Sometimes heroes live in a city called Metropolis and they wear capes. Other times, the hero lives in Crawfordsville, Indiana and wears a brown apron while working at Cracker Barrel. Okay, maybe "hero" is too strong a word, but a Cracker Barrel waitress proved that she has honesty and integrity and is way better than I am.
Nicole McKinney was at work serving the usual hash brown casserole and thick sausage patties when two women came into her station. Jane Mitchell and her mother, Sara Froedge, popped in to get their daily recommended allowance of gravy and such. After they were done, Nicole went to clear the table and she discovered a large denomination bill that had been left on the table underneath a napkin. She knew right away that it was too much to be her tip, because most people at Cracker Barrel leave two or three dollars and some shiny dimes. Nicole immediately threw down her tray and rushed to find her customers to give them back the large denomination bill. (I like to imagine that it was a $100 bill or maybe even a $1000, but this is Cracker Barrel we are talking about, so "large denomination bill" could mean a five. Make those Lincolns, yo.) She found her customers in the little gift shop area where they were about to buy some Moon Pies, a rocking chair and a wind chime made out of metal wrenches.
“No way does anyone leave that kind of tip,” McKinney said. “I know I wouldn’t want to lose that kind of money. I knew it had to be a mistake.”
Mitchell thanked Nicole for being so honest and immediately knowing that she never would have left a big tip like that. “She could have easily put the money in her apron, and we would have never known what happened to the cash,” Mitchell said. “But she didn’t. She did the right thing.” She gave her a hug (really, she only did that to get one more whiff of biscuit) and went on her way.
But wait, there's more!
When Jane Mitchell got home, she put a note on Facebook mentioning how honest her server was and one of her Facebook friends mentioned that they should start a collection to reward the waitress's honesty. Within one week, they had raised $320. The customer contacted the manager at Cracker Barrel to see if it would be alright to come up to surprise the waitress and the manager was probably like, "Well, as long as it doesn't take time away from her side work duties." Nicole McKinney was handed a card that said "I Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 18, ‘Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’” There was also $320. Nicole wept with joy and Jane Mitchell got to show the world what a good up-standing Christian she is and just to make sure, she had a picture taken and then alerted the news media.
Way to go, Nicole McKinney! You give servers a good name. I am not sure I would have done the same thing if I found a $100 bill on my table. I probably would have thought one of the following things:
- I guess they really liked my service.
- What $100 bill? I didn't see a $100 bill.
- Finders keepers, losers weepers, bitches.
I went to the Yelp page of this particular Cracker Barrel and see that they only have one star. I say we all go over there and give them a 5-star rating and throw a shout out to Nicole for being so cool.
What would you have done if you found a large denomination bill under the napkin when you cleared the table? Or a better question might be, what would you have spent it on?
everything below was added on February 7, 2013
After I wrote the above post, I was contacted by the writer of the original article because she felt that I had violated copyright laws. She also failed to see my sense of humor and wanted me to remove the post. Let me start off by saying I did not copy and paste the original story. The only things that were verbatim from the article were the direct quotes of the people involved.
According to the Fair Use Doctrine (Section 110 (5) of the Copyright Act of 1976), it is allowable to use "limited portions" of a copyrighted item for works such as commentary, news reporting, academic reports, and the like. But you still have to give credit. You cannot claim the work as yours. You must cite where it came from.
Let me cite where the story came from, since the original link to the site wasn't good enough. It came from the esteemed publication called Journal Review in Crawfordsville, Indiana, population 16,042. In other words, about 4,000 people less than on the Bitchy Waiter Facebook page. The original article was written by someone who probably has a couple of Pulitzer Prizes sitting on her mantel right next to the homecoming mum that she saved from her sophomore year in high school.
I truly enjoyed your article and wanted more people to know about waitress Nicole McKinney. I am feel certain that had Huffington Post or CNN picked up your news story, you would have been quite excited about it. Perhaps you take issue with the fact that someone called The Bitchy Waiter found your story and not Wolf Blitzer. I also apologize that you may have found my twist on the story unflattering, but I always try to paint the picture in favor of the server. Yes, customer Jane Mitchell did a great thing by rewarding Ms. McKinney for her honesty but let's face it: it sounds a little bit attention-whorey, dontcha think? I can quote the bible too, Ms. Mitchell:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:1-4 (Thank you to Jenifer for that one.)
I am not going to take the post down because I didn't do anything wrong. News organizations constantly search the Internet for stories to regurgitate and all they have to do is give credit where credit is due. I have done that. And I am done.
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