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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:15 PM

Applebee’s Overnight Social Media Meltdown: A Photo Essay

Hell hath no fury like a Facebook scorned. In today’s digital age, most of us assume everyone understands this fact. But everyone now and again, people surprise us. An ever-increasing element of this reality is that the hounds of Reddit, the Twitter armies, and Facebook vigilantes are more than willing to remind people that we live in a publicized world. You can’t hide behind privacy statements or legal jargon or appeals to company policy to pacify an Internet mob. Once you cross the line of Internet etiquette, the people of the World Wide Web will hunt you down and do their best to ruin you forever.

Applebee’s apparently never took note of this. You’ve most likely heard about their most recent encounter with virality. But in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a brief summary:

A waitress at a St. Louis Applebee’s lost her job for posting online the receipt upon which a pastor had declined to leave a tip, with a snarky note saying she gave God 10 percent.

After her dinner on Jan. 25, Pastor Alois Bell crossed out the automatic 18 percent tip charged for parties of more than eight. “I give God 10% why do you get 18,” she wrote above her signature.

Employee Chelsea Welch — a colleague of the stiffed server — took a picture of the receipt and uploaded it to the online site Reddit. She subsequently lost her job, an Applebee’s spokesman confirmed to TheSmokingGun.com, for violating a customer’s privacy.


http://rlstollar.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/applebees-overnight-social-media-meltdown-a-photo-essay/

68 replies, 7076 views

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Arrow 68 replies Author Time Post
Reply Applebee’s Overnight Social Media Meltdown: A Photo Essay (Original post)
CatWoman Feb 2013 OP
Lithos Feb 2013 #1
Incitatus Feb 2013 #2
Warpy Feb 2013 #3
juajen Feb 2013 #49
MADem Feb 2013 #52
Warpy Feb 2013 #61
Lithos Feb 2013 #12
Incitatus Feb 2013 #13
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #19
Freddie Feb 2013 #37
Go Vols Feb 2013 #50
Freddie Feb 2013 #51
MADem Feb 2013 #53
Sadiedog Feb 2013 #58
MADem Feb 2013 #62
Sadiedog Feb 2013 #67
MADem Feb 2013 #68
jeff47 Feb 2013 #59
OswegoAtheist Feb 2013 #26
MADem Feb 2013 #54
Cirque du So-What Feb 2013 #33
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #4
CatWoman Feb 2013 #23
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #27
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #5
TlalocW Feb 2013 #6
HarveyDarkey Feb 2013 #8
TlalocW Feb 2013 #10
OswegoAtheist Feb 2013 #24
Cirque du So-What Feb 2013 #34
tosh Feb 2013 #42
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #7
prole_for_peace Feb 2013 #11
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #20
Agschmid Feb 2013 #9
annabanana Feb 2013 #43
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #44
Agschmid Feb 2013 #48
xocet Feb 2013 #63
nobodyspecial Feb 2013 #14
RainDog Feb 2013 #15
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #16
SCVDem Feb 2013 #17
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #18
OswegoAtheist Feb 2013 #25
treestar Feb 2013 #66
UtahLib Feb 2013 #21
NiteOwll Feb 2013 #22
Historic NY Feb 2013 #28
mick063 Feb 2013 #29
idwiyo Feb 2013 #30
onethatcares Feb 2013 #31
Raster Feb 2013 #32
immoderate Feb 2013 #57
Earth_First Feb 2013 #35
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #36
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #38
Hamlette Feb 2013 #39
dogknob Feb 2013 #46
Hamlette Feb 2013 #55
L0oniX Feb 2013 #40
SCVDem Feb 2013 #41
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #45
L0oniX Feb 2013 #64
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #47
union_maid Feb 2013 #56
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #60
Lex Feb 2013 #65

Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:23 PM

1. A nicer thing

Couldn't happen to a crappier company.

They deserve what they get.

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Response to Lithos (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:28 PM

2. I've never been to one.

And from what I've heard even long before this incident, I'm not missing anything.

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Response to Incitatus (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:33 PM

3. I went to one maybe 20 years ago when they were still

trying to make a name for themselves. I was not impressed, at all. In fact, I think I left much of it behind me on the plate.

My mother loved the place, though. I think you need 3 packs a day down your lungs to appreciate it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:13 PM

49. My husband and I enjoyed going there in times past.

I thought the right thing to do was to fight for rights for low wage earners, such as increased minimum wage, not to keep people from going to restaurants owned by right wingers. How do we tell, anyway?

I do try to frequent places that I know are dem, but I don't know all the time who they are. I once knew a lady, whose daughter played with my daughter. She was a supervisor at Applebee's. She certainly worked hard to get that job, and was supporting her children as best she could. She was divorced, and husband was then struggling.

