Single Mom, Sorry: Is it Ever OK to Leave an Excuse Instead of a Tip?

Is it ever OK to say you're a single parent in order to avoid leaving a tip? (Photo: Reddit via PhoenixSongFaw …Waiters and waitresses are up in arms over a restaurant receipt posted on Reddit, for which a customer used her status as a single parent to avoid leaving a tip.

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The $138.35 was paid with a Visa credit card, but in the space for a gratuity, someone simply wrote, "single mom sorry." And, at the bottom of the bill, a compliment: "Thank you it was great."

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"I'm sure $140 could have gotten you and your kids a week's worth of groceries, but instead you spend it on one meal?!" PhoenixSongFawkes, who posted a photo of the receipt on Reddit, wrote. "For shame!"

"And this is why many restaurants automatically charge you X% for a tip when the bill is above a certain amount, or there are a certain number of people in the party," Szos pointed out. "People are scumbags."

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But it's not the lack of a tip that's upsetting servers. It's the fact that the customer took the time to whine about being a single mom—and then rubbed salt into the wound by saying the service and the meal were fine.

"It doesn't matter if she tipped or not," wrote PhoenixSongFawkes, who has been a server for seven years and posted the photo for a friend. "The point of this post was that her writing 'sorry single mom' was unnecessary."

Given that waiters earn much less than minimum wage, they rely on their tips in order to earn enough money to pay the bills.

"I wish everyone could work one week as a server and then try to tell me it's not hard. The better you are at it, the easier it becomes, but it can still be very tough. Mentally and physically exhausting. And the fact is, we make $2.13 an hour," explained PhoenixSongFawkes. "If restaurants ever did change to just minimum wage, good servers would be hard to find. Because no one would work like that and put up with that for minimum wage."

Some readers were quick to point out that tipping is not the norm in other countries. Others refused to believe that the receipt was real.

"Looks fake. Handwriting doesn't match between the tip note and the thank you note," notbob1959 wrote. "Customer probably left tip in cash so the tip line was left blank."

But most readers recalled their own experiences as waiters and waitresses, and were furious on the waiter's behalf.

"If you're going to eat at a nice restaurant, the tip is part of that experience," Wrote Vikaroo. "If you're a single mom, maybe you should take that $140 and take your kids to Chuck-e-cheese instead."

"Or... spend it on 2 weeks of groceries as well as a couple nights of extremely good home cooked feasts," gryts suggested.

We haven't been able to confirm whether the receipt is for real, but the idea makes us wonder: Is it ever OK to leave an excuse instead of a tip?

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