Stories of Kindness from Around the World

An Unsuspecting Restaurant Table

--by Tim K., posted Dec 2, 2007
So there we are sitting in our little booth, finishing up a, tasty meal. It dawns on us, it’s time. Who will it be? Who will it be? Hmmm…. them! Who? Them, the couple behind me over my left shoulder. All right, lets do it! Our waiter comes over and asks:

Would you like to take the rest with you?

Yes, we would. Could we have our check? Ahhh, we’d also like to pay for that table.

Uhh…what table?

Any table really, but we were thinking of that table….

Fingers point discreetly, and the target is understood. We slip him a SMILE card and ask that it be given to them in lue of the bill. He walks over to the register and exchanges a few words with his manager. The Manager looks up, glances over, and smiles. The waiter returns and asks:

He wants to know if this table would be OK?

Again fingers point and the new target is understood. Sure! The new target is a family sitting at a large round table. There’s a young boy in a wheelchair smiling and talking. The waiter leaves us and returns with both checks. I place my credit card inside the dark brown vinyl check holder. He returns, I open the check holder and note that a large discount has been made to the bill. A crisp blue line has been drawn across the price for the entrées and a new one has been written in. 40% or so has been taken off. I smile and think: OK, Its tip time. I write in a tip, to thank them for the discount…..

We race off, hearts pounding and faces smiling.

So tonight I’m paying my bills on-line and see the charge from the restaurant, somehow the tip is gone.

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Readers Comments

Dan wrote: Great story! I've seen lots of generous acts in my time in the service industry but this one is particularly nice :) lieu btw.
Thaata wrote: Like smile, generosity and kindness too is contagious. Let us wear it all the time so the whole world will catch it.
Arthur wrote: What a wonderful way to see the butterfly flapping its wings on one continent and watching the storm created on another as a result.
Robbie wrote: That's way the bseetst answer so far!
halldor wrote: Hasn't happened in my 45 years but i believe it to be in my near future as i hope to find the unknown target.
Angel3 wrote: Very nice of you. God bless you.
Sarah wrote: I've been the cashier in this situation, and since i hated my job and most of the people in the restaurant, it definitely made my week, and also gave me some faith in humanity. A couple paid for the bill of a single mom with her rambunctious daughter. I really love that this happened, and that i was able to see it first hand.
Phil wrote: "needs polishing"?

No, it doesn't. It's perfect as is.

On my list of things to do this year (it's dec 23rd)

AuntieM wrote: This happened once to me! My daughter's friend, age 20 at the time, was living with us in salt lake city. She had never had steak at a restaurant before so for her birthday, the kids and i took her out and we ordered the best of everything. I was a little concerned about the strain on our budget, but we had decided to be abundant--after all, it was her birthday! When our meal was finished, the waiter came to us and told us that our bill "had been taken care of by a diner who wished to remain anonymous. " and since we had no idea about who had given us this amazing gift, suddenly *everyone* in the restaurant was our benefactor! It was a sweet, magical moment, one we will never forget. There is great joy in anonymous service.
praveendm wrote: Gr8.

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