Shikira Edwards was no stranger to hard work, tying up her hair and putting on an apron to work at Denny's every workday. Then, one morning, she received a tip that could completely change her life.
Shikira Edwards Worked At Denny's Everyday
Every day, Shikira Edwards packed up and made her way to work. She worked at Denny's, hoping to pay off her student loans and her rent. It wasn't easy, and she worked very hard for her money.
The easy-to-do tasks and mindless work were well-worth it to Edwards. She wanted to live debt-free.
An Older Couple Took A Seat At One Of Her Tables
Working in the service industry, Edwards had put up with a lot of rude and rowdy customers. Unfortunately, it was part of the territory. Then, one morning, a nice-looking lady and her husband walked through the door.
Edwards was more than willing to help the happy-looking older couple, two people who didn't look like they'd give her any problems.
Bright Smiles Were A Welcomed Change
Walking over to the couple with a bright smile, Edwards loved that the customer went out of her way to tell her that her cheerful attitude was a breath of fresh air and very much appreciated.
The simple comment made the waitress's morning so much brighter, and she went about her duties in a better mood.
The Tip On the Table Must Have Been A Mistake
Little did Edwards know that her nice customers were just the start to her good luck that day. Going into the back to grab cleaning spray and a towel to wipe down the table, Edwards was in a great mood.
Getting back to the table, she couldn't believe her eyes. The tip left by the couple must have been a trick of the light.
They Left A $4,000 Tip
Sitting on the table, Edwards couldn't believe it. The lady and her husband left her a check for $4,000! It didn't take long for her eyes to fill with tears.
She didn't think people could ever be so gracious. In one fell swoop, the couple helped Edwards lean even closer to her debt-free life!
Student Debt Was About To Be A Thing Of The Past
Edwards was over the moon with happiness. She thought of all the good she could do with $4,000. First, she wanted to pay off a large chunk of her student debt. Then, Edwards wanted to do something equally selfless.
She decided to donate the rest of the money to a non-profit organization helping adolescents deal with depression.
She Had To Show Her Manager
Quickly composing herself and wiping away her happy tears, Edwards made her way to the back and to her manager's office. She couldn't wait to show the money and her good news.
Little did he know that her fantastic morning was about to come to a screeching halt and come crashing down.
He Took The Tip Money
In her manager's office, Edwards showed him the tip. He was speechless, never having seen a tip so large. After a few minutes of discussion, none of which was in Edwards's favor, he slid the check into his pocket.
He told the server that the money would stay with him, at least until Edwards did him a favor.
She Was Beyond Angry
Edwards couldn't believe her ears. He pocketed the money she made serving customers. What gave him the right? Not only that, but now he wanted her to do something for him, just to get the check back.
It was unbelievable! She went from ecstatic to angry in just a matter of minutes.
The Next Step: Think Things Through
At the time, Edwards had no idea what to say to her manager. She had a few choice words in her head but didn't want to lose her job and her check, too. So, she left Denny's and went home, giving herself room to think.
First, she went online to see if anyone else was ever in a similar situation.
There Were Many Stories Online
To Edwards's delight, there were many stories online about servers getting unexpectedly large tips from customers. It warmed her heart. Yet, no one seemed to find themselves in a similar situation she was in -- her manager asking for a favor for the check.
Edwards didn't know what to do because what her manager asked of her was pretty much impossible.
The Favor: Track Down The Lady Who Wrote The Check
Wanting to live a debt-free life and help other people in need, Edwards really wanted the check back. She had earned it, after all. Sadly, her manager had another idea.
He wanted Edwards to track down the lady who wrote the check, asking if she actually meant to write down then $4,000 sum.
She Had No Idea Where To Start
With so many people in and out of Denny's on any given day, it was almost impossible for Edwards to know where to begin. She didn't have the resources to find someone she had just met and who wasn't a regular at the restaurant.
She had no idea where to even begin looking.
It Was An Impossible Task
The request was ridiculous. How did her manager think she'd find a lady who'd ever only been to this Denny's once before? Edwards began to think her manager knew how impossible the task was and was planning for her to fail in order to keep the money.
The Denny's location that she worked at could use new supplies, and $4,000 could be a huge help.
To The Internet!
Feeling down on her luck, Edwards thought her hardest to figure out how to find the woman. That's when inspiration struck. Why try to figure everything out by herself? She glanced at her computer and figured, why not enlist the help of the internet?
Maybe, the woman and her husband were on social media, and they would find the story! Or, at least, hear about it from someone else.
For Weeks, Nothing Happened
Edwards decided to write a post and share it online, hoping the gracious tipper would contact her. Sadly, weeks passed, and she didn't hear from anyone. Little did she know that her post was being shared across social media platforms, picking up traction.
And while no one knew who the lady was, they were outraged with Edwards's manager.
The Local News Station Wanted To Report On The Story
How could a manager take one of his server's tips? Many people were outraged for Edwards and began posting their opinions online. The anger-filled posts caught the ear of various news outlets.
The local news station was more than willing to report on the story, especially when Edwards called the station and asked if they would air a segment.
She Got Her Story On The Air
Hoping to find the woman who gave her the generous tip, Edwards went to the news station and told her story. She still couldn't believe management took away the check, all because they didn't believe the woman meant to leave the large sum.
Edwards was embarrassed to be reaching out to the lady, but what other choice did she have?
It Wasn't Over Yet
The more Edwards thought about the situation she was in the angrier she became. She worked tirelessly for Denny's, dealing with rude customers and getting little pay for her efforts.
On top of that, there was no rule saying management had any right to take away her tips. Why was this happening to her?
Denny's Made A Formal Statement
Before the story spun out of control, Denny's made a formal statement. The chain said they would never withhold their employees' pay but had a responsibility to make sure customers weren't overpaying.
Due to the $4,000 sum, they thought it best to reach out to the lady just to double-check she meant to write such a large check.
They Conducted An Investigation
After speaking with Denny's leadership, Edwards became even more enraged. They would continue to withhold the check until a thorough investigation was conducted. The results were devastating.
Releasing a public statement, Denny's said, "We conducted a thorough investigation into this matter and have discovered the tip in question was made in error."
They Did Not Mean To Leave The $4,000 Tip
Edwards couldn't believe it. After thinking her life was going to change, everything fell apart. Apparently, the couple did not mean to leave the huge tip, mistakenly writing a check for $4,451.61 instead of leaving a much smaller $4 tip.
The server's heart broke, knowing there was nothing she could do about the situation.