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Waiter Fired Over Twitter Comment! — 105 Comments

  1. Just read the story on yahoo myself. Barney’s shouldn’t have fired him over a personal networking account. That’s just lame. The actress is an idiot for going into a restaurant and couldn’t pay for the almost $14 tab. Shouldn’t she be the guilty party?

  2. Hmmm…I am conflicted here. If I manage a restaurant and I think that one of my employees is going to blog/tweet about patrons and that might hurt my business (i.e.; celebs don’t come in) then I could see wanting to eliminate that problem. She (the actress) sounds like a real jerk, but the danger is that people don’t want to open themselves up to being “outed” like that.

  3. I think publicising details of your job, including your customer’s names, without their permission, will get you fired from just about anywhere, if they found out

  4. What is the restaurant’s side of the story? Was there a policy the waiter violated? If so, he got himself fired. If not, then they should take him back. Firing him seems a bit harsh even if he violated a policy, but it is not completely unreasonable. Makes a good argument for reporting his waiter rants anonymously. ;^)

  5. In my opinion, once the waiter broke anonymity by sharing the name — he put his own neck in the noose. Perhaps ownership could have asked him first to remove or delete the share; but in actuallity, you can never erase the memory of those who had already read it. Lesson learned — leave the names out!

  6. I read that yesterday, and passed along a Tweet calling Jane Adams a bitch.

    Honestly, I think the waiter should not have Twittered about the experience with her, any more than I think you should have blogged in the old days about your celebrity guests. (But do I blame you for doing so? No.) But his boss should not have fired him. Instead, I’d say Ms. Adams should have been visited by the police for promising to come right back from the car with money to pay her check and then not doing so.

  7. The actress in question was wrong, no question – but so was the waiter. Keeping the details your work life off of the internet is such a basic rule these days, and anyone who pays any attention at all knows that if you break it, you risk being fired. You of all people, who kept your identity a secret for years in order to protect your job, should understand that.

  8. What’s the difference between tweeting about what’s going on at work and blogging about it? People know well enough by now that blogging about work is liable to get you in trouble. This guy called out one of the business patrons by name and made her look bad. Sure, she kind of deserved to look bad, but look at it from the owner’s perspective: no one is going to want to eat at his place if they know the waiter is going to go on Twitter and belittle them. This guy learned a lesson. It sucks that he has a kid to support and has just lost his job, but it was his fault.

  9. Y’know, there’s just no way to share a story like that in a public forum, names and all, without sticking your neck out. Jane Adams was publicly embarrassed, she knew who to blame, and Barney Greengrass had little choice but to fire the person who had put them in that spot with a celebrity customer. What did the guy expect? Situations like this have been coming up for years now.

    That said…Adams demonstrated a remarkable lack of class by getting steamed about it. If she’s embarrassed about this double faux pas, she deserves to be–and more so now that she’s cost someone his job.

  10. He was Dooced. Yeah, it’s his “personal networking account” but he did not keep it personal. He brought his employer and customers into it and that’s not kosher at a lot of places. That said, I have to ask, does the employer have a written policy about blogging and other social networking? If not, a warning would’ve been in order… which he indicated he would’ve respected.

  11. Considering all the free press the restaurant is getting, I think they should give the kid another chance.

    I’m going to say that he should have used the line “an actress on a popular HBO series” instead of a name. It’s just rude to speak badly about a person unless they are standing in front of you.

  12. I don’t see why everyone thinks the actress did anything wrong. She had a pill to pay, she called her agent and instructed the agent to take care of the bill for her, which the agent did. Perhaps the agent should have left a tip, but the bill WAS paid.

    So this amounts to the server tweeting about a customer leaving a bad tip. I’d fire that person too for naming names. It’s not just that is bad for business, it reflect poor judgment on the part of the server. Why would I want someone with poor judgment to work for me?

  13. Look, no one wants to see anyone fired, but in today’s online world you can’t talk about your job without risking your job. Period. It’s the same reason why you kept your indentity and restaurant a secret for as long as you did. I know that if I twittered or blogged about work or my clients, I am asking to be fired.

  14. They both acted badly, but the restaurant manager made it all bigger by firing a good employee. I wrote my email. Hopefully policies will be made clear and he’ll get his job back.

