Here's a Labor Day story to warm the heart of every working Jane and Joe out there.
Cindy Kienow has worked the past eight years as a bartender at Applebee's in Hutchinson, Kansas. Cindy isn't saying what she makes at that job, but I suspect the $10,000 tip she got a couple of weeks ago represents a sizable portion of her annual salary.
You read right. Ten thousand. A 10 grand, 10-comma-zero-zero-zero, 10k tip. On a $26 check.
Don't you feel a little stingy for only adding 15 percent to your last restaurant tab?
The big tipper is a regular customer who usually eats his meals at the end of the bar Cindy works. She said she always chats with the man about current events or the weather, and he has always been a very good tipper, typically leaving around 50 percent of the bill.
But she didn't realize just how much her conversation was appreciated until the huge tip showed up on his latest meal's credit card charge slip.
The restaurant is completing verification that that the $10,026 charge will go through. The company also is keeping the customer's identity confidential, at his request.
Maybe the guy's leaving town and wanted to give Cindy a nice parting gift. Maybe he just had a really good day and wanted to share. Maybe he's getting a divorce and wanted to get rid of some dough before the attorneys and future-ex could get their hands on it.
Whatever the reason, when the charge clears, Cindy will get her money. Previously, the largest tip she'd ever received was $230. Not bad, but …
She's already got plans for the unexpected cash: a new Jeep, a trip to Vegas (with her luck, she's gotta go!) and probably sharing a bit with her parents.
But she also better set aside some for the IRS.
Yes, tips are taxable. In fact, the IRS in July instituted a new tip reporting system for employers in the food and beverage industry to help ease some of the administrative issues involved with reporting tip income. You also can find in this story what any worker who depends on tip income needs to know about taxes on the money.
You can watch Cindy's interview, which includes a shot of the receipt with the big tip, on the CBS Early Show here.