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Tennessee Red Lobster Waitress Gets Handwritten Tip: ‘None, N*gger’

by David Badash on September 9, 2013

in Discrimination,News

Post image for Tennessee Red Lobster Waitress Gets Handwritten Tip: ‘None, N*gger’

UPDATE: Watch: Interview With Red Lobster Waitress Tipped With ‘N Word’ Receipt

A nursing student working few days a week in a Nashville, Tennessee Red Lobster says she was surprised when a couple in their 20′s wrote in the tip section of their receipt, “none n*gger.” 19-year old Toni Christina Jenkins posted a photo of the receipt to her Facebook page, writing, “This is what I got as a tip last night…so happy to live in the proud southern states..God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee.”

Later, Jenkins urged her friends to “Keep it up please..the more you share the more awareness we create.” She also wrote, “Thank you everyone for your love. I’m continuing to keep my head up as God has already begun giving me beauty for ashes.”

After Gawker and other media outlets caught wind of the story, some have questioned if it really happened, suggesting she wrote the slur herself. Other cite the handwriting in the tip area as different from the signature.

But Jenkins also wrote of Facebook that “News 2 is on the job!,” and later, “I’m not reading anymore post or answering anyone else direct messages..I’m now getting harassed about the validity of the receipt. If u know me u know how to reach me.”

Jenkins told London’s Daily Mail, “I don’t get tips all the time. I really don’t care cause God is my provider I don’t worry about tips.”

“They were extremely rude, but I introduced myself to them and they didn’t respond. When I came to take their orderm they simply told me they wanted their food and to put everything in a to-go box. I offered them dessert but they told me abruptly that they just wanted the check.”

“When I went back to the table they had gone and left the receipt and had written the comments.”

“It’s all very surprising to me. When I posted it I thought it might get a few ‘likes’ from friends and family. People praying for me, that kind of thing. I didn’t think it would escalate this quickly. I am just a 19-year-old nursing student.”

Image via Facebook

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BJLincoln September 9, 2013 at 8:26 am

There are two different hand writing styles on the receipt.
“I don’t get tips all the time. I really don’t care cause God is my provider I don’t worry about tips.” suggests she is not the best waitress because most people tip something even if it's just change on the table. The pay scale for this job is very low so they work for tips.
This is not to say she is lying ,just it does look and sounds a bit off. The great state of TN is known for it's backward politicians/politics as well as it's racism so her comment is not that far off.
Take it down and let it blow over.

bgryphon September 9, 2013 at 10:20 am

Many people have a 'signature' that is not the same as having them just write out their name…. so that doesn't bother me. Also, it was a party of two.

I have no idea how typical tipping is in TN, and whether Red Lobster patrons do so more or less than average- and I wouldn't dream of using such observations around here to extrapolate for TN. While I can't dismiss the possibility it's all made up, if I was to do something like it would be posted to WhoSay rather than my FB page.

Ultimately, the fact that it's widely held to be believable (if not typical) is the 'take away' for me.

Tilghman Lesher September 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

This occurred in my backyard, so to speak. I visit the Cool Springs area quite often. This area is in a very conservative county within Tennessee, and is the location of the southern-most mall in the Middle Tennessee region. It attracts people from all over. It is hardly surprising that a few racists would be among the visitors. That said, it's also atypical for the area. Open racism is exceedingly rare. That's not to say that racism isn't alive as an undercurrent — we certainly do have evidence of it, even in liberal Nashville.

phantomque September 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm

You are part of the problem.

libtheo September 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I worked in food service in TN for the better part of two and a half years. I'm not black, but I'm LGBT and come across as such on a first impression. I'd say I wasn't too shabby of a server (my managers told me they got compliments on my service all the time), but it wasn't very unusual for me to get stiffed on my tips. I don't necessarily blame being LGBT for that, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was a contributing factor sometimes.

Sadly, this story sounds actually all too likely to me. In the more conservative parts of Tennessee, we minority groups often have to just roll with the punches and not let it get to us. And I think that in some areas everywhere, cheapskates will look for any excuse not to tip. And if they're blatant racists, well… you get the idea.

