Waiter Gets Stiffed On Tip, Still Returns $424,000 Customer Left Behind

By Dave Basner

May 13, 2019

When a waiter doesn't get a tip, there are probably a lot of things running through their mind that they'd like to do to the customer who stiffed them, but returning a check worth nearly half a million dollars probably isn't one of them. However, that's exactly what Armando Markaj did after a diner didn't leave him a tip.

Armando, who works at the Harlem pizzeria Patsy's, might be the world's most honest server. He waited on 79-year-old retired social worker Karen Vinacour at the restaurant, which is decorated with photos of famous people. She asked him why there weren't more pictures of women on the walls and he responded by suggesting that women just don't like pizza as much. Vinacour, who was their with her daughter, explained to the New York Daily News, "Well, my daughter's kind of feisty and she didn't like that. So we didn't tip him."

After they left, Armando found a bank envelope at the table. Inside was a cashier's check for $424,000. Karen was apartment hunting and that was her down payment. It came from the sale of her old home. He ran outside to find her, but she was already gone. Patsy's owner called the Daily News, which tracked down Karen. He told the paper, "We thought for sure it was a billionaire or something who came in here, because who walks around with a check like that?"

Meanwhile, when Karen discovered the check was missing, her bank said they couldn't cancel it for three months because it was a cashier's check. She stated, "My world just collapsed." She called the restaurant but accidentally called the wrong Patsy's. Thankfully, the Daily News tracked her down and a very "relieved" Karen got her check back. She tried to give Armando a big tip, but he refused, even though he is working to put himself through school. However, he did accept her apology.

Photo: Getty

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