If I had one wish, or one bit of advice to simplify your life, it would be to own the words that come out of your mouth. One of my pastimes seems to be a kind of people watching. One of the patterns I've noticed is a reluctance to stand by a statement or to acknowledge fault. The most recent dustup in the news that caught my attention was the story of the snarky pastor who refused to tip on their portion of the bill for a table of 20 people. Being such a large group, the 18% gratuity was automatically calculated by the POS system. In return, this godly creature wrote a sarcastic note to the effect of "I give god 10%, what makes you think you deserve 18%?".
fellow waitress (Not the one who waited on the party of 20) thought it
was ridiculous and posted it on reddit for others to enjoy as humorous.
The image went unexpectedly viral, getting hundreds of thousands of
views. This fine, upstanding member of the church of the poisoned pen
later called the restaurant, demanding that all involved be fired for
the "leak". Her note had reached the ears and eyes of her
contemporaries and was besmirching her reputation.
this absurd demand held water with the chain's management and the
waitress was relieved of her duties. I'm sad for her, but I can
understand it from an HR perspective. (Though, I can imagine that this
decision will impact their sales. Plenty of people know how to vote
with their wallet.) What really gets my goat is the behavior of this
clergyman. She obviously wrote the note for someone to see it, and to
be an asshole about paying someone for their services. However, once
the ink was dry on those poisonous words, they were no longer hers to
control. They became property of the internet, giving the entire world a
peek into how she acts when she thinks only very few are watching.
Turns out, Applebees might be good enough for dinner, but this pastor
doesn't particularly care for the taste of crow.
heard on the morning radio show I listen to, one of the hosts agree
with me on this point. Being this sort of an asshole isn't something
you'd expect from a person representing their faith in an official
capacity. Was it right that the waitress snapped a photo of the receipt
that included the signature along with the note? No. That could open
up the pastor to identity theft. But, in a day and age where the
internet is just a shutter click away, and it takes nothing but luck to
go viral, it's safe to assume that anything and everything can be seen
by someone a half a world away in a matter of moments. What makes me
shake my head about this whole mess rests squarely on the shoulders of
the pastor. Here's my thinking. If your career in life is something
that you have to take home with you, or bring out in the world amongst
the populace, then you can't really take off that hat, so to speak.
Meaning, you don't stop being expected to behave like a pastor after
the sermon is over on Sundays. There is no quitting time. So, if you
behave in such a way that's unbecoming to your station, then you deserve
to be called out on it, regardless of how many people witness it. You
can't be a jerk to a small number of people and think it's ok if doing
the same thing in front of thousands would embarrass you. Prior to the
internet, it was nearly impossible to recover from a misstep such as
this. In the age of camera phones and mobile internet apps, it's
impossible to unrign that bell. The short lesson here is; learn to
balance your life between living like everything you do is screencapped
and not succumbing to outright paranoia. Somewhere in the middle there
you'll have an awful lot less to worry about.
knows if this pastor learned anything from this whole mess. I doubt so
based on the fact that she followed up the viral storm with an angry
phone call demanding those involved be fired. To my mind, what would
have been more appropriate for someone of her profession would be to
turn the other cheek and own the fact that she had a "human" moment when
spite got the better of her. Perhaps some wouldn't be able to forgive,
but truthfully, that's on their hearts, not hers. Much like the maxim
that if you never lie, you don't have to have a good memory, if you
speak and act in ways you don't have to explain or justify, you've got
alot less to clean up for yourself. Something to think about on this