  15. This is ridiculous. What I mean is, these comments are ridiculous.

    She was in a public place. Unless there’s a sign on the door or a note on the menu saying “confidentiality guaranteed”, the staff are not obliged to not mention things on their blogs or whatever. If they signed an NDA when they were hired, then they would be required not to talk. But it doesn’t sound like either was true.

    I’m sorry, but you can talk about work, school, or whatever you want unless there’s an NDA involved. She was in a public place, whatever she did while there was public information. The only difference is that since she’s famous, people think it’s news.

  16. If the waiter did not specify the person by name, then I believe that he should not have been fired. However, that being said, he specified the actresses name. The owner was probably fearing of getting sued or not having the same popularity as they did before. I think firing is a bit too much, but he should have been punished.

  17. Well, I am trying to remember how many times this web site mentioned the actual names of celebrities who stiffed the waiter. Oh wait, he always called them by an alias!
    The guy should not have named names. If you are going to do that, you are lucky they don’t sue. Harsh life lesson learned.

  18. I don’t know who she is and I don’t feel all that sorry for him. It is pretty basic common sense that tweeting and blogging can bite you in the arse.

  19. I am having a hard time with this comment from the waiter: “After she got me fired”. Oh no sir, it was your own actions that did that. Take responsibility!

  20. the article said she went to her car for her wallet so she could pay the bill..but then she LEFT..maybe he should have called the cops and reported the woman leaving with out paying..maybe she would have had to start paying before she ate at other places !! word would certainly spread then !! give the man his job back i say..he probably had to pay her check out of his pocket anyway…i know it has worked that way in many places i have worked…no fun

  21. Yeah I have to say I don’t think it’s right to fire someone for discussing a person who was at a public restaurant. He is dumb for using a real name, but anybody could have witnessed this, overheard the conversation, whatever. And SO WHAT if I think actress so-n-so is dumb, bitchy or whatever. He wouldn’t have been fired for saying how much he liked someone. Its his personal opinion of her, if he called her mean, or rude or anything.

    And the other stuff about leaving without paying or leaving a tip? These are facts are they not?

  22. There are so many things wrong with the working world nowadays, including (in my industry) lots of people laid off and then hired back as “daily hire” with no benefits. Daily hire means no set schedule, getting booked for work the day before (or cancelled the day before), and pretty much being at the beck and call of the employer. Is it fair? No. Is it right? No. However, it’s the deal right now and there’s nothing employees can do except put up with it to get any kind of paycheck. I have sympathy for the waiter’s plight, but In this kind of work climate, he should have known better.

  23. From reading the article it seems that everyone overreacted a bit.

    Should the lady have paid her bill? Of course.
    Should her rep, who called and paid the bill, have written “No Tip!”, no. Overreaction.

    Should the server be able to twitter/blog about work? Of course.
    Should he have said what he said and used her real name? No, he overreacted.

    I think while the owner was very well within his right to fire the server, I think maybe he overreacted as well.

  24. Sorry, Waiter, I disagree with you. The Internet is a public place, and as Dooce has said for years, be careful what you put online because it can result in your termination. Sounds like the waiter wasn’t using his head. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour.

  25. I dunno, man. The actress skipped out on a tip, and got called out for it on Twitter. If she was dizzy enough not to consider that this was a possible outcome, then wow, I’m amazed but maybe she learned something from the experience.

    Similarly, the waiter called out a famous customer, in a public venue, potentially bringing embarrassment to his boss and his restaurant as well as to the actress…and he got fired for it. If he was dizzy enough not to consider that this was a possible outcome, then wow, I’m amazed. But maybe he learned something from the experience.

    She’s out about three bucks, he’s lost his job. Obviously he paid an unfair and far more severe — potentially life-altering — price. But I don’t think this was exactly a drive-by shooting, was it?

  26. When you blogged about celebs, you did so anonymously with no connection to the restaurant. Also, you never bad mouthed a celeb or anyone else (using a real name) via this blog. Everything you did had anonymity for you, the restaurant, and the person you were talking about.

    When you bad mouth somebody in a very overt way with no anonymity, and you share personal details (IE somebody’s name) from a work environment, it is wrong. People have a right to privacy and that was broken by the waiter. Do I think the punishment was too harsh? Yes. I think he should have been asked to take it down. But do I think that the waiter is in the free in clear? No. When you are in a professional setting, you need to act professional.

