Buckle up, bitches, because I am pissed off. Last week, a server named Justin sent me a photo of a receipt he received while working at Hickory Tavern in Indian Trail, North Carolina. The customer, as assholes are so often wont to do, decided to leave a bit of social commentary written on the receipt explaining why they were unhappy with their dining experience. This particular customer wasn’t dissatisfied with the food or service, but was upset with the sexual orientation of the server.
Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food. Ruined my experience tonight. Will not be back.
After first concealing the name of the homophobic piece of shit, Justin sent the photo to a few of his friends on Snapchat and the next thing he knew, that photo ended up being shared to other social media outlets. Enough people saw the receipt that it encouraged one customer to come in the following day to try to make up for the insult by leaving him a $500 tip on a $2.75 check. Written on the receipt.
Justin, God is love. Jesus loves you and Hickory Tavern is lucky to have you. Merry Christmas!
I asked Justin about that tip and he explained to me that the man who left it to him told him that he had a gay son and no one should be talked to that way. Well, rather than this story having a happy ending where the original asshole learned a valuable lesson and Justin learned that there is more love in this world than hatred, Justin went to work the next day to discover he had been fired because “they have to protect their customers.” He’s not sure if he signed a social media contract prohibiting him from posting online about his job, but he was fired nonetheless.
Alright, here I go: Fuck. That. First off, Justin didn’t even expose the name of the person who spouted hate and I wish we had because I would be all over that garbage human right this very second. I mean, they want to complain that a gay person ruined their meal? Really? There are literally hundreds of things that straight people have ruined for gay men. For me, it starts with riding the school bus because in seventh grade some 15-year-old asshole put on a pair of “Fag Proof Glasses” and then announced to everyone that when he wears them he no longer sees me. Straight people have also ruined holding hands in public because if I do that with my husband, undoubtedly someone will call us fags. Straight people have literally murdered gay people just because they didn’t like them, but this asshole thinks her fucking chicken wings were ruined because a gay man is the one who placed her food on the table. Fuck that.
And fuck Hickory Tavern for caring more about the privacy of a hate-filled customer who spent $30 rather than the feelings and safety of one of their employees. Maybe Justin should not have posted the receipt, but he didn’t say the name of the person who wrote the note. You would think that in this situation they could have said, “Hey Justin, we understand how upsetting it must have been for you to receive that note, but in the future, maybe the best thing would be to not post a picture of it online. I’m sorry that happened to you and we have decided to ban that customer from ever coming here again because Hickory Tavern is a place where we want our employees to feel respected.” Instead, they just fired him which means they definitely care more about keeping homophobic customers than they do about keeping a valuable employee.
When Justin first sent me the photo, I told him I did not want to share it for fear of getting him into trouble. Now that he has been fired, he told me he no longer cares. He, just like me, wants people to know that this happens to gay people all the time. People decide to hate us for no reason other than who we are. We don’t know the name of the person who wrote on that receipt, but if enough people share it, perhaps it will eventually get back to them and they will know what a total piece of shit they are. And maybe they will have a tiny bit of remorse for writing it when they realize that Justin was fired for expressing his disappointment with the human race.
If you want to go to the Facebook page of Hickory Tavern to express your own disappointment in how this situation was handled click here. (Link disabled.) And if any of you run a restaurant in the area of Indian Trail, North Carolina and a server named Justin applies for a job, I hope you will give it to him. He doesn’t deserve to be unemployed.