By now you may have heard about the waiter who was stiffed for a tip by some Alabama fans after he talked about “being proud of Auburn” after their improbable win on a returned field goal in the Iron Bowl.
We received a lot of feedback about the story possibly being a hoax. Thanks to a tip, we were able to reach out to the waiter and get to the bottom of what actually happened.
The waiter’s name is Forrest Swan. Swan is a 22-year-old computer science student at East Tennessee State who works at what he described in a phone interview as a “wing joint” in Kingsport, TN. Swan, who was on his way to class when reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, waits tables on weekends to help pay for college.
There was nothing out of the ordinary about his Saturday night shift until, after the conclusion of the Iron Bowl, a group of three walked in – two men and a woman. Swan was assigned to their table and while making his normal rounds he overheard the group talking about the Alabama-Auburn game.
Trying to be pleasant, he brought up the game, and said that he “was proud of the way Auburn played” and pulled out the win, not knowing he was addressing three Alabama fans since they had no Alabama gear on.
“I just said I was proud of the way Auburn pulled it out and that I didn’t think they could have done it in overtime,” Swan said.
Swan said before he mentioned the game, the group wasn't "particularly rude,” but thinking back on it, he noticed their demeanor changed after the Auburn comments and said that they “were being short” with him.
That isn't out of the ordinary for a waiter to deal with, so Swan mostly left them alone.
Then came the tip.
“I was in complete shock,” he said. “What was weird about it is they didn't say anything. They didn't say anything about being Alabama fans. I didn't see it coming.”
Swan also made it a point to clarify another thing too.
“I’m not even really an Auburn fan,” he said. “I root for Virginia Tech.”
A few days later Swan learned that one of the ‘Bama fans called the restaurant and cussed them out while complaining that Swan tried to add a $4 tip to their card. Swan’s manager consulted the restaurant’s finances from that day and found the claims were false.
It has been a few days since the incident (one that Swan tried to downplay by calling it "not too exciting"), but that didn't stop him from taking a lighthearted shot at the customers who couldn't spare him a few bucks.
"I think it was the girl who wrote the tip unless those Nick Saban fans have really girly handwriting," he joked.
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