We cannot boycott all stores and restaurants we disagree with, as it hurts all of us, not just them. Making a point, though, like we all did with Chic fil a, is the right way to do it. I know I still love my chicken from there, but for a while, I boycotted.

Point is that we don't want to ruin a business, but letting them know we can is very important.

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Response to juajen (Reply #49)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:35 PM

52. YES We Can boycott--you are saying 'don't' and then providing an example where a boycott worked.

What you are saying is "Don't boycott them because the underpaid wage slaves might get fired."

Your thinking is illogical--they WANT to make obscene profits with shitty food and underpaid servers. They can't do that without customers. They aren't gonna fold their tent--they are going to fight to keep that income stream. They need to suck up to their customers to keep the business.

And unlike "Pastor" Bell, the customers, in this instance, have right and might on their side.

You can be sure a lot of people--many not caucasian--got laid off as a consequence of the Montgomery bus boycott. But was that a reason to not go forward? Hell no.

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Response to juajen (Reply #49)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:09 PM

61. The management of this particular one deserves a boycott

If you like franchise food, then eat franchise food. It's predictable, which is why my parents were hooked on the stuff.

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Response to Incitatus (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:52 AM

12. It is a bland place

That serves plastic food in a plastic environment. If you've been to a major franchise restaurant, or seen Office Space, then you've been there.

Nothing lost.

L-

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Response to Lithos (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:04 AM

13. So it's like a Denny's? nt

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Response to Incitatus (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:29 AM

19. Yes, but a tad more expensive than Denny's. Don't know why anyone goes there. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:02 AM

37. Alcohol is the difference from Denny's

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Response to Freddie (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:21 PM

50. Its been a few years,

but I had a Bloody Mary the last time I was in a Dennys.

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #50)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:32 PM

51. I'm in PA

Probably a matter of liquor license but I don't think Denny's has alcohol here, I might be wrong as our local Denny's closed years ago. It's not especially missed.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:38 PM

53. Denny's at least cooks some of their food on site.

Applebee's is a thaw and dump joint.

Of course, at some Denny's, it can be a challenge to get served, if you know what I mean. Go to the ones with black/latino servers, and you'll be OK...!

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Response to MADem (Reply #53)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:23 PM

58. I really do not know what you mean.

I used to waitress at a Denny`s, race made no difference in anything.

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Response to Sadiedog (Reply #58)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:42 PM

62. You apparently didn't waitress during the Era of Great Lawsuits.

Denny's used to be a Very Unfriendly Place for black folk in some parts of our fair land.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denny%27s#Racial_discrimination_lawsuits

During the 1990s, Denny's was involved in a series of discrimination lawsuits involving several cases of servers denying or providing inferior service to racial minorities, especially black customers.

In 1994, Denny's settled a class action lawsuit filed by thousands of black customers who had been refused service, forced to wait longer, or pay more than white customers. The $54.4 million settlement was the largest and broadest under federal public-accommodations laws established thirty years previously to end segregation in restaurants and public spaces.

These are some of the most notable incidents involving racial discrimination at Denny's, all occurring after the settlement:

A black Denny's customer was told, in 1995, that he and his friends had to pay up front at the counter upon ordering their meals. He questioned the waitress: "We asked the waitress about it and she said some black guys had been in earlier who made a scene and walked out without paying their bill. So the manager now wanted all blacks to pay up front."
Another 1993 incident occurred when six black United States Secret Service agents visited a Denny’s restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. They were forced to wait an hour for service while their white companions were seated immediately upon entering.
In San Jose, California, in 1994, several black teenagers were refused service unless they agreed to pay in advance.
In 1997, six Asian-American students from Syracuse University visited a local Denny’s restaurant late at night. They waited for more than half an hour as white patrons were regularly served, seated, and offered more helpings. They complained to management and to their server but were forced to leave the establishment by two security guards called by Denny’s management. Then, according to the students, a group of white men came out of Denny's and attacked them and shouted racial epithets. Several of the students were beaten into unconsciousness.


Go to the link....there's more...

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Response to MADem (Reply #62)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:43 PM

67. Thanks, I think! (Ugly Stuff in that link)

No I waited on tables in the 80`s. Never saw anything like that going on where I worked, at least not while I was on shift. I appreciate that you explained what you meant I must not have been paying attention during that time period, pretty disgusting!

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Response to Sadiedog (Reply #67)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:16 PM

68. Oh yeah, it was bad. They even dissed Secret Service Agents!

Cracker Barrel did the same thing and eventually got their asses handed to them, too.

Not sure what the deal was, but it was institutionalized. A lot of folk are still skittish about going in those places for that reason; which is why if the waitstaff is diverse, it makes one feel better about the kind of service to expect!

