
Kalifa-Jackson's employer apparently has no qualms about the shirt.
"[W]e AGREE that 'The Occupation Isn't Pretty' and are proud to have [Kalifa-Jackson] work for us!" read an update on the Busboys and Poets' Facebook page. The post included a photo of the shirt and the note.
Community activism, in particular anti-war activism, was a founding principle of Busboys and Poets, according to its website, so the space was probably not the best choice for this particular customer. Established in 2005 by owner Anas "Andy" Shallal, an Iraqi-American activist, Busboys was embraced by "the neighboring residents and the progressive community," in particular Iraq War opponents.
Even when controversial politics aren't involved, it doesn't take much for restaurant patrons to get uppity with wait staff. It seems that every week, Facebookers, tweeters or redditors are chattering over the latest curt note left in lieu of a server's tip. In January 2012, for example, a tipper left two pennies with a note that read, in part, "A little bit of personal attention goes a long way in the form of a tip. Just my two cents."
But every now and then, we come across heartwarming stories about grateful customers rewarding a job well done. In May, Greg Rubar, a longtime waiter at D’Amico’s Italian Market Café in Houston, received a whopping $5,000 tip from regulars. Rubar said he had been struggling with transportation and that he would use the money to buy a car for his family.