Dear Christians

Don’t do this. (via Uncle)

Seriously. You want to leave your server a little note about salvation and the love of Christ, I know.  Put it with the tip. And tip well.  Tip generously.

You know what else? It is embarrassing that the most hated shift at any restaurant is the Sunday lunch shift.  That waitress that you are treating like some kind of heathen for having the audacity to work on ‘the Lord’s Day’? She wouldn’t have to be there if you people didn’t patronize the establishment that day. Maybe, just maybe, she would prefer to be having a discussion about the morning’s sermon with her family instead of bringing your unruly rug rat another package of crackers to crush into the floor.

Ahem. Yeah, that may have struck a chord or 12 with me.

Years ago, I was a waitress. I missed many a Sunday morning service because I was scheduled to work that day.  We rotated the dreaded Sunday shift because we all hated it. There was a buffet. Dante left out that particular level of hell. The Sunday lunch buffet.

Families began to arrive around 11, still dressed in their Sunday best.  Some even clutching their Bibles. I guess they thought the sight of it might bring some of us around.  They’d look at me with disdain when I smiled an offered to show them to a table.  You would have thought I slapped them when I asked if they would prefer smoking or non. (Yes, I’m old enough to have waited tables when there were still smoking sections at restaurants.)

They wouldn’t make eye contact while placing their drink orders.  Half the time they wouldn’t even sit at the table; only pausing to deposit their purses and accouterments before making a bee line for the salad bar. So I would dutifully place water with lemon at each place setting while they drowned some croutons and hard-boiled eggs in ranch dressing with a couple of salad leaves for garnish. Do you have any idea how hard it is to bus a table with 5 ranch ponds on it?

And heaven forbid I try to clear some of the extra plates during the meal.  Oh no! They aren’t finished with that one.  So I was forced to watch in horror as the various sauces and drippings soaked into my nice white starched table cloths.  Which, by the way, do not double as napkins no matter how convenient that corner is. I eventually convinced the manager that we could really just skip the tablecloths and fresh carnations on Sundays.

I did add my 2 cents to a family’s discussion regarding salvation and the sinful nature of man. It was met with a stunned silence.  They never came back. I guess they couldn’t process the idea that the heathen waitress might have some understanding of the concept of grace and the eternal nature of Christ’s forgiveness.

And no, I am not giving you a doggie bag for the last plate you just filled from the buffet. Yes, I’d rather throw the food away than let you get away with that crap.

At the end of the meal, I was sure to find crackers and tomatoes ground into the carpet, cloth napkins that someone had blown their nose into, an empty vase (Did you eat the carnation?), and no tip.  Although sometimes there’d be a tract. Way to show your love and generosity.

Jesus washed his disciples feet.  Their nasty, dirty, tired feet. Jesus stood at the side of an adulteress doomed to be stoned to death. Jesus gave the keys to paradise to a thief sentenced to die on a cross, and yet too many of His followers can’t be bothered to drop a couple of measly dollars on the table for someone that served them. Too many can’t even treat their servers with basic human kindness and decency.

As a Christian, I am ashamed of my brothers and sisters that behave this way. You were called to seek and save the lost, to be a light to the world, to love your neighbor. Guess what? The waiter/waitress is your neighbor.  The store clerk is your neighbor.

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel ; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 29-31 KJV)

In case the language is a little challenging, here’s the Jennifer Simplified Version(JSV?): and Jesus said “Don’t be a dick

21 thoughts on “Dear Christians”

  1. Note to waitresses who deal with this crap: If any Holier-Than-Thou gives you crap, tell them you are Catholic and you went to Early Mass at 6:00am. Then ask them where were they at 6:00 am.
    You are getting tips anyway so may as well have fun.

  2. Amen sister! 🙂 I too am so ashamed of some of out fellow Christians. They aren’t the way to salvation, no matter what they think they know. Jesus is.

    edited by request-Jen

  3. Far too many of us are more concerned with our neighbor’s salvation than our own.

    That Ghandi fellow may have been on to something about being the change one wants to see in the world.

