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$1,000 tip: Ginger Man server receives surprising tip from customer

A man left a $1,000 tip to an employee at a Ginger Man restaurant in Albany, New York. That is not something you hear about every day, and the shocked waiter was barely able to finish his shift on Wednesday night after he received the tip. All Over Albany reported on the man's story on July 18.

Ginger Man waiter receives a surprising tip from a customer.
Ginger Man waiter receives a surprising tip from a customer.Ginger Man Albany Facebook

Michael Shafts worked on Wednesday night, and he had a full night working the dinner shift. When one man celebrating his 47th birthday arrived with his wife, the waiter had no idea he would be left with such a large tip. The meal only cost the man celebrating his birthday $114, and he left Shafts $1,000 for his tip. The man's wife pulled the waiter aside before the couple left the restaurant, and she told him that her husband left him something, and that it was real.

The man looked at the charge receipt, and he immediately saw the amount of the tip. He did try to decline the large tip, but the man would not take it back, according to Times Union. On the receipt, the man said to pay it forward, and Shafts did just that. He shared some of the tip with the other waiters and the kitchen staff at the restaurant. The rest of the tip went to a car repair he needed. That means the money from the tip is already gone, but he did what the man asked by sharing it with the rest of the staff of the Ginger Man restaurant working that night.

Michael Shafts only works part time at the restaurant. He works there a few nights a week, and he works at a credit union during the day. The owner of the restaurant, Julie Byron, spoke about the tip her waiter received, and she was just as surprised as he was by it. She said the following:

"I saw him waiting on other tables -- it was like, 7 pm, and I said, 'Michael, I can't believe you're not walking out the door.' And he was like, 'Julie, I would never do that to you!' He played it cool and continued to give great service to the rest of his tables. Then he went home and was texting me at 11 pm saying, 'I can't believe it!' He's a very hardworking young man. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person!"

Shafts admitted to having trouble finishing out his shift that night. He was shaking the rest of the night. The man and his wife were not identified, but they chose the restaurant for the man's birthday dinner. The couple ate at the restaurant in the past, but not often. This time, the man brought his own bottle of wine with him. The bottle was made the year of his birth, and Shafts handled that little addition to the night well. It was reported that the oldest bottle of wine in the restaurant was from 2004.

Stories like this one show that good people in the world still exist. This man did not have to give such a large tip to his waiter, but he wanted it to be his birthday gift to himself. It is clear that it was this waiter's lucky night.