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:28 PM

59. Because it's the best place in town.

Yes, the locally-owned places are that awful. We finally gave up at finding a decent place after many disappointments.

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Response to Lithos (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:33 AM

26. I was just at one.

Company function, mandatory fun. I got chicken strips with french fries because it seemed like the entree I could eat the fastest and leave. It tasted like bland, frozen-and-microwaved crap that I could have bought at any grocery store; but, there was definitely some kind of flavouring powder sprinkled on everything. Like, I could lick the flavouring off, and taste the bland part (which I did, actually, much to my co-workers' chagrin).

Oswego "on a positive note, the syrup/carbonated water ratio of their soda fountains was high" Atheist

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Response to OswegoAtheist (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:45 PM

54. It tasted like bland, frozen-and-microwaved crap that I could have bought at any grocery store....

That's because it was!!!

It's like the denouement of the French waiter scene in European Vacation--where the cooks in the kitchen are shoveling "Lean Cusines" from the microwave to plates, and adding a bit of parsley!

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Response to Lithos (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:34 AM

33. Purina Yuppie Chow

with apologies to actual dog-food manufacturers.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:35 PM

4. Grizzlebee's!

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:48 AM

23. bwahahahahaha

i had forgotten



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Response to CatWoman (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:43 AM

27. :D

 

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:39 PM

5. Looks like Applebee’s needs an introductory course on managing Social Media, but

before that, they need a fundamental course on managing for success and long-term survival in the 21st century. We'll never do a corporate luncheon at Applebee’s again, for one example of lost business.



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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:00 AM

6. I love Applebee's

I run one of the largest clearing houses of tchotchkes and other pieces of crap you can put on a wall. Applebee's is one of my best customers.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:12 AM

8. Never been to one so I don't know what's on their walls

 

so I assume you're being facetious.

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:21 AM

10. I am...

It seems to be a trend that a lot of restaurants have an inside decor where they just fling things on the wall - not just pictures but farming implements, steering wheels from classic cars, etc. Maybe Applebee's isn't like that anymore. Last time I went to one was in college, and I seem to remember seeing a complete merry-go-round horse as part of the bar decor. Other restaurants that follow the same pattern are Red Robins, Fuddruckers, and to a certain extent places like Outback Steakhosue and cowboy themed steak houses.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:16 AM

24. LOL!



Oswego "Can you get me a DUer discount on a mounted alligator head wearing sunglasses?" Atheist

ETA: I just noticed that "Rosebud" the sled is one of the pieces of crap on the wall

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:38 AM

34. They can't possibly have more crap on their walls than Cracker Barrel

another place I will never again patronize - no matter how close & convenient to an interstate exit I may find one.

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:25 PM

42. tchotchkes - aka: crapola

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:08 AM

7. Love how they refer to their staff as Team Members!

As if!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:39 AM

11. I also like how they keep refering to "guests"

Usually when I am someone's guest they don't charge me for my meal.

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Response to prole_for_peace (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:30 AM

20. LOL nt

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:21 AM

9. My goodness...

That is quite the spectacular PR fail. Social media is very dangerous territory for uneducated marketing interns huh?

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Response to Agschmid (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

43. Probably not interns..

The kids wouldn't screw up so badly. It's middle management for sure.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #43)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:51 PM

44. Oh yeah, that has MBA written all over it for sure :) - n/t

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:04 PM

48. Or as its now known...

MBFail. Haha.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #43)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 06:25 PM

63. True...

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:05 AM

14. Well, that's certainly going to be an academic case study for

what NOT to do.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:07 AM

15. One reason this went viral, too

is that so many people who are online detest the sort of religious asshole that left the comment.

Especially people in the Reddit community.

Applebees management is living in a world in which such religious assholes are kowtowed to because of their perceived power within a community. They live in the Fox News version of the world.

The net doesn't.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:19 AM

16. Holy hell that was painful to read! Oh, and #$@% Applebees!

 

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:24 AM

17. Power to the People!

If I may pull a phrase from the 60s.

Applebees joins Papa Johns in places I have never gone and never will!

We had one in town and it died after a few years.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:28 AM

18. I love the part where Applebee's had been posting photos of customer notes

on their Facebook before this (good notes, of course). "Guest privacy" didn't seem to be an issue then:

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:21 AM

25. "We have never had a complaint about THIS location...

...and this is the only one we will go to."

Oswego "Translation: the other Applebees around here are crap. Good job on not fucking up too badly" Atheist

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:55 PM

66. And what is so private about a food bill anyway?

They need to get over themselves. They are not professionals of any kind.

