Shaina Brown, a single mother of three kids who works two jobs to make ends meet, was working the late shift at Waffle House at 3 a.m. on Mother’s Day when a customer surprised her with a $1,000 tip. (Technically a $1,500 tip — $500 was to go to a woman at another table.)
In what sounds like the makings for a story that could have been adapted into a feel good, family friendly Tom Hanks movie quickly took a turn for what could be a sad, depressing Tom Hanks movie because those dickholes at Waffle house forced her to return the tip. From the Charlotte Observer:
“I feel like they stole from me,” said Brown, 26. “They did exactly what they teach us not to do.”
This really happened. I confirmed Brown’s story with the customer who left her a tip the size of a mortgage payment, a Raleigh businessman who didn’t want public attention for his deed.
Then I contacted Kelly Thrasher, a Waffle House spokeswoman, who told me that large tips are refunded to patrons as a regular procedure. Generous tippers are asked to tip again by cash or check. The restaurant handles it that way, she explained, in case the customer decides to dispute the tip later or ask for a refund.
I mean, I guess that is a pretty smart policy because of all the millionaires that regularly pass through Waffle Houses and you know sometimes the humidity inside the Waffle House makes your monocle steam up and next thing you know a $5 tip turns into a $500 tip.
After the reporter for the Charlotte Observer tracked down the man who gave Brown the tip, he offered to send her a check for the amount — but at that point the whole ordeal was probably making him regret doing a good deed, which he might think twice about next time. So good job, Waffle House, both for stealing money from single moms and forcing newspaper reporters to harass good Samaritans. Just throwing it out there, but I’ve got a puppy here if you’d like to kick it.