Hey, Waitress, Where's the Money?
Mystery over tip dispute ends with waitress being fired
Now, not only has Morales left Gallop Asian Bistro by a "joint decision," according to the restaurant, but there's a question of whether thousands she had received in donations to replace the missing tip, and at least some of which she said would go to the Wounded Warrior Project, ended up where they were supposed to, according to NJ.com.
Morales first claimed on the Have a Gay Day Facebook page that a couple had stiffed her and left a note on the credit card receipt.
The story received international coverage. People donated replacement tips for what would total at least $3,000, according to ABC News. Morales said she would donate at least some of the money to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The note says "sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle & the way you live your life"
NEVER in a million years did I think this would happen. Not only was it a family with two kids, but as I introduce myself and tell them my name is Dayna - the mom proceeds to look at me and say "oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!"
But a couple claiming to be the patrons in question contacted a local television station and produced both a restaurant receipt and a credit card statement that allegedly showed an $18 tip that had been added to the bill. The wife said that the "Dan" remark was a joke because they said they had asked for a server named Dan and were surprised when someone else helped them.
"I just felt like people have a right to know that -- it's fine if people want to donate to her or to the Wounded Warriors, but they're doing it under a false pretense," said the wife.
At the time, the restaurant said that it would undertake an internal investigation into the matter.
Then more questions came up. The Wounded Warrior Project told NJ.com last week that it couldn't verify that Morales had donated anything. The organization could not find any donation under her name, the zip code where she worked, or the zip code where she lives. A donation could have been made through a third party or from another zip code.
The people who run the Have a Gay Day Facebook page reportedly told ABC News that at least four people who had sent Morales money through PayPal have received refunds.
Morales had said that the handwriting on the receipt was not hers and that she stood by her story. It is possible that someone else in the restaurant could have printed out a duplicate receipt without a tip and written the note.
According to WNBC, sources said that Morales had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines "when she stopped showing up for drills." Other sources who claimed to have worked with Morales at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Nyack, NY said she professed to have brain cancer, accepted help from co-workers, and then abruptly quit and disappeared.
Gallop Asian Bistro announced her departure on the restaurant's Facebook page.
The Gallop Asian Bistro has taken seriously the allegations made by Ms. Dayna Morales, and those made against her. Despite news reports to the contrary, this is not a simple, straight-forward matter and we have conducted our own internal investigation. The results of that investigation are inconclusive as to exactly what happened between Ms. Morales and the customers that night. However, in light of the investigation and recent events, both Ms. Morales and Gallop Asian Bistro have made a joint decision that Ms. Morales will no longer continue her employment at our restaurant. We wish her well in the future.
Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman