Read previous posts from Bureaucracy for Breakfast HERE.

This week a riveting scandal rocked the internet, once again pitting the roughhewn ax-wielding 99% masses against their mortal enemy: Evil, greedy bankers. You probably saw this photo, unless you’re one of those Pinocchios who “never goes on Facebook” …

So many people were enraged. Damn the 1% they’re all the spawn of Madoff and Martha Stewart! The story went viral and wound up clogging news feeds faster than you can say James Frey. Most people are fed up with the economic divide so it makes perfect sense we’d take a story like this as gospel. Yet the minute my eyeballs landed on the receipt my Spidey Sense – aka my Ex-Waitress Sense – kicked in and led me to the truth.

Hit the Jump to find out the gripping details of the Curious Case of the 1% Tip….

“Pacing to and fro with wrinkled brow in a Masterpiece Thea-tah fashion, memories of my own days as a waitron came flooding back like the tsunamis of my childhood nightmares…”

I’m not saying I’m Sherlock or Veronica Mars. Yet I possess two key qualities needed to crack a case like this: A.) I’ve waited if not a zillion then easily several thousand 1% tables and B). I’m deeply skeptical. Especially of “news” stories on Yahoo. And of people with Chihuahuas as pets. And also of anyone who pronounces “aunt” as “ahnt.” But never mind that let’s stick to the case at hand. The Curious Case of the 1% Receipt.

Sure, there are terrible, rude tippers out there and some of them are bankers. Yes, humans exist who no doubt treat anyone not as famous or rich as themselves like Madonna treats hydrangeas – with utter loathing and disdain. Yet, while looking at this receipt through my magnifying glass something caught my eye and caused a “Eureka!” moment which was very exhilarating: In real life no one would write “Get a real job” on a server’s receipt. This would only happen in poorly written romantic comedies starring J. Lo as a lowly diner waitress and Kate Hudson as the high-powered lawyer who defends her out of the kindness of her heart against an offensive banker played by Taylor Lautner. Of course Channing Tatum will play the sexy widower who owns the diner and falls for Kate Hudson even though J. Lo loves him. You see the serious detective work going on here, I hope.

This revelation led me to my second breakthrough. Pacing to and fro with wrinkled brow in a Masterpiece Thea-tah fashion, memories of my own days as a waitron (that’s industry jargon for server) came flooding back like the tsunamis of my childhood nightmares. I recalled the meager tips and the morose fish tank of Yum Yum Dim Sum, and the time I worked at a dive in Venice so cheap and lowly a customer found a seagull feather on her plate after she’d nearly finished the omelet cloaking it. She was shockingly nice and calm about the germ-riddled fiasco and tipped generously (many patrons of this eatery were coming straight from raves and all-night coke benders). This dive was the sort of establishment that attracted both actual homeless people and 1%-ers that looked like homeless people and enjoyed dining there in order to “be with the people” no doubt. Maybe I just possess top-notch waitron skills but none of the scruffy 1% customers ever told me to “Get a real job.” A drunk hobo may have yelled that a few times though as I recall.

“I pulled a deft George Costanza maneuver and finished flinging the sperm into the trash just before he turned back around to see me profess: “So good!” A proud waitron moment indeed…”

I have also done time serving fourteen-dollar cocktails and delicacies such as the cod sperm special to the Black Amex crowd at a fancy-pants Japanese place in Manhattan. I had to try the aforementioned cod sperm so I could properly sell it, and though I respect the chef, as soon as he turned away I pulled a deft George Costanza maneuver and finished flinging the sperm into the trash just before he turned back around to see me profess: “So good!” A proud moment indeed.

Sure there were some snooty 1% jerk-offs but usually they were too busy getting drunk and inappropriately fighting amongst themselves to scribble hostile graffiti on a waitron’s receipt. Rich people have their own caviar coated problems. Simply labeling them as the enemy is a little silly.  Sometimes the wealthy are more finicky than the 99% bridge and tunnel eaters, yet not always. And let me tell you, a 1% tip is offensive, but not as offensive as a 1% trust fund vegan complaining that there’s nothing to eat at a steak house and forcing you to ask the chef (aka Kim Jong Il of the kitchen) to prepare spinach and brown rice with no animal products and no oil. In the world of waiting tables THAT person is your Beelzebub because Kim Jong-Sous Chef might just hurl a blunt object at your head because of their stupid order.

Thus, all of these experiences plus plain common sense allowed me to crack the curious case of the 1% receipt before the Smoking Gun declared it a hoax and published the actual receipt, which looked like this:

The moral of this case can be summed up thusly:

1. Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet

2. Not all bankers are bad tippers and not all 99%-ers deserve medals of valor for their dumb internet pranks

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