Waiter Returns $424k Check To Customer Who Forgot It But Didn't Tip Him

A woman who stiffed her waiter at Patsy’s Pizzeria in New York City got a taste of instant karma when she walked away from lunch and left a check behind on the table.Armando Markaj was serving the table and when he went to clean up, he found they hadn’t left him a tip, but had left behind a cashier’s check for $424,000.

The check belonged to 78-year-old retired social worker Karen Vinacour. “I’m happy for her, really. Saturdays are pretty busy and I was very close to taking everything left on the table and throwing it out when I saw an envelope. I just pulled up the flap and I saw ‘Citibank’ and thought it was important, so I ran out to the street to look for her, but she was gone. Armando got the owner to take the check and put it in the safe. “We thought for sure it was a billionaire or something who came in here, because who walks around with a check like that?” said the owner Frank Brija. It turns out that Karen had recently sold her apartment and added her life savings in hopes of getting another condo. She was on her way to do the deal.

When she realized that she had lost the check she was immediately concerned. “I figured it’s a check, I’ll just go to the bank and ask them to stop it. Citibank said they couldn’t immediately cancel it because it was a cashier’s check. I would have to wait at least three months before they could even start the process, and only if someone didn’t cash it in the meantime. My world just collapsed."

Now she’s beyond grateful to get it back. “I can’t believe it,” Vinacour says. “I’m so relieved.”

When asked why she hadn't tipped “It was a very stressful day,” she said, as she explained she’s couch-surfing with family and friends while trying to get financing to buy a condo. And then she and her daughter didn’t like Markaj’s response when they told him there weren’t enough photos of women on the walls. He said “Maybe women don’t eat a lot of pizza?" and shrugged.

Well she apologized profusely to him but Armando refused a belated tip.

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