  27. I think the commenters above have all missed the point: If celebrities think their actions at a restaurant will be posted online, they will stop going there. What the waiter did potentially jeopardized the restaurant’s business. Had he not identified the actress, he’d probably be okay, or at least should have.

    As for Ms. Adams, she should have paid at the time or, failing that, she could have at least told the manager that she needed to pay the next day. My guess is that a place like Barney’s has had celebrities forget cash before and made an arrangement that I wouldn’t get. It would have looked a lot better to the restaurant, and the public would never have heard a word about it. The tip? It may have been her rep who made the omission.

    Here’s the part I can’t figure out: Given that Barney’s thought the waiter should be fired, why did it take them three months?

  28. Two mentions of dooce already. I believe she said something like “be ye not so stupid.” Unless you have a contract/are tenured, employers can fire you at any time, for any reason. Do I think he should have been fired? No. Do I think he was an idiot for twittering/blogging about work? Yes. Unless, like dooce, he can turn it into a lucrative blog and a book deal.

  29. Wow Waiter (Steve) I bet you didn’t expect quite this reaction from your loyal followers.
    I have to say I’m with the majority of posters here – ok, the actress was a dope but this waiter absolutely put his job on the line with what he did and he got caught out for it.
    The employer was entirely within their rights to fire this guy for the hassle and embarassment. Was it over the top – maybe, but maybe a cautionary tale.

  30. Steve, This is an interesting statement of the times. I too would love to see a new story. If you have a bit of spare time, it would be nice if the website links were scrubbed too. Some of the blogs that are hotlinked haven’t seen any updates in 8 or more months. I’m guessing you are busy with other pursuits, but if you have time …

  31. I can’t say that I think it was wrong for her to be fired. I work in health care and am used to very strict rules on when I can reveal who I even saw at work let alone what their behavior was while they were there (I worked locked psych for many years and am now in quality improvement). What happens at work needs to stay at work. You did a great job at masking your stories for years. In fact, if it had been a celebrity tell-all, I wouldn’t have been instested in this site.

    Leigh

  32. The waiter blew it by revealing her name. I would have been fired within the hour if I revealed that a specific person came to my workplace.

    She was in a public place. She had to know that her behavior, including how she paid her tab, might be observed and even reported. But the restaurant was within their rights to terminate the waiter’s employment if his complaint named her AND implicated the restaurant by telling the name of the establishment.

    Hopefully the restaurant will be very clear about expectations of guest privacy when they hire his replacement.

  33. Everyone rants about their job, bad customers, etc. But to do it someplace as public as Twitter using not only your full name and work place, but the name of the customer? Maybe not fired but certainly suspended.

    The actress was certainly in the wrong but the waiter didn’t help his case any.

  34. #14:
    Free speech has to do with government censorship, not job security. The waiter had the Right to say what he did, sure. No one stopped him. And the actresses Right to privacy is not the issue either.

    But this isn’t about Rights. Having a Right to do something doesn’t make it wise to do it.

    Any business person will tell you that it is bad business practice to publicly trash your customers. The owner was protecting his client base. Unless he was the rare restaurant-owner who signed employment contracts, the tweeting waiter was an at-will employee.

    Maybe it would have been wiser of the boss to now institute a no-identifiable-blogging policy and then counsel the waiter against future similar actions. But the boss has as much of a “Right” to be a jerk as the employee does. And he’s the Boss, so his wishes trump the employee’s.

  35. Reinstatement would probably not go well. This guy is now “damaged goods” at his former employer. Unless he was the best thing since sliced bread, he probably wouldn’t be treated like the other servers and management would look at him with suspicion. His time would probably be one of decreasing earnings. About the best he could hope for would be getting some income while he looked for another job.

    What’s funny is that Jane Adams completely screwed the pooch from a PR standpoint. This could have been managed so much better. She thought that her rep was spoiled by the tweet? Just google “waiter” right now and see what comes up. Page after page of her getting a waiter with kids fired. She COULD have turned this into a positive, but she acted like an A list star when she’s barely a bit player (one plus for her – maybe any publicity is good publicity – I doubt it though).

