It can feel like everything is set against you when you’re having a particularly bad day, but the right person can turn it all around in a moment.
Waitress Jennifer Vernancio experienced that emotional about-face last month when she was working a tough shift at the Big Cheese & Pub in Cranston, Rhode Island.
“I was having a terrible morning,” said Vernancio, mom to a 16-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. “I couldn’t find a sitter. There was a kid at day care that was sick so I couldn’t bring my son.
“I was supposed to be in at 11. They told me to come in when I have a sitter, so my daughter was available after school. That’s when I came in.”
When the single mother finally got to work much later than intended, she put on a brave face and started doing her job — and her very first customers turned out to be the most generous she’d ever had in her 20 years of food service.
“My first table of the day was a super, super nice gentleman with his wife,” Vernancio told WJAR. “Stressful morning ended up being an awesome day.”
The couple ordered some salads and sandwiches and their bill came out to a modest $48.17 — but the tip they left was so much more.
“The gentleman looked over his shoulder and said, ‘Bye, have a nice day,'” Vernancio recalled. “I said, ‘You too.’
“I go over to pick up the check, I don’t even know. They left me an $810 tip. I’m like, are you kidding? This can’t be.
“I brought it to my manager and at first I’m like, ‘This can’t be.’ She’s like, ‘Oh no, that’s it.'”
Manager Kim Tierney took a look at the bill and surprised Vernancio even more since the waitress initially thought the tip was $600.
“She came up to me, she was very taken back is the word I would use,” Tierney said. “She was like, ‘Kim, Kim. Someone left me a $600 tip.’ And I was like, ‘Jen, stop.’
“And I kinda pulled the paper out, I said, ‘Well, I have better news for you, it’s not $600 it’s an $800 tip.’ … She was like, ‘I’m going to pass out.'”
Vernancio was overwhelmed by the generous gesture.
“That money, it’s more than a couple of shifts,” she said. “I mean it helps out, everything helps out, but that is more than money, it’s just true kindness. Honestly, I believe and spread it everywhere, I go for the law of attraction.”
Vernancio planned to buy new shoes for her teen and a police truck for her son and pay off some bills with the remainder of the tip money.
Surprise $810 tip leaves Cranston pizza restaurant waitress speechless https://t.co/BUKNS09dLj
— Jeannie II (@Genie2ofBaghdad) May 14, 2022
“It was just very kind of them people don’t realize what a difference it makes,” Tierney said. “There are angels out there. It makes a difference in someone’s life you know. Sometimes, the little gesture of kindness can go a long way or a lot of gesture of kindness in this aspect, but it goes a long way and you never know what someone is going through.”
While Vernancio doesn’t know the customers’ names, she’ll certainly remember them for a long time to come.
“To the gentleman and his wife that left that generous tip, I just want to say thank you so much. It meant a lot,” she said. “The money is very, very much appreciated. It helps out no matter what.
“However, the kindness behind it and making my day from going a little hectic to that kind of a tip made me smile the rest of the day.”
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