A Texas waitress says she was thrilled to receive a $2,000 tip on a bill — only to find out from the restaurant that she won't take home a single cent.
Emily Bauer, 21, had only been a server for about two weeks when she was scheduled for a busy Sunday shift at Red Hook Seafood and Bar in San Antonio, news station KVUE reported.
While working all the tables, she kept apologizing to a man seated in her section for the service "being slow."
"He was like 'It's okay, I've owned restaurants and I understand how it is to be a server.' I was like 'thank you for understanding,'" Bauer told The Post.
"He was like 'You know what just cancel the drinks, cancel the rest of everything and just give me my ticket.'”
Bauer said she didn't notice at first that he had given her a $2,000 tip and wrote a note that said, "Merry Christmas! Keep working hard!”
"I was like 'oh my gosh' and I started crying. I was like 'wow' and I tried seeing if he was still at the restaurant but he had left already,” Bauer told The Post.
She imagined how she would be able to spoil her two sons, who are 2 years and 5 months old.
"The first thing that I thought of was my kids. I would be able to finally have a Christmas to give them whatever they want or whatever they need,"she said.
But she said her excitement was quickly dashed when the restaurant told her that they can't process a tip larger than $500.
"I was sitting at a table and the other servers were congratulating me and [my manager] came over and was like, 'Rule No. 1. Never accept a tip like that because you're never going to get it,'"Bauer said.
Bauer said another server suggested that the restaurant give her four separate tips of $500 but they refused.
It is unclear why the restaurant couldn't process $500 of the $2,000 tip to give to Bauer, in line with its limits.
Bauer said her manager told her that the customer called up the restaurant after leaving the tip.
"He said that he left a generous tip and wanted to see if I received it but she said that they couldn't process it,” Bauer said.
"He said 'I don't understand why it's not being taken out if I have that money in my account.”
When she asked to call him to express her gratitude, her manager said that they didn't have his contact information.
"I told them whether I can get it or not I just want to thank him. Doing something like that means you have a really big heart," she said.
But she said she feels helpless because she's had a "rough year" and had been "praying for something like this."
"It's been really hard to look for a job. My boyfriend was working but got laid off because of COVID," she said.
"For somebody to just block my blessings, it's just like what can I do about it?”
The restaurant didn't immediately respond to request for comment.