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How difficult is it being a waiter or waitress and having to wear a smile on your face all day long whilst you serve customers who are impolite and sometimes even rude to you? Whatever happens, they have to learn to look past any inappropriate behaviour and simply do the work to keep their jobs. No one would expect that this ability to look past customer rudeness would pay off in the end. A waitress named Melina saw this miracle, and here’s her story.
This is a story about how she got a $50,000 tip. Milina Salazar, from Brownsville in Texas, worked as a waitress at a local Luby’s restaurant and spent most of her time shuttling tables and taking orders from hungry customers. Although she sometimes felt upset because of a few rude ones among them, she still tried hard to serve customers equally with a smile on her face.
Luby’s restaurant is a chain restaurant featuring some reasonably priced food. It is always bustling with people looking for a quick and cheap meal, which makes Melina’s $50,000 tip even more surprising.
Melina interacted with thousands of customers each day, but there was one, in particular, who left a deep impression: a former World War II veteran, Walter “Buck” Swords. This 89-year-old man would regularly visit the restaurant for a hearty meal, but he was always rude and demanding.
Most of the waitresses refused to serve Walter due to his rudeness and left him alone when he was eating his food, because they don’t want to get moaned or whined at. However, one waitress decided to serve him and looked past his exterior. Guess who？
Melina thus became the only waitress that would serve this war veteran, and she did so for seven years. During their encounters, Walter continued to complain about his food and the service. All the while Melina would give as much help as she could to this old man despite his picky demands.
Melina served Walter his food every day for seven years and had become used to his offensive ways and the complaints. Until one day, in 2007, Melina found that Walter hadn’t shown up. She started to worry and wondered what had happened to him after his table had remained empty for weeks.
Melina became more and more worried until she finally found her answer when reading a local newspaper. She stumbled upon an obituary that confirmed Walter had sadly passed away in a hospice on July 15, 2007. Melina couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness, although Walter used to be mean to her.
Even though Melina felt sad, she had to keep working to get paid. She continued this routine for many months until a stranger visited her, which would forever change her life.
This unexpected visitor turned out to be Walter’s lawyer, and Melina began to question what the lawyer would want with her. After all, she only served his food. The lawyer’s following words shocked Melina. The lawyer said that Walter had written her into his will, and noted that he looked forward to every restaurant visit so that he could see Melina’s friendly face because she was one of the only people in his life who was kind to him.
Melina couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She used to think that Walter could not have enjoyed his visits to the restaurant because he complained about his food and service every time. Walter had appreciated the fact that Melina served him after all of the other waiters and waitresses refused to. He wanted to leave her part of his inheritance to say thank you for her kind nature and service over the years. He wanted her to see it as a tip.
Melina was left in stunned silence after she heard all those words. She couldn’t believe that a man who was so mean to her actually enjoyed his visits and appreciated her service. She couldn’t shake the shocking news, and the next thing made her head spin when his lawyer recited what Walter had left her. Except for a whopping $50,000 tip, he had left her his precious car, a beautiful 2000 Buick.
Melina got this news before Christmas, and she couldn’t believe that this Christmas miracle was really happening to her. She was overwhelmed and grateful. The tip and the car were more than anything she could have possibly imagined, but she was pleased to know that such a grumpy old man had appreciated her kindness, which made her feel like her job was worthwhile.
The whole experience made Melina think about kindness and how a simple smile could pay off. She realized later that, although Walter was grumpy and demanding, he was actually still a man who simply needed love and attention during his older years.
Melina is not the only person whose kindness was paid off. In 2015, New Jersey firefighters Tim Young and Paul Barb came into a local cafe after dealing with an intense fire, and they were served by a cafe waitress Liz Woodward. The following event was entirely beyond two men’s expectations.
Liz unintentionally heard the conversation between them when they were talking about their stressful shifts and how they were thankful that it was over. Liz decided to do something to thank them for their service. She then handed the men the bill with a note, in which she told them to get some well-deserved rest, and that their breakfast was on her! Tim and Paul were astounded by the note.
They looked at this note numerous times, and were both lost for words. They just couldn’t believe what they were seeing and what Liz had done for them. Tim later posted the note on Facebook, and claimed it was a “selfless and kind act” and asked his friends to visit the cafe to give Liz a tip if they saw her.
As the fireman thought more and more about Liz’s selfless act, they also wanted to help her in return. They then learned that her father had been paralyzed for five years. Life was never easy for Liz and her family, especially when they did not have enough money to buy him a new wheelchair.
Tim and Paul knew that the girl who had helped them was someone who also needed help, so they decided to ask for donations to buy Liz’s father a wheelchair. Before too long, they helped her family raise more than $80,000, which was more than enough for a specialized chair. Liz was so pleased and couldn’t thank the men more. Little did she know that her random act of kindness would be reciprocated.
From the two stories above, we have learned that even a small kind act may change someone’s life. Liz and Melina just did that because of their loving nature, and they never thought about a return. Life was not an easy thing for them, but they still kept friendly and positive, which brought them well deserved luck in return.
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