World’s Kindest Waiter Returns $32,000 in Cash Left at His Table

Pay it forward.
Pay it forward. Photo: Mike Kemp/Tetra Images/Corbis

Here’s hoping somebody finds this waiter and leaves a ridiculous tip: A family unschooled in Murphy’s law was eating at a Fresno, California, Applebee’s Wednesday night, and for some reason brought $32,000 in cash to their table. When they got up, they left their gigantic sum at the table, but lucky for them, their server found the sack containing a year’s worth of his pay — in a section of the restaurant without security cameras, no less — and marched it straight over to the local police station.

The Gonzalez family isn’t Fresno’s modern-day Rockefellers, either, who ordinarily carry bags of cash with them. This was the family’s business savings, and it was headed for a bank safe-deposit box, only the bank didn’t have any available that day, so they ended up toting all the money around. Erika Gonzalez said the situation made for an awkward family conversation later (“I didn’t know how to tell my dad”). Naturally, they were astonished once they called to report it missing and a detective told them that, sure enough, he was staring at it up at Fresno PD.

The family wants to reward the waiter, but so far he’s refusing. “I don’t know that he would accept it honestly,” an Applebee’s regional manager said. “He’s just not that guy. He made it very clear that he did it because it was the right thing to do, not that he wanted anything in return.”

[ABC 30]

Waiter Finds, Returns $32,000 Left at Table