"Waitress Says She Was Fired For Tea Party Bracelet"
Her story: "a couple dining at the restaurant did not like [her "Don't Tread On Me" bracelet] and asked for the manager"
Their story: "Geller was inattentive to diners at two tables"
Outside protesters' story: "a group rallied in front of the Outback Steakhouse, waving American and Gadsden flags and accusing the restaurant of violating her free speech rights"
The real story (based on my experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry): She's 23, so she probably has a 23-year-old's "flexible" sense of punctuality. She's snotty to some of the older waitresses and is generally perceived as not pulling her weight. She's had plenty of other complaints, and the manager has "coached her up" on a number of occasions, hoping she'll finally "get" what it means to be a good waitress.
That night, the customers probably said something a little mean about her bracelet, and she decided to pay them back in spades with lousy service.
The manager decided this failure-of-a-waitress was no longer worth the trouble, and kicked her to the curb.
Morale among the waitstaff jumped 20 points.
Just my guess.