When Armando Markaj realized that the woman didn’t leave him a tip, he was a bit upset. “She could’ve at least left me a 10% tip,” he thought to himself.
He was making minimum wage, and his life practically depended on tips. Disappointed, he began cleaning the table when he noticed an envelope under the plate. He nearly fainted when he read the note…
Armando was working at Patsy’s Pizzeria in Harlem, New York City. He worked long shifts to save some money to finance medical school.
He had encountered some difficult customers throughout his time at the restaurant, but he always remained professional and respectful.
One day, two elderly women entered the restaurant and were seated in his section. He knew right away that this wasn’t going to be an easy shift.
He greeted them with a warm smile and handed them two menus. The two friends barely acknowledged him and continued chatting loudly. Then, just as he was turning to walk away, one of the women asked him a strange question.
“Why are there so few pictures of women?” she asked him. The woman was referring to the photographs of famous patrons’ faces on the wall. She clearly wasn’t happy that the restaurant only included a few photos of women.
Armando didn’t know what to say. He decided to crack a joke to brighten up their mood. ”Maybe women don’t eat a lot of pizza…?” he laughed.
The woman’s jaw nearly dropped to the floor. She was furious.
Before she could say anything, Armando quickly made his way back to the kitchen to place their order, hoping they would calm down soon.
Armando returned to the table with two fresh pizzas. After a few minutes, one of the women raised her hand, signaling for the check.
“That was fast,” he thought to himself. Then, as he turned around to print the check, the two women stood up and left.
Armando feared they didn’t pay for their meal. But when he approached their table, he realized that they paid the exact amount for the two pizzas and drinks.
Under one of the plates was a small handwritten note. ”Maybe women don’t tip either,” it read.
Armando was shocked. “How could someone be so rude,” he thought to himself. As he was cleaning the table, he noticed a white envelope under the second plate.
He opened the envelope and began reading the letter.
“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,” he recalled.
Armando decided since the women were gone, he might as well open the envelope to see what was inside. He looked inside and nearly fainted. How was this possible?
One of the women left a check for a whopping $424,000! Armando knew this amount of money would change his life forever.
So what did he decide to do with the check?
After thinking it through, Armando decided he couldn’t keep the money and informed his boss about the check.
“He called me immediately and hands me this check, and I was like, “‘Oh my…’ I didn’t want to put it in my pocket it was so much money,” Frank explained.
“Normally, we just put things left behind in the lost and found box in the back, but I wasn’t going to do that with almost half a million dollars,” Armando said. The name on the check was Karen Vincor, so Frank and Armando tried to find her but didn’t have any luck.
“We decided we would hold on to the check for a couple of days to see if she would drop by or if we could find her ourselves,” Frank said.
It wasn’t long before Karen realized her check had gone missing. She called Patsy’s and the cafe across the street from it, but nobody knew what she was talking about.
It turns out that she called the wrong branch of Patsy’s. But would she get her money back?
Karen explained that she had just sold her apartment and wanted to use the check for $424,000 as a down payment for a new house.
Unfortunately, the bank couldn’t help her either.
“They 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,” she explained.
In the meantime, Armando continued his search for Karen and was able to finally track her down. ”She was so happy, and she was in tears,” said Frank. “But, the second she saw Armando, you could see she got a little shy.” Karen apologized to Armando for being rude and offered him a finder’s fee. He accepted her apology but refused the money.