    BTW, I agree with the mass of sentiment expressed here – you name names in a negative fashion in a town like Hollywood? Good luck because you’re going to need it. That’s like Russian Roulette. Hell, it’s Russian Roulette anywhere else as well but especially so in Hollywood.
    Leave the namedropping, dishing and reporting to the PR flacks, the papparazzi and the tabloids. At least mask it if you have to share. Like was done at this very site.

  36. I don’t see anything wrong with what he did. Normally you shouldn’t say anything about a guest but she crossed the line by not paying the bill. If she had told him she forget her purse and came back later to pay for it that would have been fine. But what if her agent didn’t call the next day? What if she went around town skipping out on bills because she could? Other waiters at other restaurants should know that they’re about to get ripped off.

  37. Had he not used her name, then I would agree with you. The minute he told who the actress was, he had to know he was going to get the axe. He should have done it annonymously, since he didn’t, he deserved to be fired. Sorry.

  38. Just wanted to say that I just finished reading your book. Great Job! I have been in the restaurant business for over 25 years. Started as a busboy, worked my way up through the ranks, was a waiter, Maitre’D, bartenter, manager and am currently the Director of Catering Sales for the largest facility here in N.J. We have 8 Banquet rooms. One thing you mention a couple of times in the book that I disagree with is that it is a bad Restaurant if, when a server gets hired, he or she gets Fri and Sat night shifts right away. It has been my experience that we can never get employees to work these shifts. They make their money on the weeknights and want the weekends off to go out.

  39. Sorry, I am going to support Barneys on this one. I would assume “good service” to mean I am not going to be publicly bad mouthed by employees of places I do business with.

    She might be a great waitress, but she is obviously not so great with integrity.

  40. @ Sara A.

    Yours is the most intelligent comment in the bunch.

    Its interesting Steve that when I read about this I immediately thought about you and what you would have to say about it. I was surprised to find your reaction to be exactly opposite of what I imagined.

    You always practiced strict anonymity. Not only because it was the right thing to do, but because you knew it would cost you your job.

    Why should this guy be held to a different standard?

    I don’t feel sorry for him, don’t feel sorry for the actress, (although I have to say that I believe her actions to be retarded, but not criminal) I’ll bet he will take this as a lesson learned.

  41. Yeah I think the waiter showed absolutely no professionalism and no class in being public about the situation and who the actress was. He should get fired, it was stupid move.

  42. Yeah, he really should have left her name out. I would think that would be common sense. However, I do not think he should have lost his job – it was his first offense (at least that I know of), so he should have been scolded or put on probation or something. They could have also asked him to make a tweet apology to her.

  43. If this actress had been a “nobody” and didn’t pay and/or tip the waiter, the waiter would have tweeted about it as “some jerk stiffed me today” (or something along those lines). However, because it was a famous person, the waiter apparently felt the need to reveal the name and to tweet about it several times. What good did it do? He got his lousy $3. Was it worth it to get fired? He had to know that putting something out there so publicly would have a backlash other than getting him a tip.

    What the actress did was absolutely wrong (and I hope she is sufficiently embarrassed enough to make some changes in how she gets things done), and firing the waiter was probably way too harsh a punishment (have they thought of maybe a suspension or probation of some kind??), but this waiter (and others) might think twice about what he puts out for the general public to be able to read. It’s not like people in other professions haven’t been fired for things they wrote on their blogs or Facebook or Twitter before. This isn’t anything new.

  44. I think they were right to fire this guy. When I dine in a restaraunt, the last thing I want is to worry about whether the waiters are spying on me and writing articles about me online. If I dine in a restaraunt and go home and Google myself and find out the new #1 top entry is: “Johnny Mylastname wears ugly ties to fine restaraunts and eats with his elbows on the table. He’s disgusting!” I’d be mighty displeased if I found that.

    Not tipping is bad, but I expect at least the tiniest sliver of confidentiality in my dealings with any business.

  45. I gotta say, people should be smart enough not to blog or post about work, especially in a negative way. I think the company is justified in this action. What hurts the bottom line (i.e. publically discussing negative customer behavior and having the audacity to actually name the offensive customer) hurts the company, and discourages others to visit the establishment. I know I wouldn’t visit a restaurant who may write negative things about me online if I don’t leave a tip or misbehave in some way.

