Struggling Waitress Deserves to Keep $12,000 Tip

moneyIt's the stuff of every waitress's dreams. A wealthy customer comes in and is so pleased with the service received that she leaves one big fat tip that makes up for all of the day-to-day drudgery of the job. That's just what happened to Minnesota waitress Stacy Knutson, a mother of five, only her dreams were quickly dashed after she received an enormous tip.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Knutson was working at the Moorhead Fryn’ Pan restaurant when a customer left a to-go box from another restaurant on the table. Not wanting her to be without the leftovers, Knutson followed the woman out into the parking lot to give it back to her. But the woman refused it and said, “No, I am good; you keep it.”


While most might have been ready to toss it, Knutson noticed the box felt a little heavier than your average half-eaten ruben, so she took a peek inside. That's when she saw the major tip she'd just been given -- $12,000!

Now some people would take that tip and go pay their bills, go on a shopping spree, or otherwise celebrate their good fortune. But upstanding citizen that she is, Knutson did the prudent thing and called the police. In a lawsuit, she stated, "Even though I desperately needed the money as my husband and I have 5 children, I feel I did the right thing by calling Moorhead Police."

Yes, she's filed a lawsuit, because instead of getting rewarded for her honesty, she got screwed. After she called, police came and seized the money, but told her that if no one claimed it, she would get it back in 60 days. Fair enough. But then, when the 60 days were up, they said she still couldn't have it because it was part of a drug investigation. Instead she got a $1,000 reward.

Why is it part of a drug investigation? Not because there's any suspicion around the waitress, but rather because the money supposedly smelled like marijuana. Outrageous. Her attorney told the paper: “That would mean that any money that ever had any drugs on it could be confiscated by the police at any time. You know how ridiculous that would be?” Really ridiculous.

So now she's suing, and I hope she wins. She believes the money was donated by someone who knew she and her husband were struggling, which makes the whole thing more frustrating if that's the case. Even if it is drug money, what better use of it than to help a struggling family. 

Do you think it's outrageous that this woman doesn't get to keep the tip she was given?


Image via AMAgill/Flickr

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