Being a server is hard. You frequently have to deal with so many demands and so little respect. While some customers can be an embarrassment to the human race, there are a lot of people out there treating servers right. These stories from the subreddit r/TalesFromYourServer warmed our hearts and made us believe in the mankind again.
1. Lending A Helping Hand
From Redditor u/tamiraisredditing
My old manager was a real “working for the weekend” type and never went out of their way for us or the customers, no matter what.
One of the most difficult things about her was we had a homeless guy who’d camp out in our back alley because a lot of heat comes off a vent back there and she’d always make us toss him out because he was visible to customers from the main entrance.
She’s gone and we have a new manager now. Her first week, one of the employees said “hey that guy’s back” and the new manager said “this guy here often?” and we told her the whole story. She asked what our interactions with him had been like and we told her perfectly pleasant, considering the circumstances.
She walks out, shakes the guy’s hand, and offers him a dishwashing job on a trial basis.
She had one of the busboys help him get cleaned up and put him right to work. He knocked it out of the park, made good honest money, and got staff dinner. She told him he was welcome to come back to work any night of the week and if he was consistent she’d see about getting him hired.
That was two weeks ago, and he started on a permanent basis today!
He’s been able to move back in with his brother now that he has a job and is saving up all the money he makes here. He’s a month clean and says things are going better now than they have in a long time!Heartwarming?
2. $2000 Tip
From Redditor u/BlaisePascal1123
Setting: Miami Beach, FL. late 2009. Seafood Bar and Grill (like a Key West version of a sports bar).
I had this 40 something, sweet as pie, creative and smart regular who would come in with his elderly mother every Sunday and ask to be seated with me. We'll call him Jimmy. He was certainly on the spectrum, but a genius in his own right. He was a very talented painter (I'm sure he still is).
Every Sunday, Jimmy would be sitting at my table greeting me with a honest to goodness smile. Between managing tasks for them and other tables, I'd have incredible conversations with Jimmy about the universe and physics. About mathematics and art. I was very happy to have met such a great customer. I could tell he thoroughly enjoyed the company of a server who, one, didn't find him strange and off putting, and two, who could keep up with his favorite topics of conversation. I had just started studying mathematics in college at about this time, and I'm also on the spectrum (but was undiagnosed at the time). I very much looked forward to seeing them each week.
After about a year of this he one day excitedly announced that his sister from NY was coming into town and that he's told her all about me and he can't wait to introduce us. He's convinced I'll love her (and I didn't doubt him).
So, next week comes around and now there are three sitting at my table! I can see this thin, elegant yet earthy woman with GORGEOUS wild curly hair. Jimmy introduces her as Patty.
She's oozing with charisma, and she definitely had a NY attitude--short, to the point, no bs-- but she was, you could instantly tell, very caring. Also intimidatingly smart... not like the dreamy, colorful, wooey science stuff Jimmy and I liked (getting wide eyed and excited to be able to speculate the implications of the double slit experiment)(though I'm sure she knew all about that stuff too), but like... Savvy.
Jimmy had been keeping up with my progress in school since around the time I had started. This was between semesters, and he knew that I picked 4 exciting classes for the following semester. More than I had ever put on my plate before. He had asked me about how I felt now that the semester was coming up.
I was fresh 19, no financial aide, no student loans, living on my own, working two serving jobs to pay rent and tuition. I was poor af. Sure, I picked those classes... But, really I was just hoping against hope that I could come up with the $1200 I needed to pay for them. The deadline was fast approaching and I had, just days before this conversation with Jimmy, Patty and their mom, made the decision to drop one, if not two, of the classes so that I could afford the semester.
Smiling and embarrassed, I told him that I'd be dropping a couple of the classes. He gave a frown and an 'aww' and I had to scamper off to go do server stuff.
Between the refills and the food drop offs and the cleanups, we all just continue chit chatting. Patty casually asked how much my 4 class semester was going to run me. I told her, not thinking anything if it. The conversation naturally moved on.
I run off again to serve other tables and I come back to their table towards the end of the meal. Gabbing continues when Patty extends her hand out to me... with a piece of paper. Instinctually, I grab it and... It's a check...
I try and give it back, tears in my eyes, she's not smiling-- but I can tell she's perfectly happy-- and adamantly refuses to take it back. NY no BS in full swing. I can tell she's serious. And I just sloppily thank her and run into the kitchen because all of a sudden my knees are Jell-O. I plop on the floor on my butt and sobb. Other staff are running towards me concerned and I can barely tell them that it's not anything bad, that in fact it's incredible, through the crying. Eventually, I gather myself and I gave her a bit better of a thank you, and said goodbye.
I paid for and took all four classes. Passed all of them with a perfect A. I bought a graphing calculator and a laptop too. I'm not a mathematician yet, but I'm working on it. And I'm not rich yet, but the moment I can afford to make this kind of impact on someone else, I will.
Thanks, Patty... <3Heartwarming?
3. Career Goals
From Redditor u/tamiraisredditing
I am about to break in half from exhaustion but I had to share this adorable thing from work.
Got a twelve top, all middle aged/elderly people and one seven year old girl who was clearly bored out of her mind. She was rearranging everyone’s silverware when it fell out of place and asking everyone what they were planning on drinking.
She kept asking to see what I was writing on my pad and I thought maybe she wanted some paper to draw with or something, but no, her mom is like “Tell her Sophia. Tell her what you want to be when you grow up.”
