End Of The Night
She was told that they were alright and asked for their bill. She brought it to them quickly.
She got the bill and saw her tip from them as soon as they had gone. She went back and asked them if they were mistaken.
Finding A Job
Melissa Gonzalez lived in a little Texas town as a single mom at 24, doing everything to support herself and her son while she studied at the local nursing school as a third-year student.
She found work as a waitress at a restaurant to earn an income but had no clue what a hassle her job would become in the future.
Melissa, her sister and two brothers grew up in her grandmother’s home. Her siblings were still in high school.
Melissa gave birth at nineteen to her son Virgil, named after her father, who had passed away. Melissa decided to move out to ease her grandma’s worry about raising so many but would soon rethink her decision.
Following His Footsteps
Melissa wouldn’t listen to her grandmother’s insistence and found an apartment near the rest of her family.
She dreamed of following in her dad’s footsteps and becoming a nursing practitioner like him before he went to the army and started her nursing training. But living on her own would become overwhelming.
Two months passed before the pressure of living outside as a single mom got to Melissa. She needed to find a job that would allow her to pay her bills while simultaneously attending classes and watching over little Virgil.
Within two months, Melissa realized she needed to get a job.
As luck would have it, a local restaurant was hiring new servers. Since the position was divided into shifts, it would be the best solution to Melissa’s problem.
A Day In Her Life
Melissa went to the restaurant and got the job, starting immediately. Her shift would begin in the afternoon and end at 9 PM.
She’d attend classes in the morning and spend lunch with Virgil before taking him to stay with her siblings at her grandma’s. Life was finally starting to look up for Melissa when trouble came knocking.
Trouble Is Here
The trouble came in the flashiest coating Melissa could think of. It was a two thousand dollar tip from her customers, an amount that left her speechless.
Melissa had been serving an old tourist couple that night, and they’d asked many questions about the restaurant’s heritage and cuisines. Of course, Melissa answered everything, showing the couple a few photos of the restaurant over the years. She had no idea what they had in mind.
Melissa had hoped to serve the couple and call it a night, given that she had a few minutes left on the clock. But they kept asking questions, which she was happy to answer.
Before she knew it, the clock’s hour hand was aiming at 10 PM. She excused herself, explaining that she’d find another waitress to cater to the couple’s needs. Their answer would leave her without words.
The couple assured Melissa they were fine, stating they were about to leave too. They requested their bill, and she quickly handed it over.
She picked it up as soon as they cleared it, looking to call it a night when her eyes caught the tip they’d left her. Her lips parted, and she rushed back to the couple to ensure they weren’t mistaken.
10Everything’s In Order
Melissa asked the couple if their tip was missing a decimal point between its three zeros. The couple told her everything was in order. Since she’d taken her time to make them feel at home, they were happy to leave her the generous tip.
Melissa stood transfixed, seeing the many problems she had in her life lessening. Several things back at home would benefit from the two thousand dollar tip. If only Melissa knew the restaurant would have other plans with the cash.
Cashing The Bill
Melissa thanked the couple and went to cash in the bill. She talked to her manager about the tip, barely getting her words across due to her excitement.
But her manager’s eyebrows furrowed as Melissa continued talking. “Melissa,” he started. “The tip limit is five hundred dollars. I’m afraid we can’t give you the full two thousand.”
Reasoning With Him
Melissa’s face fell. She tried reasoning with the manager, but he wouldn’t hear her. He talked about company policy, insisting it was all out of his hands.
Fellow servers came to Melissa’s aid, suggesting that the manager process four separate five hundred dollar tips in Melissa’s name. They also shared that they’d never heard about the five hundred dollar limit. Still, the manager wouldn’t budge.
Melissa went home heartbroken. She picked Virgil up from her grandma’s and hurried to her apartment, still unable to understand why her manager would refuse to give her the tip.
Knowing she needed to somehow find and thank the couple who left her the cash, she shared photos of the slip on Facebook, hoping it would reach them. This would open a can of worms she was not ready for.
Sharing The Photo
Melissa shared her photos with a caption thanking the couple for their generosity. She also revealed she couldn’t get the whole tip they left but was happy they’d blessed her with their curiosity and company.
But the post would go viral overnight, bringing an army of supporters to her side by dawn. Furthermore, the photos would reach the couple who left the tip.
The following day, Melissa reported to work as usual. But this time, a large group of supporters was waiting for her. Among them were the old couple, who hadn’t left town yet.
They talked to the manager, discovering his five hundred dollar tip limit rule was a hoax. Melissa received her full two thousand dollars by the end of that week, with the manager awaiting a disciplinary meeting from his superiors.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.