Lou Gagliardi September 10, 2013 at 12:58 am

My signature varies from my printing. Heck, my signature varies from piece of paper to piece of paper. I simply do not sign my name the same way twice.

dauphinjo September 10, 2013 at 4:52 am

My daughter is an excellent server and makes good money but she gets customers who don't tip every now and then cuz some people are just jerks and some are foreigners who are unaware of our tipping customs. As for the handwriting…the signature is in cursive and the comment is not. And many signatures have degraded to scribbles over the years and aren't necessarily indicative of handwriting that somebody would use for the purpose of someone actually reading it. What does strike me is that the color of the ink looks identical and that would be hard to match without trial and error which would be hard to do and still show coworkers at the time of the incident. I believe her.

Jessica Sideways September 10, 2013 at 8:05 am

If "God is [her] provider", no wonder she gets shitty tips. Maybe she should consider providing for herself or relying on a being/entity that actually exists in objective reality.

dauphinjo September 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Oh, for fux sake. She isn't shoving her religion down you're throat, using her beliefs to insult anyone or trying to make secular laws out of biblical beliefs so let her have her beliefs.

Jessica Sideways September 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Why? Her beliefs are untrue, can you think of a good reason for someone to believe something so patently untrue?

"God is [her] provider"… No, she is her own provider. Relying on a god to be a provider is a quick route to homelessness.

dauphinjo September 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

are u kidding me? People are entitled to their religious or spiritual beliefs and believing in something that may or may not be true is something we all do in one form or another. God, Karma, fate, intuition, life after death (nobody knows whether that is true or not so don't even try to say you do).

She is WORKING, not loafing waiting for money from heaven so get the fuk off your soapbox.

thalianicole63 September 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

easy reason the handwriting looks different. Print something, anything, now write your signature. Printed letters look different from script, plus your signature is second nature. Not surprised in the difference.

russellsvocation September 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I would be using my computer skills to find out the credit card #, then who the person was, address, etc and well, from there, be inventive.

kvaadk September 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

My wife and I loved the mountains in eastern Tennessee 30-some years ago; visited Sevierville-Pigeon Forge area several times. No real problems in the tourist friendly areas. But going over to Knoxville and especially up to Johnson City required thick skins and pretending we didn't hear/understand racist remarks. Twenty-eight years ago an upscale hotel where we had reservations refused to give us a room and suggested we seek out a "lesser" hotel. Though he didn't say it in so many words, the night manager made clear he suspected my wife was a prostitute. We've been together 32 years and have lived in Georgia, South Carolina, and for the last 25 in North Carolina; we know what living in the south means. But we haven't been back to Tennessee since. I have no doubt the note is genuine – nobody has handwriting that looks like their signature (if they did, no one else could ever read it).

ERmj1 September 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

sorry, I just have to say, was this in fact, "real" (no yay nor nay about it) I think it absolutely S T U P I D of the owner of the credit card information to even contemplate leaving a slur as such on the receipt. of sorry. the rudeness of the patrons yes, the note written on the receipt….ummm…possibly. my gut tells me no. were the fact that pointing out the "south" still continues to maintain over and under tones of racism and rudeness, to that I say yes. of course, many areas in any part of anyone's community can reflect "those" customers "attitude".

ldavid69 September 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

As horrible as that is. I do not think it is appropriate for that receipt to be shared.

phantomque September 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm

you are part of the problem

houdini77 September 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Your comment indicates you probably are a Holocaust denier as well.

Fare la Volpe September 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Right, because racism goes away if you just ignore it. One of MLK's lesser known quotes.

ldavid69 September 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I am entitled to my opinion. A receipt is a personal thing. It is awful , but the lady was not threatened in any way. Besides all that, black people have to stop using the N-word before they go around telling everyone else not to use it. Speaking of Jews, you do not see Jews going around calling each other ki*e , which is a negative Jewish word. The point is that holier than though attitude does not work , if blacks continue to use the N-word.

BrianSchlosser September 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

No. You don't get to tell people what words they can use in their own group. You don't have that privilege. The use of the N-word is controversial in the Black community, but that is not in any way a discussion White people have a part in.

dauphinjo September 10, 2013 at 5:01 am

Thank you Brian Schlosser. I try to explain to white folks or straight folks why using certain words amongst 'our own' is soooo totally different but you just did it much better than I ever did. Excellent!

claregirl September 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm

It's interesting the way you lump all "blacks" together. Do you think ALL 42 million African American people in the United States use the "N" word? If you do, you are as ignorant as your post implies. People who are polite, have empathy and some class know not to use the "N" word regardless what some other people may do.

claregirl September 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Since it was a couple at the table, the woman could have written the nasty comment and the man signed the receipt. I don't see why people don't believe her story. Do people really think there are no racists in this country like the Supreme Court seems to think?

