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How Kindness Can Make Somebody’s Day

kindness to strangersCarol writes regularly over at Battered Hope, where this post was originally featured. She has written a memoir with the same name that is available on Amazon. 

Have you ever wanted to say something when you observed bad behavior in a public place? Ever take the plunge and open your mouth to encourage a stranger who needed it?

It had been an exceptionally long day. The heat was close to unbearable. It was my third day in a row that I had risen at 4:15 A.M. to travel to the city by ferry. I was on my way home and missed the ferry by a few minutes. I decided to have some dinner as the wait would be two hours for the next boat.

It was a long walk to the closest restaurant and I hoped the food would give me the energy for the walk back to my car. I stopped at a little fish ‘n chips place. It was packed with only one table available. I grabbed it and realized how much hotter it was inside, but it felt good to sit down.

There was only one waitress working. I couldn’t believe it. The ceiling fans were the only source of moving air and I was relieved to be sitting under one of them.

“Miss! I need you to turn down those fans as they are much too drafty!” The woman in the booth next to mine demanded.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

The heat was pouring out of the open kitchen into the dining area and the waitress looked like she was ready to pass out.
“No problem.” She smiled at the woman and I began to watch her closely. She was doing everything. Clearing the tables, serving the food and running the till at the front. I guessed her to be about 25 years old. Looking deeper, I sensed a warmth about her and wondered if she was putting herself through school to be a nurse.

“Miss! MISS! My salad has too much dressing on it. I want a fresh one with less dressing.” What is wrong with this rude woman? No please. No thank you. Just… do it.

“No problem.” Did I detect a slight rolling of the eyes as she turned to get another salad?

She brought my meal and asked the rude couple if everything was okay so far. “Fine!” This time, the husband spoke and he sounded like he was angry for having his meal interrupted by this question.

As the couple was leaving, the manager spoke, with a slight wave and a smile. “Have a nice day. Thank you for coming.”

The man turned to look but didn’t have the courtesy to respond. I was livid. I waited until all the tables were empty and then called the waitress over to my table.

“Would you sit down for a moment, please?” She looked terrified without a clue what I was going to say to her. “I want to commend you.” She looked confused. “My hat is off to you.” I don’t think she knew what I was talking about.

“What I am trying to say is this. I have been watching you for the past hour. You are hot, tired and overworked. Yet, you treated every customer with respect and a smile. You are a hard worker. You are not a complainer. My bet is you do not want to be a waitress the rest of your life.”

She had tears running down her beautiful young face. I continued. “One of the main reasons I never wanted to be a waitress is because of morons like the ones who sat at that table.” She smiled slightly and nodded, wiping her tears.

“I want to encourage you to maintain the work ethics you displayed here and you will go far. I would hire you in a minute. Are you in school?” She nodded.

“I sense that you have a lot on your plate and feel a bit overwhelmed at times. It will get easier. Don’t ever allow anyone to belittle you because you are a very special young woman.” Her tears were flowing quickly now and I thought I better stop.
“By the way, that was your tip!”

She laughed and went to the till. As I was paying my bill I said, “Next time you have a bad day, remember what I told you.”

“I will never forget what you told me. It is ingrained in my brain forever. You have no idea what it meant to me.” I knew she meant it.

My steps were a lot lighter as I made my way back to my car. I was thrilled I took the time to make her day — possibly even her week.

How about you? Have you ever done something that made you feel all warm and fuzzy? Maybe said something nice to a stranger or helped someone you never met before? Aren’t the rewards great?

Carol Graham

Carol Graham is the author of a fast-paced award-winning memoir, Battered Hope, the blog Never Ever Give Up Hope, and a regular contributor to numerous blog sites. She has a monthly column in Book Fun Magazine and has been published in several anthologies including a best-seller. In 2015, Carol received the Woman of Impact Award from Focus on Women Magazine and Author of the Year for her memoir, Battered Hope. Carol hosts a bi-weekly talk show Never Ever Give Up Hope in which she interviews people with remarkable stories of how they conquered overwhelming obstacles and achieved success. Never Ever Give Up Hope has an international audience in over 70 countries. In addition to motivational speaking, hosting a talk show and writing, Carol is a business owner, a wife, mother, grandmother and together with her husband have rescued over 30 dogs.

Carol Graham

Carol Graham is the author of a fast-paced award-winning memoir, Battered Hope, the blog Never Ever Give Up Hope, and a regular contributor to numerous blog sites. She has a monthly column in Book Fun Magazine and has been published in several anthologies including a best-seller. In 2015, Carol received the Woman of Impact Award from Focus on Women Magazine and Author of the Year for her memoir, Battered Hope. Carol hosts a bi-weekly talk show Never Ever Give Up Hope in which she interviews people with remarkable stories of how they conquered overwhelming obstacles and achieved success. Never Ever Give Up Hope has an international audience in over 70 countries. In addition to motivational speaking, hosting a talk show and writing, Carol is a business owner, a wife, mother, grandmother and together with her husband have rescued over 30 dogs.

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Bethany

Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

Nice article. I too believe that the positive attitude towards other people (not only our loved ones) is the key to a brighter life. You can't expect to have a nice day if you wake up with hatred towards everything and everyone. What you give is what you'll get. So keep smiling and enjoy the magic of life.

Carol Graham

Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

All true Bethany even though it may be difficult some days.

Roz Warren

Friday 19th of February 2016

Good for you!

Carol Graham

Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

Thank you Roz

Barbara Hammond

Thursday 18th of February 2016

I've spoken up for people who couldn't do it for themselves. It is a great feeling, especially when the rude people realize they really aren't 'all that' and others are aware. Both my sons worked in the restaurant industry and it is tough work. Those who are rude to the wait staff should have to walk a mile in their shoes at least once. Good job! b

Carol Graham

Thursday 18th of February 2016

Walk a mile in their shoes would be a good line to tell someone who is being rude! Thank you for that Barbara

Parul

Thursday 18th of February 2016

What a lovely story Carol and so kind of you to encourage the woman. You not just made her day but may be gave her a perspective. You told her good work is noticeable. Thank you for sharing!

Carol Graham

Thursday 18th of February 2016

Thank you Parul and I agree with you -- I believe it will help her in the future.

Cathy Lawdanski

Thursday 18th of February 2016

Carol, thank you for reaching out to that young woman & sharing your interaction with us. Many of us would have cringed at how she was treated by that couple, yet would have done nothing to affirm her. Thank you for your example. I am going to be much more mindful of speaking up & affirming people as I go along in life.

Carol Graham

Thursday 18th of February 2016

You make a good point Cathy. It only takes a moment out of our day and can mean the world to someone else that they will never forget. I saw this waitress about a year later and she remembered me and thanked me again.

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