    That being said, homegirl should have paid the bill and left a tip. However, the waiter should be smart enough to know better.

  46. I think that celebrities know the do’s an don’t's of being in the public eye. The actor should have paid at the time the service was rendered, end of story.
    I too, think it’s absurd that the waiter got fired over tweeting about this.
    I agree that Barney’s could have asked him to remove the post, but to fire someone after five years of loyal service and his professionalism (up until this moment)- is just snobbish.

  47. Sorry, I disagree. The waitperson was petty and out of line. Maybe he wanted people to know he waits on semi-famous people. Who knows, but it could have been an honest mistake. Until mgmt. seeks payment and she refuses or has no explanation for her dine and dash, she’s innocent and the waiter should keep his/her mouth shut.

  48. You shouldn’t put pics of yourself heaving into a toilet after a night of drinking on Facebook or whatever, if you want a job in this era of networking, neither should you tweet about your customers. Unless you take cash under the table from TMZ, then you are sleaze anyway. No excuse for the actress and her bad behavior, but two wrongs still do not make a right. And, waiter, how much name dropping and bad mouthing did you do while in the life?

  49. There’s a lady in my workplace who regularly causes personality issues with the rest of the staff. She’s been with the business almost 10 years and can’t remember how to do her job.

    There’s a chance that this guy got fired for a culmination of things, and his posts were the excuse management was waiting for.

  50. I don’t understand why people feel that they can vent out into the ether of the internet and not be held accountable. Don’t write any thing down that you wouldn’t or shouldn’t want some one to read. The amount of idiots compiling their own blackmail files complete with pics and video online for any one to read, copy, or redistribute astounds me. Think people.

    I would have fired him too. Just for being that dumb. “Gee I would never think that some one would search twitter for an actress name.”

  51. This is why I don’t Twitter, I think maybe Twitter should help him get his job back…but honestly…He should have expected that the Atress would find out..DUH

  52. I think he didn’t deserve to be fired. Jane Adams broke the law by skipping out on her bill. What the news story says is that she merely left saying she was leaving to get her purse. I assume her agent had to cover her a** the next day. I did not see it mention that she called her agent and asked him to cover it, or that she cleared it with the restaurant ahead of time.

    That makes her a criminal. I find it disgusting that because she’s a celebrity this is overlooked.

    The waiter was perfectly within his rights to complain about her not tipping him, because that’s pretty much complaining about me tweeting about my paycheck being short a few hours work – his money just comes from multiple different sources.

    I do agree that it would have been polite not to mention her by name but I do not think that the waiter deserved to be fired. I personally interpret that as an infringement on first amendment rights. Then again my interpretation of the constitution is worth as much horses*** as everyone else’s here (unless anyone posting is a supreme court justice).

    I think Jane Adams committed a crime and she doesn’t deserve her reputation to remain untarnished because of that.

    On another note – maybe the agent only paid what he did because he thought that was the bill+tip, perhaps a communication error? Regardless, good story. Cheers.

  53. Doesn’t anyone else think it is strange that she was shopping at Barney’s without her wallet? I think she just wanted a free lunch.

  54. This “What do you think” series that’s been going on for the last few posts, is this a way out of actually posting stories because you’ve run out of them and just want to keep the blog alive?

  55. I’m surprised that such a little, non-news sort of thing has blown up and caused someone their livelihood. An apology should have been demanded and the post removed, at best, but to lose one’s job? Ludicrous. And what he wrote was truth – should he have done it? Not with actual names, no, but should he have been fired over it? No, not in my opinion. That’s just too severe. And I, too, believe the actress (never heard of her before this story) should be charged. The agent only ponied up because of the twitter and the publicity surrounding it. I’ll bet she wouldn’t have bothered to return or have her agent take care of it if this molehill hadn’t become the mountain that it did.

    I sent my e-mail. Unless there’s a spotty employment history on this waiter that we’re just not privy to, as another poster suggested might be possible, it was cold to fire him. Reprimanded, sure – made to apologize, sure. But in this economy especially, fired? No.

    Amazing what folks consider “news.”

  56. Well, I have to second and third what others have said about being Dooced. As much as I would like to share some of my work projects online (say the charity event that I am currently working on or the community involvement that we as a company do) I don’t because that would get me fired. I hate being vague and it is really hard to do sometimes but it is what it is. I have to respect the fact that they hired me to do my job and they have a communications department that handles our press which I am not a part of.