BrianSchlosser September 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm

So how long before she is fired for "breaking company procedures" by sharing this?

ldavid69 September 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

She should be fired. Sorry, no one tells me what words , I can and can not use. I happen not to use the N-word, but blacks do not do themselves any favors by regularly using that word. Bill Cosby and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, as good as spokespeople for the black community , have said themselves that blacks need to stop using the N-word, if they truly want others not to use it.

bgryphon September 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

"no one tells me what words , I can and can not use" – at no point did the waitress say those customers should be jailed/ fined/ tarred & feathered for using the N word. What she did was use it to illustrate that some people are (in her words) " low class racists".

Just as the customer has the right to use that word, the rest of us have the right (if not the moral obligation) to comment on how atrocious it (and they) are. Just as we have the right to note your ongoing attempt to divert this into a discussion about how some African-Americans use the word is off-topic. And how hypocritical of you to defend your right to say whatever foolishness you want, while earlier demanding African-Americans stop using the word.

doug1408 September 10, 2013 at 3:46 am

Fuck you your part of the problem.

sdfrenchie September 10, 2013 at 5:43 am

Holy shit! Why doesn't everybody get their panties in a wad? The undertones of this conversation clearly show that people want to think that this is just a black girl wanting to stir up shit. She's a nursing student working her way through school, seems to be fairly religious and admittedly didn't expect this to go viral. Why would someone of that nature make this up? The girl has so many points going against her. Tennessee, racists, African-American just trying to get through life, serving people in a cheesy restaurant, and her feet are probably killing her. Give her a break, people! The fact is that the note is on her receipt. That was the end of her story and social media will continue it on for days, perhaps weeks.

When I was in junior high and high school in Panama City, Florida, I worked in a hamburger joint. During my senior year, the Civil Rights Bill was about to be passed. Just before LBJ signed the Bill, some of the local African-Americans wanted to put it to the test. I worked the grill and there were a few girls who waited the windows. Every time a car with African-Americans drove up, the girls would slam the windows shut and lock them, throw up the "CLOSED" signs, and stand their laughing their fool heads off right in front of those poor folks. I almost wanted to pour hot grease on those bitches for their rude, childish behavior, but I don't believe in violence as a way to settle things.

Also during that time, I received a phone call from a local who said to me, "If you serve one goddam nigger in that place we're going to blow it up with you in it."

About seven years later, I was home from Vietnam and living in Atlanta. There was talk of tearing down the wonderful Fox Theater so AT&T could put up a high rise office complex. I volunteered on the committee to "Save the Fox", getting petitions signed and taking calls. One of the calls I received was almost a duplicate of the one at the hamburger joint. Except this guy said, "I'd like to fill that place up with niggers and blow it up."

No one can tell me that those sentiments have dissolved and any Supreme Court Justice who thinks bigotry no longer exists is a liar and a deceiver and did away with Section 4 of the VRA as a favor to their conservative buddies and the ones who are paying off Scalia and Thomas to decide as they do on cases.

Okay, trolls. It's your turn. Bring it on. You always do.

DoctorJerry September 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

My take: it's real. Racists are cheap and these people deluded themselves and believe they are "striking one against the enemy" instead of just admitting they are piss poor and/or cheap. Regarding comments: it seems that those who don't want to/choose to believe this story or don't see it as a legitimate offense have one piece of advice: take shit from white people and stop whining. Yes, because white people never whine on and on and on and on and on and on about everything.

danicalabeln September 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

Ah man, seriously? I'm so tired of ignorant assholes being racist. Is your lives really that dull that you think you're better than another PERSON? So sorry to whomever this happened to. I've had racist shit happen to me too when I waitressed. It needs to stop.

Ainsworth October 14, 2013 at 9:23 am

am looking at this receipt and I see two different ink colors The none and the signature are the same and the N word is in a lighter color blue! The persons signature and non are in cursive and the N word is in print and some cursive! Also, the signature and none or directly o the line Why would anyone not follow the pattern of writing on the line as well! Clearly the writing is different, meaning not written by the same person!

I work with colors and I can clearly see that they are different (different blue)! Another thing, that I noticed, if it is the same color, the customer seemed to have a heavier writing (meaning one presses harder when they write), while the other is lighter! Just giving my observation!

Also, if this were the case, which I doubt, why not let the manager know about this! It will be funny, if this is proven to be a lie by this waitress and all the people who are saying good for you statements now, never get back on any comment sections and say they were wrong!

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