Last week, I wrote about a gay N.J. waitress, Dayna Morales, who, instead of a tip, received an insulting note on a receipt, reading: 'I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.' After posting the receipt on her Facebook page, the story went viral.
Donations have begun to "pour in" for Morales, according to the latest ABC News report on the story, who has already received nearly $3,000 from around the world. To her credit, Morales says she is donating all the money she receives to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Back in September, an African-American waitress at a Red Lobster in Tennessee claimed she received a receipt with the word "none" scribbled in the 'TIP' line and the "N" slur scribbled underneath. She posted the receipt on her Facebook page (in defiance of company policy) and received approximately $10,000 in donations. (There is no indication that these donations were given to charity.)
If Morales donates the full proceeds to Wounded Warrior Project, that is certainly commendable and praiseworthy.
But what is disturbing about these stories is the degree to which the public seems to inherently believe stories of victimization, with no proof required. While I personally believe Morales's story and believe the receipt-note is authentic (e.g., due to the sprawling length of the message on the receipt), it is curious the degree to which all of these stories are automatically accepted as fact.
How many weeks will it be before another minority waiter or waitress claims a note was left on a receipt? Will the public just accept their word for it? At what cost? Will Christians be pinned as the bad-guy note-writers again? Will donations pour in and potential motives be ignored? And why is it now the default position to believe any tale of bullying or victimization these days? Can we not at least bother to wade through those who have merit and those that are questionable?
Apparently not. Question any of these stories (even the ones who turn out to be hoaxes) and you'll find yourself labeled the bad guy.