4 'Victims' It's Time to Stop Feeling Sorry For (Part 2)

People love to play the victim these days. And why not? There are plenty of roles to go around. Be it a con artist preying on the kindness of others or a natural disaster wreaking havoc where it doesn't usually wreak, there seems to be an endless supply of new and exciting ways to turn regular people into marks and statistics.

As I've said before, not all of them actually deserve our support. Here are four more "victims" we should stop feeling sorry for.

#4. Tip Shamers Who Get Fired

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Tip shamers are all the rage on the Internet these days. If you're not familiar with the term, just know that it's exactly what it sounds like. Someone leaves a shitty gratuity at a restaurant, the waiter or waitress uploads visual proof to the Internet, and, in theory at least, the awful cheapskate learns about Internet justice the hard way.

Pictured: The hard way, apparently.

Of course, that's never how it turns out. Unless the person being shamed is recognizable by name, chances are very few people will ever know they've been called out online. If it is a recognizable name, that probably means they're famous and have likely dealt with way bigger PR disasters than the public finding out they only tipped 8 percent on a tableful of Hooters wings.

Bowers/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Like admitting they got suckered into buying a calendar while they were there.

The only constant that seems to turn up in every famous case of tip shaming is that, in the end, the beleaguered employee who got shafted out of his hard-earned 20 percent also loses his job for making a scene. It's at that point that the Internet collectively goes into outrage mode and starts lambasting the tip shamer's former employer with angry tweets about how they can go to hell for siding with The Man instead of having their employee's back.

As fun as Internet vigilantism may be, there are a few problems with the rage that always surrounds a good tip-shaming story. First, there's the obvious point: The food servers of the world, as unfortunate as it may be, get shitty to no tips all the time. The majority of them don't act out on the Internet about it for the same reason most of them don't just hop up on a table and shame the tip misers right there on the spot as they're leaving the restaurant. Doing that kind of shit gets you fired, anyone who's seen the Dane Cook/Ryan Reynolds entertainment juggernaut Waiting knows that.

So these two and ...?

So what kind of people do you end up supporting when you lend your opinion to a tip-shaming fracas? The kind who can say stuff like this:

Must be nice!

That's a quote from an interview with the Internet's newest working-class hero, Brendan O'Connor. I did the highlighting myself using Photoshop. Drop me a line for all your graphic design needs. Anyway, he was fired from his job for posting this tweet after a company near the food truck he worked at placed a $170 order and failed to leave a tip.

Fight the power.

The Internet exploded with angry words for his former rolling employer, just as you'd expect, but would that still have been the case if everyone knew beforehand that this aggrieved employee was basically flipping grilled cheese sandwiches for shits and giggles to combat the crippling boredom that comes with not having to pay your own bills?

Even if not, the people who rallied around him did so knowing full well that he also said this:

"I asked some of the group as they were picking up their orders if they had intended to not tip. They hemmed and hawed and walked away."

That's a quote from an article O'Connor wrote for the Awl. That article was the starting point for most of the outrage surrounding this controversy, and not a single person seems to be asking the obvious questions.

The Awl
Such as "Did this kid really just refer to himself as a 'millennial'?"

First off, what kind of presumptive, entitled dickface just comes out and asks if someone is planning to leave a tip? Even if it was an honest mistake on the customer's part, is the $11 or so that you think should have your name on it worth looking like the biggest asshole in the world?

Beyond that, since when is tipping at a food truck a thing we're required to do? You don't tip at McDonald's, do you? How is this any different? People who wait tables are paid less than minimum wage with the expectation that they'll make up the difference in tips. Food truck workers are not. If I'm doing the majority of the delivery work, my only tip is that you should get your goddamn head checked if you think you're entitled to a tip.

#3. People Who Don't Read Fine Print

Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty

I spent a lot of years laboring over hot telephones in various customer service factories before I finally settled into Brendan O'Connor's dream job here at Cracked. I answered customer service calls for everything from cellphones to health insurance to ... well that's it, I guess. Just those two things.

Nevertheless, that was enough time in the trenches to learn one undeniable truth about the average American consumer: When it comes to paperwork and the various terms and contracts we agree to on a regular basis, people don't read any of that shit.

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
To hell with your papers, corporate America!

In defense of all those truly awful people I talked to over the years, at least they had the good sense to call and ask questions about the things they didn't know. Some people don't, and that's how things like those "horror stories" about cellphone customers coming home from a trip abroad to find thousands of dollars in international roaming charges on their phone bill happen.

Like this guy, who talked his phone company into reducing a $22,000 bill all the way down to $200. He had a fairly legitimate argument in that the carrier should have notified him at some point well before things got that out of hand, but at the same time, finding out how your phone works when you leave the country is as much the customer's responsibility as anything. At least you should think of it that way if you'd prefer to just not come home to a crazy bill as opposed to fighting things out for hours (or days) on the telephone.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
It's not as fun as this picture makes it look.

An unfortunate side effect of carriers setting up vast digital networks that cover almost all of the country is that one of the things cellphone customers used to live in mortal fear of, roaming charges, are practically a non-issue now. If you're somewhere in the United States where your phone doesn't work, you probably don't want to be there anyway and likely won't be ever again. Or you have AT&T and are in the downtown area of any major city.

Whatever the case, what I'm saying is that it's been a long time since most of us have had to worry about paying exorbitant roaming charges while traveling within the country.

Do you see Canada or Mexico anywhere on your coverage map, though? If you do, those countries likely aren't the same color as the land you call home, and I don't mean that in a racist way, even if it was kind of racist of me to make that declaration in the first place.

Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
Because everyone in Canada is white.

The point is, if you just do some cursory research into things like "Will my phone work at the shady Mexican pharmacy where I buy my back pills?" or "Does my health insurance cover breast implants?" you can save yourself a ton of hassle in the future.

If you don't, it's nobody's fault but your own if drunkenly uploading every plate of poutine you eat to Instagram during that bender in Winnipeg eventually bankrupts you.

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Adam Tod Brown

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