Shaina Brown was overjoyed when a Good Samaritan left her a $1,000 tip while she was waitressing at Waffle House. However, that joy quickly turned to extreme frustration when her employer informed her that she could not keep the money.
The 26-year-old single mother was working the night shift on Mother’s Day when she met a very generous man, who has asked not to be identified. Brown and the man struck up a conversation where she revealed that she was a single mother of three working two jobs. Little did she know that she would be getting quite a gift upon the man’s departure.
“I told him I was a single parent, three children, working two jobs, going to school, doing what I have to do,” Brown told TODAY. “And he told me, ‘Shaina, I’m going to bless you tonight.’ At first I didn’t get the weight of the statement. I thought he was joking around.”
When the man finished his meal, he retreated to the counter to pay for the food. After paying with his credit card, the man left a $1,500 tip; $1,000 for Brown and $500 for another customer that looked as though they could use a pick-me-up.
When Brown saw the ticket she wasn’t sure what to do. “I didn’t shout for joy right then because I didn’t want to seem all dorky,” Brown said. “But I did after he left!”
Brown remained ecstatic until her manager arrived the next morning and revealed to her the chain’s policy to refund large tips in case the amount is later disputed. Brown was obviously devastated.
“When a guest makes a tip of this size, it is our procedure to refund the tip amount and ask the guest to make the tip in either cash or a check. We follow this procedure in the event the customer decides to dispute the credit card charge and ask for a refund for the tip amount at a later date,” Waffle House representative Kelly Thrasher-Bruner said in an email to the Huffington Post.
“In this case, our Management contacted the customer within 24 hours, explained the procedure, and then refunded the tip amount to his account,” she added.
Despite Waffle’s House attempt at keeping the money from Brown, this story does have a good ending. After hearing all the fuss over his tip, the man returned to Waffle House to simply write Brown a check for the $1,000. Although everything worked out for the best, Brown says that she still feels humiliated.
“It wouldn’t be different if the man landed cash on the table, and the manager had snatched it away and said, ‘You can’t have it!’ Brown said. “It was very humiliating.”
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