    I have read some blogs where people get so upset because they were outed, people in their lives found out things, etc. but the internet isn’t private and we all need to be aware of this.

    I am sorry he lost his job but even you never named names in your posts.

  57. Three bucks is a good tip on $14? Seems pretty tight to me, especially from a person who skipped out on her tab – don’t people usually get arrested for that?

  58. >Three bucks is a good tip on $14?

    $1.40 is a tip :P , anything above it is a good tip.

    Anyhow, the actress sounds like a real jerk, but anyone who publishes their personal details online has only themselves to blame when other jerks take advantage of them.

  59. He deserved to be fired. Do you seriously think, if he’d gone to his manager and said, ‘Hey boss, Jane Adams from HBO was just in here, but she left without paying a $15 bill,’ his boss would have said anything other than, ‘Goddamn celebs. Oh well, let it slide’? The fact is, $15 is measly and having the patronage of celebrities will bring in more gawker business than $15 in a single hour. Lose the celebs and you lose a large part of the place’s appeal. That’s worth way more than the waiter, the $15 bill, or the stupid $3 tip.

    Incidentally — if you, as the agent, had paid a bill on behalf of a client who had been called out on Twitter by a rude waiter, would you want to add a tip for that? ‘Here’s a tip, for maligning my client publicly and damaging her reputation! It’s too bad you didn’t call me instead, or just tell your boss, but here! Have a tip! Great work on Twitter!’ This jerk had the cojones not only to put the whole restaurant in a bad light, business-wise, but then to yell ‘NO TIP!’ as if he were surprised that the agent was pissed off at him and didn’t think he deserved a tip for screwing up his day.

    Was Jane Adams a rude non-paying customer? Apparently so. But did the waiter at any stage at all use his brain? (And this is after 5 YEARS working at this place where celebrity business is important.) — No. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

  60. I sent an email to the company. With the economy and a family he should not be fired for something like that. Reprimanded yes, and be informed that if it occurs again he will be fired, fine. BUT the principle behind this termination is the same as the principle behind terminating him for speaking about the incident or other celebrities at a starbucks with friends. So as far as I see since everyone gossips at some point about people they have met then these people would be fired too after all a coffee shop is just as public as Twitter what is different is only the number of people who can access the information is bigger (like a really really big quiet coffee shop).

  61. About these people who are demanding new stories in lieu of a little feedback which you have requested on topics of interest to *you*:

    What, is it not OK for a blog writer to look to his readers from time to time for information that might be useful to him in the creation of his next book? We get so much reading pleasure from freely available blogs writers such as Steve here are kind enough to share with us. Can’t we be patient for a little while while he turns his attentions to the other writing work in which he’s engaged, and is it really so much skin off our backs to answer a potentially useful question from a “friend”. Are we really that entitled?

    Thanks for not simply folding this blog up completely while you work on other stuff now, Steve. Some of us really appreciate and look forward to what*ever* you have the time and inclination to post here.

    (Climbing down off what will surely by someone be thought of as the Sycophant’s Soapbox now)

  62. IMO, the man did a dumb thing by mentioning his name and the name of his restaurant. However, celebrity bad behavior is in the news all the time – and they DO name names. Why should leaving a restaurant, lying to the waiter about one’s intentions and then taking off – and then adding insult to injury by paying the bill late and stiffing him of a tip, not be reported? The man was within his rights to mention who did this to him – he only erred when he got his employer involved publicly as well.

  63. Waiter, could you or your site administrator kindly remove that completely irrelevant diatribe at spot #34? Holy Toledo. Keep those posts comin’…

  64. Sorry Stevie!

    Fools’ names and fools’ faces are always seen in public places….his bad for allowing both his and her name to be put on blast like that.

    NOT OK. He should have used more common sense and frankly discretion. While we all understand his need to ridicule a richie, he should have thought about the repercussions on his job if he truly valued it. If he doesn’t want his job to get involved with his twitter account, then he shouldn’t involve his job in his twitter acctn. This is what happens when people want to use twitter like the rich and famous- they end up publicizing/glamorizing any small event that goes on in their life.

    Think before you tweet people!

