What do you do when you’ve been on your feet for hours, trying to please the public the best way you know how in your exhausting job as a waitress, only to discover a couple left you a penny as a tip?
If it was me (and I speak from almost a decade of previous waiting experience), I would chase said couple out the door and throw the coin back at them, possibly with a few choice words.
But, one waitress, Valerie Helton from Corbin Kentucky decided to take the lemon left behind, and make lemonade (waitressy pun intended).
When Valerie realized she had basically been stiffed by the couple, she asked her manager if there was a complaint. And yes there was, albeit a cryptic one.
“Our waitress wasn’t very waitressy” were the words the couple left behind.
Not knowing what to do with such a vague statement, and with no real outlet to take her frustration out on, Valerie turned to eBay.
She listed the penny as “A 1970 Passive-Aggressive Tip to Waitress” and let potential bidders know it was received because of her lack of being “waitressy”.
As fate would have it, the coin was actually a 1970 floating roof error penny and sold for $16.
Even after her listing fees, Valerie still managed to recoup any dignity lost after that winning bid. She told the Times-Tribune “Don’t let negative things that happen get to you,” going on to point out that because she kept her cool in the situation, she was able to realize that the penny in her hand held more than just face value.
I believe every former and present waiter/waitress can give a collective high-five to this story, because we all know, a penny saved, is just, a penny. But, a penny listed with a bit of saltiness on eBay is much, much more.
In this case, 1,600 times more.