  4. Scariest word in my personal dictionary is buffet.

    I was the banquet guy at a hotel for a few years, was the sous at a couple of country clubs, and have worked corporate cafes for a Fortune 100 companies world headquarters for mumblemumble years now. Dear God…it’s like the sight of a stack of plates and a heat lamp drying out a hunk of dead animal blasts the civilization right out of people. (The corporate gig is a blast though, gotten to cook some amazing food.)

    And as bad as the Holier Than Thou buffet crowd can be, the same sort of folks at an exclusive(ish) country club are a million times worse.

    BGM

  5. I guess I’m a terrible Christian. I leave at least 20% even at buffets. More if the service warrants.

    Then there are the types that leave a dollar. They might have a tab that runs fifty bucks or more, and their server ran their butt off, but a dollar is it. If they’re just drinking coffee – forget a tip from them.

  6. I was stranded once in South Bend, Hoosier State, and took the graveyard shift at a Toddle House.

    I will see your bible thumpers and your country club set and raise you one. The very worst crowd is the after the big game crowd. They are rowdy, raucous, and cheap. Especially if their team lost.

    For those not familiar, at that time the Toddle House was a “pay by the honor system” outfit. Fifty plus customers eating full meals, along with a couple of hundred “coffee and a cruller’s” left less than three bucks in the pay box by the door. And eleven cents in tips.

    I would say what I think of them but I doubt the internet could stand it.

    Stranger

  7. Yah – remember that from my own dim-past.

    Funny bit: I’ve been told that I make a better Christian than many Christians…

    …funny because I’m a lifelong polytheist. Hmeh.

    – Ron

  8. I have had more than a few friends tell me things like “I wish you were a Christian, you’re too nice of a guy to burn in hell.” or “Really? But your such a good guy I just assumed you must be saved.”

    Am I a Christian? Maybe, I don’t know? I believe in God, I treat people the way I would like to be treated, I love my wife and my family. For me, I think that is enough.

  9. Worked many a Sunday shift in retail (yeah…I’m Christian, and I had the “honor” of giving up my day of worship so that a fellow co-worker could have the weekend off….he was Jewish), so I understand. Personally, I think one of the biggest hurdles that non-believers have regarding coming to know Jesus is….Christians. One of the best compliments I’ve ever had was from an athiest friend of mine. He said I was the first Christian he was happy to know, that I was actually “Christian” and not “overly pious”. Made my day! Still tryin to get him to come to church, but that hasn’t happened. Yet.

  10. Hypochristy (see what I did there?) is the reason I stay away from churches and the people in them.

    I don’t need a pointy building to be the person that I am.

  11. A few years back, I was part of running a hacker convention that had been in the same hotel for a few years so we had a good relationship with the hotel. I won’t get into the details, but one of our attendees did something stupid that we had to clean up. As our con chair was apologizing to the manager about what happened, the manager responded with “well, at least you’re not the Baptists.” I’ve talked to several folks in the hotel industry, and apparently church groups have a nasty tendency to misbehave under the thoughts of they should be able to get away with it because they’re good church going people.

    People need to remember that just because they show up on Sunday morning doesn’t mean they’re “good people,” and just because someone doesn’t make it a practice to attend doesn’t mean they’re not. Actions speak louder than words.

  12. Can’t remember the exact words, something like “Young lady(or man), pay attention to how your date treats people he/she doesn’t have to be nice to; it’ll tell you a lot about them.”

  13. I’m saddened to hear your stories of people behaving badly and I can relate to your contempt and even anger related to these people. Their sin, as you pint out, is judging you and not treating you with dignity and respect when you serve them. However, are you seeing the face of Jesus in them and feeling sad for them knowing that some day they will stand before God and be judged for their lack of love. As will you and I.

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