MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Joey Prusak was appalled when he saw a customer at the suburban Minneapolis Dairy Queen store where he works pick up someone else's $20 bill and slip it into her purse.
So when the woman got up to the counter to order, Prusak refused to serve her unless she returned the money. When the woman refused, the 19-year-old store manager went a step further: He gave the visually impaired customer who didn't know he'd dropped the money $20 out of his own pocket.
"I was just doing what I thought was right," Prusak said Thursday as he recalled the incident from earlier this month. "I did it without even really thinking about it. ... Ninety-nine out of 100 people would've done the same thing as me."
Even so, Prusak has received loads of praise since a customer's email about him to Dairy Queen was posted online.
Now, people are calling the store, thanking Prusak and even offering him jobs. Customer traffic at the Hopkins Dairy Queen has doubled, and many people are leaving large tips or giving him money directly - which he says he will donate to charity.
Prusak said he even got a call Thursday from billionaire Warren Buffett, whose company owns Dairy Queen. "He called and thanked me for being a role model for all the other employees and people in general," Prusak said.
Prusak has worked at the Hopkins Dairy Queen since he was 14. He's trying to save money to go to school forbusiness management and has managed the store since the spring.
The visually impaired customer who dropped the money during the Sept. 10 lunch rush was a regular. Prusak said he thought the woman who picked up the $20 bill would return it. Instead, she looked at the man, then put the cash in her purse.
"I was appalled," Prusak said. "I didn't know what to do or say."
Prusak thought for a moment, and when the woman approached the window, he asked her to return the money. But she claimed it was hers. The conversation went back and forth. Finally, Prusak recalled, he told the woman: "Please return the $20 or get out of the store, because I'm not going to serve someone as disrespectful as you."
Prusak said the woman stormed out, and he served the other customers. He then went over to the man eating his sundae and gave him $20. Prusak didn't tell anyone about it, other than the other employee in the store.
But another customer saw the incident and sent an email to Dairy Queen. The email was forwarded to store owner Dave Pettit, who posted it at the store, and gave Prusak $40, along with a nice note. Another employee took a picture of the email, which has been circulating online.
Dean Peters, a spokesman for International Dairy Queen, said the company is figuring out how to reward Prusak.
Prusak said when he saw what happened, he just couldn't keep quiet.
"I was going to say something no matter what," he said. "If she would have returned the money, then I would have served her."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Email Alert Sign Up
Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Mesa police have released the identity of a 14-year-old girl whose dead body was found in a trash container and say her death was a homicide. Police say the body of Claudia Ann LuceroMore >>
Police say the body of Claudia Ann Lucero was found early Friday and that she was last seen Thursday morning at her home.More >>
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Before Aaron Collins died, he gave his brother, Seth, a mission: Eat, be merry and leave a giant tip. On Wednesday night, Seth Collins of Lexington, Ky., did just that, leavingMore >>
Before Aaron Collins died, he gave his brother, Seth, a mission: Eat, be merry and leave a giant tip.More >>
EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley. But as we previously reported,More >>
Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley.More >>
LOS ANGELES (AP/CBSLA.com) — At least 16 current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department have been arrested by the FBI as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged inmateMore >>
As many as 18 people have been charged in five separate cases involving corruption and civil rights charges, FBI officials told KCAL9′s Randy Paige.More >>
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth andMore >>
In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth and cocaine across the border from Mexicali.More >>
YUMA, AZ - The woman arrested in connection to the murder of a Wellton woman appeared in court Wednesday. 24-year old Brandi Michalski was originally arrested on Friday for misconduct with weapons afterMore >>
The woman arrested in connection to the murder of a Wellton woman appeared in court Wednesday.More >>