You’ve most certainly seen these stories in the news before. The mainstream media loves to latch onto them and produce happy puff pieces on how a server’s life was forever changed after some anonymous passerby left an enormous tip. The general public loves these stories because it gives people hope that at any minute a golden goose can drop an egg out of the sky and everything will change for the better. Well, this is not one of those stories even though it does involve a customer leaving their server a tip of $1,000.
Even though they put tips in a jar to share among the servers, Anantatho remembers the reaction of the waiter who’d served the man.
“He said he’d read a lot of stories like this, but usually the tip is a couple hundred dollars, not $1,000,” she said. “He was so happy.”
Relying on her instincts as a business owner, Anantatho told her crew they should hold on to the money, just in case he came back.
And he did, the very next day, the moment the restaurant opened.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry, I was drunk,’ ” she said. “He didn’t know he put all the money he had in the checkbook.”
Some of the bills were $100 bills, and she suspected he might have thought they were $1 bills.
She gave the money back to him, and he gave her $100 to cover the dinner, about $60, and the rest for a tip.
Although disappointed for her staff, which thought it had earned a major tip, she’s content with the way she handled an embarrassing situation, making it easy for the customer.
This is such a friggin’ Boy Scouts moment. That urge to ‘always do the right thing’ clouded reality, and instead of taking home the tip that was left they allowed the drunk dude to come back and reclaim the money he’d mistakenly pissed away while drunk. It was nice of them to return the money to that man but they really, really didn’t have to.
I’ve made drunk mistakes before and I paid the price, I once passed out in a taxi and got hit with a massive bill because the person couldn’t wake me up, and I deserved to pay that massive price for my drunken shenanigans.
I feel like this could’ve been an incredible teaching moment, one that would’ve taught this dude an important lesson on keeping his wits about him when getting hammered, but instead he got his money back like it never happened and the server lost a little faith in humanity.
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