The story was too good to be true. A wealthy banker runs up a three-figure bill, only tips 1% (!), and writes a note to the server to “get a real job” as a parting insult. CNN, Huffington Post, and other media outlets ran with the story of the arrogant banker and his miserly recompense to the help. There was only one thing wrong — it really was too good to be true:
According to Huffington Post, CNN and several other news sites, a person claiming to be an employee of the “wealthy” banker took a photo of the receipt and posted it on a blog, “Future Ex-Banker”. The blogger paired the photo with their own caption:
“Mention the ’99 percent’ in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1 percent badge of honor that he tips exactly 1 percent every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his Holiness. Oh, and he always makes sure to include a ‘tip’ of his own.” …
The post set off a hailstorm of online comments that touched on the 1% vs. 99% class warfare embodied by the Occupy movement.
HuffPo later posted a statement from the restaurant that said that the photo had been “altered and exaggerated.” How exaggerated? Well, according to the local CBS affiliate — who actually asked the restaurant about the bill — the meal was just over $30 instead of $133, the tip was 20% and not 1%, and the customer didn’t write any note to the server on the bill. “Exaggerated” in this case serves as a synonym for “flat-out lie.”
Then again, without a lot of flat-out lies, where would the Occupy movement be?