She’s shyly like “A waitress.”
Her mother explained the family rarely goes out to eat so at home she practices asking everyone what they want to eat, writing it down, and telling her mom (the chef), and carrying multiple plates out.
Since just about none of us wanted to be waitress when we were younger or want to be waitresses now (we don’t hate it, we like our jobs, it’s just not what we laid in bed dreaming of or anything) we were so psyched about her enthusiasm for waitressing and immediately whisked her away to do our tables with us.
We took her on a tour of the kitchen and showed her how to write a ticket and gave her a trainee badge. Then we took turns having her ask our tables drink and food orders and running food with us to tables (we’d give her like a cup to carry over with both hands or a cold side salad.)
She had a blast. We couldn’t believe it. We kept waiting for her to be like “Never mind I definitely do not want to be a waitress.” But it never happened. If anything she got more excited the more we showed her.
And this girl made mad tips in the ~45 minutes she spent waitressing. Almost every table she touched left our tip on the card and then left cash specifically indicating “For the trainee.”
She took her tips home and we said to come back and start full time when she’s 16.
She was sooo excited, it really made our night and made us view our job through an entirely different lens. I’d started off the night already really moody and out of it, so this was exactly the gratitude check I needed. Had to share.Heartwarming?
4. Merry Christmas!
From Redditor u/justnotcoo1
Apparently there is a meet up group that gets together on Christmas morning with the sole purpose of hooking up service industry people. I have served, managed, cooked ect for 18 years and have never had anything like this happen to me nor am I likely to ever have this happen to me again. I gotta share it. I hope y'all can appreciate it.
I work in a diner. For all of the aforementioned 18 years I have worked in the same place. It is a good place with great mom and pop owners. On the 24th I take off each year and spend with my 4 kids and family. On the 25th I get up and go in at 6am and work. I do this so other people who don't have the luxury of taking the 24th off can have the morning with their kids. They also have small kids and mine are not little anymore. 2 of my kids have worked in service industry beside me since they were 13. On Christmas morning my 18 year old son, we will call Dan, came in with me. He doesn't work in my restaurant any longer but he wanted to hang with me for the day. We love working together.
I am really glad my son came to work with me. No other servers showed up. I was managing and serving this shift and would of been all alone had Dan not drove in with me. We also only had 1 cook. No dish, no bus, no host, no nothing!
At 9am a group of 15 walk in. All big hungry guys who start arranging their table themselves moving things and getting settled. I explain that things might be moving slow today as lots of our staff was out for the holliday. These guys were totally understanding and I felt good about them. At that moment a guy comes in off the street saying he was sent to me for orientation! I laughed in his face for a second then I asked if he was willing to work. He eagerly said yes and he puts on an apron and hit the dish pit. Who trains on Christmas?!? A dude who really needs a job I guess. Our first Christmas miracle had just occured.
I tell Dan that I will take the 15 top. He has a handful of other tables and we are tag teaming everything. We had agreed earlier to split everything down the middle that we made when we realized we were going to be alone. I am just better with large tables and I also knew I would be helping cook for these guests so all the better to hear straight from them what they wanted. I take there order, nothing too complicated, and head back to the kitchen and help cook by manning the grill side. They get their food pretty fast. Me and the cook have worked together that whole 18 years so we are like a well oiled machine.
They all paid separately or in pairs. I drop the checks and have had a pretty good time with the guys, joking and laughing. They have been a fun table and I am glad they came. I always wonder about people who have no one on Christmas morning and feel a little sad for them. These guys seem like old friends though and I am glad they have each other. Little did I know that these guys only meet once a year and for this event and that they were watching me very closely.
The first two guys pay. One guy gives me a 100 dollar tip! The next guy gives me 50! I want to thank them but want to do it on the down low because I dont want to make them feel uncomfortable. I go over to them each and give them a whisper, "I am about to hug you." And then give them both a little hug and whisper "thank you." No one seemed to notice because this was a loud busy table. They were all watching though! Three more guys give me there credit card slips... 200, 100 another 50. I stand there stuttering and dumb founded. They realize the jig is up and all of them start shoving money at me. I loose my sh*t and start crying. They are laughing their asses off like they just pulled the best prank of their lives. My son runs over at the sight of his crying mother and I show him 2 if the slips. One says 100 and another says 200. He knew I had just gotten a 100 so he is thinking this is the same one. He glances at the 200 and he thought it said 2.00 so he is confused. Then it hits him.
It's like a scene from a bad 80's movie. There is crying and laughing and hugging and then they explain who they are and what they are doing. Me and Dan are just freaking out. They left us 750.00 total.
Once these Christmas Fairies left, me and Dan did some quick math. We had 400 in cash. We decided to split it with cook and the new guy that saved our asses on Christmas morning. We went back to the kitchen and made it rain 20's (not really. We handed it over like sensible people) and both of them were so happy! It felt great to share with them a few hundred bucks and made the rest of that sh*t show of a Christmas brunch rush a tad easier for all of us.
I love working in the service industry. It is true we see the worst of humanity in our field. But we also see the best sometimes. Today, I saw something crazy and beautiful. These guys planned this, do it yearly and take crazy joy from doing it. I am glad they exist, not just because I became richer financially yesterday but because I became richer in feeling the love of humanity. Thank you Christmas Fairies. May you all have a beautiful New Year.Heartwarming?