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  66. I think the waiter was totally out of line. Had this been a regular Joe Blow that came in off the street he never would have mentioned it on his blog or in his tweets. He probably wouldn’t have even given it a second thought. Patrons skipping out on the dinner bill are just part of the job. But this was a celebrity and he knew her name and tried to use it to get a few more followers on Twitter and a little more traffic to his blog. Whether the restaurant has an NDA in place isn’t even the point. They shouldn’t have to. You don’t expect your employees, whom you are PAYING every week, to bite the hand that feeds them. This was a blatant case of name dropping on the waiter’s part and I hope it earned him enough traffic on his blog to be able to keep a roof over his daughter’s head.

  67. The actress was wrong,the waiter was wrong, Barney’s is protecting itself. Terrible situation fueled by a cheap actress and a stupid, bitter waiter.

    How can he justify his tweets in this economy when he has kids? Was the $3.00 worth this crap? I bet his kids would say no. And good luck getting another job in the business. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  68. As much as I feel for him and I advocate for the “little guy”, the restaurant had every right to do what they did. If their celebrity clientele had found out that he was twittering their every move and the restaurant allowed it to continue, they would have eventually lost most of their business. Also, most people with any common sense know better than to talk about work on Facebook or Twitter.

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  70. And no he should not be reinstated. Every restaurant, and even most retail stores, in this area have firm rules that you do not post, talk etc about the clients. Because we rely on the celebs, their agents, the studio executives etc to come every day. And they do come. In flocks. It took 3 months because the company he worked for was watching to see if this was a one time thing cause he was pissed or if he was a chronic offender. And he was chronic. Oh boy was he chronic. And even sometimes lewd.

    Also it is possible that she had no idea that the bill wasn’t paid right away. I have even had folks realize the wallet was in the car or even at home. It happens. Not a lot but it does happen. Usually we get a call in a few minutes that “this is the assistant at so and so’s office. I got a call from X that he forgot his wallet so I wanted to call with a credit card to pay the bill’. It is possible that she called her agent/manager and asked for an assist and was under the assumption that the assistant called right away and understood that the total was without tip and to add something.

  71. Waiter,

    I have to disagree. It was wrong of the actress to skip out on her check, and it was wrong of them to stiff the waiter on his check.

    With that said, there is no other business that I can think of that would publicize that kind of knowledge- and no business can or should tolerate one of its employees badmouthing a customer in any media format.

    It’s just bad business. If I were his boss, I would have fired him too.

    And honestly, given the commitment to excellence that was evidenced in your posts when you were still in the business, I’m surprised that you would stand behind someone who did that.

  72. Restaurant was correct. You can’t bad mouth a customer where they can hear it. This is a foundational rule of waiting tables. When he shared on twitter, he (electronically speaking) complained about the tip to the table and everybody else in the restaraunt (and world). You just can’t do that. Getting fired was the natural result. If he is a good waiter, he will be able to find more work.

  73. I hate to be cynical, but I’d never heard of Jane Adams before, and now I have. Don’t they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity? She should pay the waiter a bonus for publicizing her on his twitter.

  74. You’re an ass.
    And we are not your personal army.

    Its been bad enough all these years of having you coax, cajole, prod and emotionally blackmail us about tipping waiters (I hate tipping waiters. Most people do! We do it only because you guys expect it.)
    But now you go and try to enlist us in some sort of internet hate attack on a restaurant ?

    Go shovel your own shit Steve.

  75. I don’t think he should have been fired unless he was stupid enough to use his real name & his real place of employment. If he did that, well …yeah he deserved it. Did you hear how Miley didn’t leave a tip on a $70 takeout? Which make me want to ask you. How much should one tip when it’s takeout? thanks.

  76. I gotta say:

    1) Steve, I just yesterday finished reading a part of your book where you actively sought to have your own identity removed from the web. Double Standard much?

    2) Where the heck are you? This place used to include updates that were a) frequent, b) not just news snippits and self-promotion. Your huge readership allowed you to write professionally, and you’re pretty much gone. Nice.

  77. Wow, Steve, I have been a fan and supporter for a LONG time, but I have to say, Rick is right. No new content in over a month, just a request, again, for help with the new book? What a bummer.

