When Chelsea Welch, an Applebee’s waitress, posted a picture of a receipt from a non-tipping pastor online, she probably didn’t think the act would cost her her job.
Welch probably also didn’t think that an unlikely White Knight would come to her defense in the wake of her firing.
Michael T. Zybura, a part-time pizza delivery driver and frequent Applebee’s patron, visited an Applebee’s in East Brunswick and left a scathing letter for the company — as well as an unsolicited $10 tip for an anonymous waiter. Zybura encouraged the employee to post the letter online — which he or she did — and promised he would double the tip if it went viral.
At the time of this writing, the letter has made the front page of Reddit and has received over 2,000 comments since Wednesday afternoon. The image was originally posted by user Augitao, and Redditor LateNightBro courteously typed it out for easy reading.
Zybura’s letter begins:
Let me cut to the chase: I find your termination of Ms. Chelsea Welch (an otherwise excellent and hard working employee) downright deplorable and appalling. As far as I’m concerned, she did absolutely NOTHING “wrong” when posting the image of that receipt with that insulting comment made by the customer Pastor Alois Bell.”
Zybura then goes on to say that the pastor could have simply ignored the post. “But no,” Zybura writes. “She HAD to complain to the manager and have an otherwise fantastic employee fired simply because she was embarrassed.” Zybura then attached a $10 bill to the letter.
You can read Michael Zybura’s letter in its entirety below.
Let me cut to the chase: I find your termination of Ms. Chelsea Welch (an otherwise excellent and hard working employee) downright deplorable and appalling. As far as I’m concerned, she did absolutely NOTHING “wrong” when posting the image of that receipt with that insulting comment made by the customer Pastor Alois Bell.
First off, there was absolutely nothing mentioned in the employee handbook admonishing this kind of behavior, but more importantly (if you wish to argue otherwise) just how much “personal information” could have possibly been divulged to the public just by the customer’s signature? NOWHERE was the customer’s full name, credit card information, address or even YOUR restaurant’s name indicated on the photograph of that receipt which is far more incriminating and potentially damaging information than just a signature alone.
How is a mere signature going to help a criminal commit an act of identity theft? Local health inspectors and fire/safety inspectors have their signatures prominently displayed on certificates posted publicly by restaurants like yours… can THEY complain that you publicly displayed their “private information”?
As far as I’m concerned the only “damage” done was to the pastor’s shallow and “precious” ego. Nothing more, nothing less. She could’ve have simply ignored the post, not said anything and just went on with her cheap and inconsiderate, stingy ways. No one would’ve been the wiser. But no. She HAD to complain to the manager and have an otherwise fantastic employee fired simply because she was embarrassed.
Ms. Welch did absolutely NOTHING to publicly embarrass/humiliate her…. MS. BELL DID. And cared more about her ego than actually righting a wrong and offering to not only fairly tip what was rightfully due to Ms. Welch, but fight to get her re-hired. Ms. Alois Bell, the pathetic excuse of a human being she is, did absolutely NONE of that… and YOUR company has the NERVE to stand by her side???
As a part time pizza delivery driver myself, I KNOW first hand what its like to work for a less than minimum wage depending almost entirely on tips just to pay basic necessities such as food and rent. Yeah, I get the “average” principle and try not to take the occasional stuff so seriously, however, on some really bad days when I have runs that I have to drive far, using MY personal vehicle and MY personal gas, and get nothing, its not only very frustrating but completely unfair that I get taxed at federal minimum wage rate when [I'm] actually making LESS in that hour delivering to these inconsiderate customers who have no clue as to what SERVICE is all about. Essentially getting taxed on money that I’m NOT making. And THIS is what your company CONDONES and is PROUD OF?!?!?!
Long story short: I have come to your East Brunswick/Milltown restaurant NOT to order anything…but to simply use the restroom, get my complimentary water with lemon and just LEAVE but not without generously tipping your server for doing nothing more than bringing me menus and water.
Furthermore I promised the server that should this letter appear online and go viral, that I’ll be returning to the store and DOUBLING his/her tip. And since he/she has my full permission and consent to post this letter online with MY NAME and signature fully visible, there isn’t ANYTHING that you can do about it.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
A now FORMER customer of yours,
Michael T. Zybura (attached $10)”
What do you think of Michael Zybura’s letter?