And someone who writes a thing like that is asking for it. He wanted to say it, but only to the waitress? Coward.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:40 AM

21. And Applebee's little PR piggy blubbered all the way home. n/t

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:44 AM

22. So, say I go to Applebee's,

write something nasty (but fitting) about the Management on my own receipt, then take a photo and post it online. Will they fire my server?

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:45 AM

28. You can bet the Pastor benefits from the collection plate tip every week..

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:00 AM

29. Ate there once.

 


Hated the food.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:10 AM

30. Oh WOW! This is a train wreck of epic proportion. Thank you Applebee's for free entertainment!

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:46 AM

31. this much consternation about a tip and a

"pastor" that's an asshole.

Me thinks it would be better if these people(the commenters) all told everyone else to buy nothing but neccessities for the next 30 days or

until wages are brought in line with the actual cost of living, EVERYWHERE. Then maybe the servers wouldn't need to rely on tips to live.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:08 AM

32. "“I give God 10% why do you get 18,” she wrote above her signature."

The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt NOT be a douche, especially in my name.

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Response to Raster (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:16 PM

57. If god gave good service, he would deserve 20%!

--imm

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:50 AM

35. EPIC!

I love a good corporate social media meltdown and subsequent (failed) coverup!

This one however, WOWIE WOW WOW!

Great job, Reddit, FB, et. al users!

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:52 AM

36. That was hilarious...

read the whole thing and laughed 'til I cried.

I love the intertoobz. Applebee's got what they deserved and I hope the blowback will reach that good Christian pastor as well.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:45 AM

38. According to Luke 10:7, "the laborer is worthy of his hire."

The New International Version has a clearer translation that might be easier for the good pastor to understand: "the worker deserves his wages." For restaurant employees, "wages" includes customary tips.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:12 AM

39. The local Fox station is either exceedingly liberal or completely racist.

I'm troubled by the video in the link through from the op. It's a local (St. Louis) Fox report which completely trashes the Pastor. She should have been trashed but had she been a Catholic Priest would the take be the same on Fox? Or was it because she is black, unattractive, runs a "store front" church, is a woman part of the reason for the unfavorable press?

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Response to Hamlette (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:01 PM

46. That was national. Saw it. n/t

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Response to dogknob (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:05 PM

55. hen racist...and/or sexist

no way fox would have done that if an old, white mainline pastor had written the note.

I'm not defending the pastor, just reminded of how awful Fox is.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:31 AM

40. That 10% tithe is a law under the old covenant which is done away with.

Those who point out that Jesus attended church and "maybe" gave fail to realize that He was living under the old covenant until His death which brought in the start of the new covenant. It's a shame that so many fall prey to these idiot preachers and their bull shit ....they are the ones who are supposed to know about these things and yet they used the old covenant tithing law to bring in money for themselves. The newly formed church in Acts portrays a group of new believers who voluntarily give.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:11 PM

41. My guess is that she did not

need to take a vow of poverty in her religion.

How does she live? What does she drive?

These are all important to know since she fired the first volley.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:55 PM

45. Technical (theological) note: the Old Testament Covenant of Law is not

 

"done away with" by the New Testament Covenant of Love. It is 'fulfilled' by the Christ's sacrifice, IIRC my Protestant theology.

Still your point is well taken about people selectively reading Scripture literally when it suits their purposes.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 06:30 PM

64. Anything that smells of paying money for salvation or to keep it is a lie IMO.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:04 PM

47. Technical note for Investors: Applebees is one part of a larger holding company called

 

DineEquity, Inc. The holding company also owns International House of Pancakes. Its ticker symbol on the stock exchange is 'DIN'.

http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/DineEquity,_Inc._%28DIN%29

On a personal note, I used to like IHOP back in the 90s. But I haven't gone there in ages and have never been to an Applebees, nor do I plan to now.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:29 PM

56. Applebee's is just so bad

I don't even understand why the food is terrible. There are a zillion chains, and while they're not fine dining or particularly healthy, most of them have stuff that tastes way better than Applebee's. My son's first server job was at an Applebee's, so we used to go once in a while when he was on. Mediocre was a culinary triumph at that place. There's been one less than five minutes away from the house for years now and we don't really even think of it when/if we're looking to eat out, even though the price is right. It literally doesn't even cross our minds. So, boycotting will not be an issue for us.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:31 PM

60. Applebee's sure is having a rough time

I haven't been there in over 20 years. I think they were right in firing the waitress that put the receipt online for all to see. It had the woman's name on it. The other "nice" remarks are signed, but they don't give the last 4 digits of their credit card. Had the woman paid in cash, then no problem. If they hadn't fired the woman, they may have had a lawsuit. They may still have one.

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Response to CatWoman (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 06:36 PM

65. I can't stand any of those "food-drinkery" fake theme-y restaurants.

They are ridiculous and the food is for the masses, i.e. mediocre and bad for you.

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