A waitress in Texas was surprised when a patron left her a $2,000 tip, but she was even more stunned to discover that the restaurant wouldn't be giving her any of the money.
Emily Bauer had only been working at the Red Hook Seafood and Bar in San Antonio for about two weeks when she was scheduled for a busy Sunday shift, per KVUE. Bauer said she kept apologizing to every table for "being slow," but there was one customer in particular who understood her circumstance. "He was just like, 'I understand.' He also mentioned he owned restaurants. So he knew how hard it was to be a server," she recalled.
Then, he wanted to leave, Bauer said. "He was like, 'Just cancel everything. Cancel everything and give me the ticket.' So, I said okay. I gave him the ticket," Bauer remembered. It wasn't until he had left that she noticed he had left her a $2,000 tip with a message that read, "Merry Christmas! Keep working hard!"
"I was like, 'Wait.' I just opened it and started crying. I was like, 'Oh my God! My kids! I'm going to spend it all on my kids,'" Bauer said of her two boys who are 5 years and 5 months old. "I was like, 'Oh my God.' I've never had a Christmas where I've been able to like splurge on them."
Bauer's dreams of giving her kids a Christmas like they have never had before were quickly dashed when she was informed that the restaurant's system couldn't process the tip amount. Bauer said her manager explained to her that the limit on a tip was $500. When the other servers suggested that the restaurant figure out a workaround, such as giving Bauer four payments of $500, they allegedly refused.
"I don’t think it’s our responsibility as a server to say, 'Oh, you can’t tip me that much, I'm sorry. Oh no, there’s a limit, I'm sorry.' If that's the case, there should be signs posted on the restaurants or the receipt to say there’s a limit of $500," Bauer said. "Everybody I've talked to has been like, 'I've never heard of that before.' If it's left to you and signed by that person, then you should be able to get it."
The manager told Bauer that the customer who gave her the tip called the restaurant to express his displeasure over the fact that she wouldn't be able to receive the money he left for her. When Bauer asked to speak with him directly, she was told that the manager never took down his contact information. Bauer posted the ticket on Facebook in the hopes that he will, at least, find out how appreciative she is of his act of generosity.
"Even though I can’t receive it, thank you. Thank you for having such a big heart. This world is filled with messed up people. It’s like, how did he know I needed that?" Bauer said.