ALBANY, N.Y. – A local waiter recently received a generous tip from a patron.
Michael Shafts, 24, has been a waiter at The Ginger Man Wine Bar and Restaurant for five years but never would have come close to guessing the amount he recently saw written on the tip line.
“$1,000 on a bill that was a little over $100,” he said.
The bill that night was for $130.89. A $1,000 tip equates to 764 percent.
“I don’t really know how it came about,” Shafts said. “I mean, when I first saw the tip I was just in shock.”
The patron who left the tip remains anonymous, but he was celebrating his 47th birthday that night with his wife, and he wanted Shafts to pay it forward.
“Between everybody who was working that evening I gave about half away to the staff,” Shafts said. “They deserved it. We’re all team players here.”
The other half of the tip went towards a new timing belt for Shafts’ car engine.
“I made sure it was okay with him,” Shafts said. “I thanked him. I hugged him. I hugged him again before he left. I just couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. My legs were shaking. I couldn’t really focus on the rest of the work I had to do that evening.”
Shafts may still be having a hard time wrapping his head around the generous tip, but he said he wouldn’t forget the patron’s reminder to pay it forward.
“The couple who left the tip – they’re the heroes of the story,” he said. “They’re the ones who deserve any sort of glory in this entire – whatever’s going on here. It’s still hard to think about.”