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Redditor Called ‘Meddlesome’ For Alerting Server That One Of Her Tables Is Leaving A Fake Tip

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Redditor Open-Heart-826 has had experience as a restaurant server for over ten years and, therefore, knows how hard they work and rely on tips.

So when they witnessed an injustice while out dining with their mother, they felt like they had to intervene.

But the Redditor’s decision to take action upset their mother, which subsequently led them to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit to ask:

“AITA for telling my mom she’s just as bad as the people who leave fake tips?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“This happened yesterday and my mom is saying I’m an a**hole because I didn’t mind my own business. I don’t think I’m in the wrong but maybe I am.”

“Yesterday my mom and I went out to a restaurant to get some dinner. We haven’t been out to eat since pre-pandemic so this was a treat for us. We got there before the dinner rush so about 10 minutes after we were sat and ordered tons of people started turning up.”

“One group was a family of 7. Parents, a teen girl, a pre-teen boy, two toddler girls, and a baby boy. They’d taken up two tables to the left of us and started up instantly with the ruckus.”

“Our waitress was swamped, her whole section got filled in the span of 5 minutes so I didn’t blame her for being stretched thin.”

“But the dad next to us was audibly complaining about the ‘shi*-tier’ service. I heard him say ‘I know how to get her attention’ before we saw him pull out what I thought was a $20. But then I saw the other side of it and it was white with some text. I instantly knew what it was and was appalled.”

“I watched him fold the ’20’ in half and tuck it under the ketchup. The waitress saw it too and brightened and was extra nice to them.”

“I was disgusted because I was a server for 10+ years so I’ve had people pull that on me and it’s DEVASTATING to be paid pennies and think ‘oh i’m getting a good tip!’ only to have the rug yanked out from under you with one of those fake money bible verse pamphlets.”

“I told my mom I was going to tell the waitress but she said for me to mind my own business.”

“I told her what they were doing was sh**ty and despite her hushing I waved the waitress over when my drink got low and gestured for her to lean in a bit before whispering that the 20 the table had out was fake, it was just one of those pamphlets disguised as money.”

“She looked stunned but thanked me.”

“Afterwards it was pretty obvious that that table was getting the least amount of attention she could get away with giving them. She didn’t ignore them but they were definitely her absolute last priority.”

“I guess they didn’t like that and left asap, leaving the fake 20 there. And yeah I saw her pick it up, check it, then toss it.”

“I felt really bad for her, she was clearly busting her a**. So I left her a really good tip, 3x the usual amount I leave.”

“On the ride home my mom and I got into an argument. She was mad at me for being meddlesome in things that didn’t concern me.”

“But I think I did the right thing. I’d have wanted someone to tell me if I’d been in her shoes. I got mad and snapped that she was just as bad as the d*ck who thought leaving a bible verse was adequate payment.”

“She yelled for me to not raise my voice at her but I said I wouldn’t have if she’d been a decent person. But then my brother agreed with her so now I’m at a loss.”

“Was I the AH for snapping at my mom? AITA?”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation, and many commented on the fake $20 that was presumably a religious pamphlet used for proselytizing.

“NTA, you did a good thing. But even if your mother disagrees, why is she meddling in things (as in your actions) that don’t concern her?” – Amerdale13

“As a former server and just a decent human thank you. You did the right think. NTA at all.”

“The world needs people like you. Not meddlesome but doing the right thing. They deserved it for having that kind of audacity.” – PamphletHamlet21

“Former server here. To this day, people like this guy seriously gets on my nerve. I know good religious people, and entitled AH like this guy (and people like OP’s mom who are only concerned about outward appearances) seriously get on my nerves.”

“They give the genuinely good people a bad name.”

“NTA, OP. I’m glad you spoke up. If your mom and brother continue to get on your case about this, ask them these:”

“How exactly did your letting the server know what’s up embarass your mom? Did any of the strangers around you two speak up to you or your mom about what you did? (I bet no one had paid attention.)”

“If someone else had tried to pull a fast one on your mom/brother at their work, and another person knew about it, would either of them rather that other person forewarn them, or would they be ok with being cheated because ‘speaking up would be embarrassing?'” – Kiruna235

“NTA. And bless you for having that poor woman’s back. I’ve never worked for tips, but I know what it feels like to be promised an award (horseback ride for cleaning my room to Mom’s satisfaction) and get trash in return (Coin op horsey machine in front of KMart). Bait and switch sucks.” – muffiewrites

“NTA, Bible verses disguised as money suck especially because I’ve found them in the donation box at the animal rescue I volunteer at.”

“We use that donated money for things that aren’t covered by government funding like toys so the animals can have more than just the basics of food, water, vet care and cages/kennels met.” – KitsuneofKyubiClan

“NTA. Telling her didn’t just help the waitress. It helped every patron in her section. She was able to better balance her service.”

“If you hadn’t said anything your service would have been slower while she catered too them. They would have gotten priority service while the real tipping customers got second best.”

“She also would have lost tip money from every single table that felt ignored in favor of that group. Remind your mother that poor girl will be taxed on estimated tips, which means she actually paid money to serve that table.” – efgrigby

While the OP’s mother thought interfering was meddlesome, many Redditors thought informing the server was doing the right thing.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1