A stiff-arm is common in the NFL, an NFL player stiffing someone on a tip is less so. But only slightly now.
Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, know as “Shady,” made headlines when the he signed a $45 million deal, $20 million of which was guaranteed, back in 2012. And he made headlines again last week when he tipped $.20 on a $60 tab at a Philadelphia burger joint.
The restaurant, PYT, publicized the “tip” on its Facebook page and a media feeding frenzy ensued. People were outraged over the prospect of a millionaire leaving such an insulting tip. Charlie Sheen even offered the server, listed as “Rob” on the receipt, $1,000 via Twitter.
But what if the tip were deserved? What if the service was awful? Does the customer having money automatically mean they have to give 15 or 20 percent, or more, even if it isn’t deserved?
McCoy spoke to reporters last week about it and said, “A 20-cent tip is kind of a statement. You can’t disrespect somebody and expect them to tip you. I don’t care who the person is. That’s why I left my card so they could see my name.”
So, if the service is bad, or even horrible, are you obligated to tip simply because you have the means? Absolutely not.
No one but McCoy, “Rob,” and anyone else there at the time knows the truth of how good or bad the service was that day, but who cares? In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.
If the service was good, then McCoy is a jerk. But he’s no more of a jerk than anyone else who’s stiffed a server (and as a former server I can tell you it happens sometimes).
If the service was bad (and I gave my share of bad service while I was a waiter), then no tip was warranted. It doesn’t matter how much money the person doing the stiffing has, you aren’t tipped on their income, you’re tipped on your service.
The fact that PYT would post the receipt in an attempt to shame McCoy and garner publicity for itself is as tacky as stiffing good service is. The fact that the restaurant would do such a thing makes me side with McCoy more than I was after reading his statement on the incident.
But PYT wasn’t done exploiting the event. The receipt is now up for auction on eBay. According to the posting it isn’t listed by PYT, but someone who knows the owner. It reads, “My good friend Tommy Up has left this receipt in my possession in order to ensure something positive comes out of this somewhat negative action that has recently taken place.” Whatever it ends up selling for, the posting states the money will go “to all PYT employees for their hard work and dedication.”
As of this writing the small piece of paper has received 142 bids and is up to $99,900. Yes, you read that right — almost $100,000 for a receipt because it’s from an NFL star player who left a $.20 tip.
The auction doesn’t end until Saturday, so who knows how high it will go?
So what’s the lesson from all this? It certainly isn’t “hard work pays off” or “everything is a learning experience”‘ it’s whining, complaining, and playing the victim pays off, as long as the person you’re “whining, complaining, and have been victimized by” is rich. It’s the antithesis of the principles upon which the nation founded in Philadelphia 238 years ago was created, but it’s the embodiment of what it has become.