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Life likes to play tricks on us. Sometimes it would grant us a miracle but snatch it right away, and this is exactly what happened to a young waitress at Denny's.
During one of her exhausting shifts, this woman received a life-changing tip but never got the chance to use it. When she finally discovered the truth, she couldn't stop her tears from falling on her uniform…
For the past 3 years, Shikira Edwards had been waitressing part-time at Denny's to pay her way through dental school. The hard-working woman could put up with being bossed around, but meanwhile she desired to know when she'd live a debt-free life. Well, she was about to find out.
One morning Edwards encountered a diner who was more than happy to return her bright smile. Dealing with difficult customers all the time made her feel grateful for any friendly gesture. But as she cleared the table after the diner left, she began to realize how much her service was appreciated.
Among the empty plates sat an astonishing tip of over $4,000! Edwards stared at the check with her mouth wide open. A total stranger had just given her a huge leg-up! The waitress was overwhelmed with a rush of joy, and she decided to share the exciting news with her manager.
On the way to her manager's office, the young woman had already put together a plan on how to spend the money. She would pay off some of her $33,000 student loan, and then make a donation to help adolescents with depression. Edwards was beyond excited, but her manager's reaction had shattered her.
The manager stared at the check in utter disbelief. He'd heard of waiters receiving huge tips like this, but never had he expected it to happen to one of his employees. After some awkward discussion, the man slid the check into his own pocket. "I'm sorry. This tip stays with me unless you agree to do me a favor."
Edwards couldn't believe that her boss just took away the fortune that could literally change her life. This put her in a dilemma: either she could fight back and risk losing her job, or simply do as his boss would ask her to do. After some serious thinking, Edwards finally compromised because she knew how hard she'd worked and she wanted to escape from all her burdens as soon as possible. However, what the waitress would be requested to do was nearly impossible.
Edwards was told that in order to cash the check, she must track down the lady from the other day and confirm that she did write down the right amount of tip. But how could a part-time waitress find someone who wasn't even a regular at Denny's? Edwards mulled over it, and then she came up with an idea.
In the hopes of finding the kind lady, Edwards posted her story on Facebook, so she could cast a net wider than her friends and family. However, weeks passed and there was still no sign of the generous tipper. Edwards's eyes grew dimmer every day, but soon she would realize that there was still a silver lining.
Though the anonymous tipper hadn't been located, many netizens spoke out on social media, showing support for the diligent waitress. Before long, "Justice For Shikira" became trendy and it surprisingly grabbed the attention of the local news channel.
The local news station contacted the waitress and asked if they could interview her. Of course Edwards was happy to share her story with a larger audience. She couldn't withhold her tears as she talked about how many grueling shifts she'd gone through and how terribly the manager had been treating her. The interview provoked public outrage over Denny's, and the restaurant had to make a statement to stop things from spiraling out of control.
Unsurprisingly, Denny's justified their actions. They claimed that the management had the responsibility to ensure the customers didn't pay more than they intended to, so they asked Edwards to find the tipper. However, the statement revealed a long-existing problem in the service industry.
Sadly, many service workers are paid at "tipped minimum wage," which means their salary is much lower than federal minimum wage, so they rely heavily on their customers' tips. In this case, it was absolutely unfair that Edwards's own money got snatched away from her company. And to make matters worse, Denny's later issued another response that would break her heart into pieces.
Denny's eventually released a longer statement. "We conducted a thorough investigation into this matter and have discovered the tip in question was made in error. The old lady who left the tip mistakenly gave the amount of $4,451.61 instead of her intended $4." Edwards felt like her world was tumbling down and her future was taken away from her.
No one knows if the restaurant had actually located the tipper, but it's clear that the waitress should've had more control of her money. Hopefully this story will serve as a warning to other companies in the service industry. It's never okay to take advantage of their hard-working employees.
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