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A waitress in Staten Island, NY has found herself at the center of some temporary TikTok rage after allegedly posting a picture of a diner’s check with a noticeably small gratuity.
Dana G., a longtime server at a Staten Island Applebee’s, told the Staten Island Advance she is now “scared to go to work” after realizing the photo of the check has been viewed over 722,000 times. The check in question was in the amount of $73.45 with a tip of only $6.55; a little less than nine percent.
But, the paltry tip came with an explanation.
“You was great holidays are just rough right now,” wrote the customer, with a frowny face and an arrow pointing to the amount.
Naturally, every TikTok warrior gathered up their torches and pitchforks and assembled for a virtual rumble in the style of “Anchorman.”
Some people launched into debates over wages for restaurant servers, while other lined up to rally for Dana G., shaming the mystery customer for being such a cheapskate.
But Dana G. says the notion she would complain about a tip and also post a video about it on social media is appalling to her.
“I turned the check in at the end of the night and went home,” Dana G. told the outlet. “Two days later I went food shopping with my children and my manager called and said, ‘You know anything about a receipt? It’s on TikTok and it has a lot of views and people are thinking it’s you.’”
“I would never ever shame anybody for anything they’ve ever given me,” she said.
The video prompted an investigation by restaurant management who concluded that Dana G. was not at fault. In fact, they believe she is the victim of a tasteless cyber prank. Apple-Metro, the New York Metropolitan Area franchise for Applebee’s, also determined she was not to blame.
“It’s a joke that they’re playing on — not us at Applebee’s — but this poor girl Dana who’s been with us for some period of time,” Apple-Metro CEO and chairman Zane Tankel told the outlet.
Noting that many TikTok users took to shaming her and not the low-tipping customer, Dana G. told the outlet, “It’s sad that everyone just chimed in. People are calling me names, saying I should get a better job, that I’m uneducated and if I’m not fired they’re not going to come and eat at Applebee’s.”
Tankel said, “She’s not a kid. She has two children. She’s a mother — a hard-working mother — and she remembers the guest well. We talked to her about it. She remembers him well and she did not take umbrage or offense at that comment on the check.”
He added, “Can you imagine — oh, my God. I don’t know why he would want to demonize her. Imagine…imagine…a momma. She’s protective of her children and it’s days before Christmas. It’s crazy. Just crazy.”
“She’s definitely not going to lose her job. We’re protective of our people. They’re our most important asset. And I will always remember that.”
Dana G. is staying positive over the whole unnecessary mess, saying of her employer, “They’ve been so supportive. And then I spoke to them today and I know that their lawyers are involved and they’re trying to get to the bottom of this and stop it. They told me not to worry. And if I need anything they’re there for me — and, you know, just stay off the Internet and just try to enjoy Christmas with your children.”
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