After a waiter finished serving a couple, he went to clean up the table and get the receipt. When he picked it up, he saw they had written a big “zero” where the tip should have been. Then, he saw their 5-word explanation, and he was horrified.
Nathan Bergeron is a hard worker, according to his friends. The young man, who had been working for over a year at a popular Mexican chain restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, prided himself on good service. Nathan knew he needed tips to reach his goals, and he had some big obstacles in front of him. So, he kindly served everyone he came into contact with. But, one customer couldn’t have cared less whether Nathan did a good job.
Unfortunately, the rude customer decided to let Nathan know that it didn’t matter how good his service was, he wouldn’t be getting a tip. But, leaving a big, fat “zero” on the tip line of the receipt wasn’t enough for this pathetic patron. Instead, they took their insult one step further, writing a note to “explain” their nasty behavior. It only made things worse, however.
“We don’t tip white ppl LOL,” read the handwritten note from a black couple Nathan Bergeron had just served. As if the insulting and racist words weren’t bad enough, Nathan was homeless and working 50 to 60 hours a week, trying to save money to get his own apartment. So, the lack of a tip and the mean words on the receipt were added insult to injury.
“I came back to the table and everything was gone and that’s the receipt they had left — had that written on top of it,” Nathan recalled, adding that this was the first time something like this had happened to him. Although Nathan knows you have to have thick skin to work in the restaurant industry and rude customers are nothing new, he had never been insulted by a patron over the color of his skin before.
“Not so much like the race one,” he said, speaking of rude comments he’s heard before. “I’ve seen like get a real job or something like that,” he added. Even so, Nathan tried to take it all in stride, brushing the message off. “You win some, you lose some. You get really good tips sometimes. Sometimes you get no tip,” he said. “I hate that it happened and I hate that’s the way they feel especially if it’s something of prejudice keeping them back from doing something good for someone else.”
His friends, however, couldn’t just let it go. Instead, after he sent it to one friend, she posted the receipt on Facebook, and the comments about it quickly flooded in. Not only did people blast the rude, racist couple, many wanted to know how to help Nathan. “It’s not to call out one person or individual, because it could happen both ways,” Nathan said, explaining that he didn’t want to single out the couple for their actions.
Nathan does want the couple to know, however, that servers are human beings too, according to WMC Action News 5. He hopes the couple will learn to treat others with respect regardless of their race or occupation. But, that wasn’t enough for others, who were determined to help Nathan in another way. The viral response to the Facebook post sparked a GoFundMe effort for the server, who was living out of his car and taking on as much extra work as often as he possibly could. It quickly raised over $8,000.
This blessing, however, didn’t come without its fair share of insults too. Sadly, thanks to others who have cried wolf, Nathan and his friends were accused of running a scam on the fundraising campaign as some alleged it was just another hoax. Still, Nathan isn’t letting that get him down either. As he and his friends attest to the fact that the situation did occur just as described, Nathan adds that it won’t change how he does his job.
“I’d say, even if they came back in, I’d still give them the exact same service I did last time,” Nathan Bergeron said, refusing to meet hate with more hate. He just wants to do his job, regardless of anyone’s appearance or race. That proves who is the bigger, better man is in this situation. Nathan knows that the job we do and the tips people receive shouldn’t be based on a person’s skin color.
Sadly, thanks to those who have perpetrated receipt hoaxes, however, those who find themselves in the crosshairs of real racism can’t even say anything about it without being accused of lying for personal gain. But, those guilty of racism know who they are. It’s not funny or a “LOL” moment. It’s sickening, and I hope the guilty party reads this and feels disgusted with themselves. Racism should not be tolerated no matter who is doing it.