Anthony Fetto is a bartender at a Seattle restaurant who, like most bartenders, scrapes together his living mainly from the generosity of satisfied customers who leave him tips, on top of the rather meager hourly wage typically earned by restaurant servers. But one customer recently left Fetto a “tip” that he says he’ll never forget.
Seattle, Washington, as has been widely reported, passed a measure last year raising the minimum wage in the Pacific Northwest city to $15 per hour — a new requirement that, apparently, Fetto’s non-tipper vehemently opposes. But rather than take his complaints to the city council, the man now takes out his frustration on the people who serve him when he goes out to eat — and drink.
After getting what Fetto described as “the best service” all evening long, the anonymous customer, when it came time to pay the check, filled out a “0” in the space left for a tip on his credit card receipt. And with the receipt, he left Fetto a pre-printed card with a mini-essay labeled, in condescending fashion, “Economics 101,” and offered Fetto “a free economics lesson.”
Seattle’s minimum wage law is being phased in over time, and most restaurants — those employing fewer than 500 people — are not required to raise their wage to the $15 minimum until 2021, six years from now. But the self-righteous tip-stiffer either didn’t know that simple fact, or he didn’t care.
The minimum wage statewide in Washington is $9.32 per hour.
Instead of leaving a few bucks, which would likely mean much more to the guy who served him all night than to himself, the customer left the following card then walked away without a word.
Numerous commenters left their feelings on the Facebook page mentioned on the card, and not many sided with the non-tipper.
“Do everyone a favor,” wrote one. “Stay home and cook for yourself.”
“I have an idea!… If you don’t plan on tipping, make sure to tell your server before they bust their a** for you.”
Another fact that the non-tipper either didn’t know or didn’t care about was that a recent study found that a “living wage” in King County, Washington — that is, the amount of money required to meet basic living expenses such as food, housing and transportation — is considerably more than $15 per hour. In fact, for a single parent with one young child, a living wage would be $24.06 per hour.
By the year 2021, the living wage will likely be considerably higher than it is now.
After a Facebook post with the “Economics 101” card went viral, Fetto told a local TV station that before tips, his hourly wage is nowhere near $15 per hour — but that also didn’t matter to the customer who preferred to keep money out of Fetto’s pocket to somehow punish the city council for a decision he did not agree with.
But to the young bartender just trying to make a living, it wasn’t even the money that bothered him. He just wanted the man to, well, man up and tell him in person why he was stiffing him on the tip.
“It didn’t get me mad or anything, I was like wow, this is kinda silly like, y’know, tipping is a choice,” said Anthony Fetto. “At least come up and tell me personally like make a human contact, don’t be very passive aggressive and just kind of leave this and walk away without saying anything.”
[Image: KIRO-TV Screen Grabs]