  78. Just as an FYI – my e-mail came back as undeliverable. Guess the barney’s fellow was getting too many e-mails.

    And while I love to see regular posts from Steve, it’s his blog. You don’t like it anymore; don’t come back. That simple. The way I see it – Steve is no longer “The Waiter.” His life is different now – it took a different path. For those of us that enjoy his writing, whether it’s about restaurants or anything else, we’ll come back to check out new posts when he’s got time to write them.

    Amazing – this is free. Yet some “fans” act like they’re paid subscribers or something and feel “cheated” whenever there’s not a “regular” post. Get over yourselves.

  79. It is called “client confidentiality” folks. For most jobs it is a prerequisite-especially when you are working directly with people. The guy was twittering about “famous” people in his workplace, simple as that. In my opinion his behavior is hawkish and opportunistic at best and plain rude at worst. The principle is important- but for christ’s sake, it was 13-14 dollars and the guy was saying that put his neck on the line? The moral of this story is he could have handled it a lot better, say by dealing with this tawdry amount of money owed and the obvious oversight by this actress with her agent and have it be that.

  80. we should all learn from dooce.com — heather armstrong who got fired for her blog.

    but hey, she’s now one of the most influential women on the planet.

  81. The waiter was not being very smart, but firing was a total overreaction. And I think it just shows that Adams is a spiteful cunt for getting all snippy about it when it was her fault to begin with.

  82. Restaurant owners (and all business owners for that matter) should start sticking up for their employees more in situations like this. I don’t quite understand why the original misdeed (skipping out on a bill) isn’t more important in the dialogue. If I had been the owner, I might’ve tweeted the news myself. You know, watch out for this customer. She’s not only irresponsible, she’s cheap. It’s the price to pay for fame. You have to be more accountable for your actions because everyone knows who you are. It’s like living in a small town (which I do). People don’t get away with stuff like that because news will spread. And if someone makes a mistake, they should be making amends for it, not ratting out the “victim”!
    I still think it’s crazy that a wealthy person who avoids paying a bill gets to complain about a waiter who got no tip and HE GETS FIRED! Sure, everyone can say, “that’s the way it is”, but maybe the way it is needs to change. I’m tired of people with so much money getting away with things. It’s reminiscent of Wall St.
    It’d be nice to see her job affected by her mistake too, seeing that the waiter lost his job because of his.

  83. The server deserved it. Not only should you show discretion when it comes to customer activities as a server, you shouldn’t be on your phone at work.

  84. If he was discreet,then he would not be in this pickle. It might all work out for him, maybe he wanted it public for some odd reason.

  85. Her whole family is preditory. That father of hers complaining HARD about his $150,000/year salary.
    Now we all know where she gets it.
    Should be automated anyways. You let the blacks in New Orleans off.
    Barely skilled labor.
    Reincarnated as milking cows, ironically.
    The enemy within.

  86. His being fired is a direct result from Twitter and Facebook ect.
    Too much information will get you……canned or worse. Employers are starting to look on Facebook and Twitter (I hate both of them).
    Doesn’t anyone value privacy anymore? Apparently not.

  87. i think the waiter’s an idiot. Shouldn’t he know by now not to do that? And for you to say they shouldn’t have fired him – then why didn’t YOU publish the name of the Bistro? Exactly.

  88. I think that the prob I see here is that because she is a celebrity , that she deserves better treatment than you or I . If you were at a restaurant and said Ill be right back with the money , and tried to skip the bill , the police would have been called and might spend a night in jail even though it was only a 15 dollar tab. while i agree in theory that the owner was “protecting his business”, it was a huge overreaction on his part of firing a great employee. the proper response would be to perhaps suspend the employee for a few days at the most then they would be allowed back to work . and also to immediately implement a policy regarding blogging and customer privacy
    perhaps in a memo or a staff meeting would be a great idea as well. that way if it happened again , then the employer has covered his own ass morally. but as we all know that will never happen , celebrities have a different set of rules than the rest of us and get away with it .

  89. My twitter is COMPLETELY anonymous. Meaning I don’t put my real name, I don’t put personal information, pictures or anything anyone who knows me in real life could identify me by UNLESS I tell them it’s me. I have a few people from real life (mostly internet friends) who know my account but I never EVER give real names. If I’m talking about someone it’s a nick name and I don’t talk about celebs badly even if everyone knows what they did.

  90. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

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