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It seems as though people in society nowadays have little respect for and lack of generosity for waiters and waitresses. My friend Nate is but one of the many people that tip servers poorly. It was the end of our meal at Buffalo Wild Wings and it was time for us to pay. The friendly waitress gave all of us our bills. We all reached for our wallets and grab our debit cards or cash. Nate decides to pay a six dollar meal with a ten dollar bill. The waitress asked politely, "Do you want your change back?" She was assuming that he would tip her the remaining money. Not fully understanding what she said, Nate replied, "No, you can keep it."
A minute later, Nate realizes what he said and wishes to get two of his four dollar tip back. Every one of us was constantly telling him to not ask her for the tip back. He ignored our advice and asked her for his tip back. The look on her face said it all. Being a good waitress, she did what the customer asked and returned his money. I felt bad for her so I tipped her for my bill and his bill. Sadly, a lot of Americans nowadays lack respect for servers and don't reimburse them for their hard work. That is why I decided to make a server's day by tipping her a very generous amount.
Some may call this a random act of kindness, in other words, pay it forward. So, what does the phrase "Pay it Forward" mean? It means repaying a random stranger the good deeds that one has received. The phrase originated from the book Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde in 2000. The book is fictional but the main idea by all means is not fictional. Since this concept was born, it has become an ever-growing movement worldwide (Pay It Forward Foundation 1).
I don't know if it's the way my parents brought me up or the way I have always been, but it seems as though I have a soft spot in my heart for servers at restaurants. They have to deal with all walks of life. Some people may be polite and some may be irate and unrelenting. The simple fact that they have to put up with rude people and yet still have a smile on there face. They have to keep calm when someone is barking for their needs to be meet in there timely fashion. They have to keep attention to one customer while not letting another become impatient and therefore, lessen their tip. It shows the professionalism it takes to be a server (Burton 1).
When the pay it forward concept was brought to me, I was nervous but also excited. Not only would I feel good about my deed, but make the recipient feel great, and then they would pass it on to someone else. What could I possibly do? There are so many different ways to do a random act of kindness that it can be difficult to settle on one. In the end, I chose to tip a waitress 100% of the bill and write on the receipt to pay it forward. I would never know if she actually paid it forward, that is unless I saw her again at the restaurant.
After church got out on Sunday, November the 20th, I made my routine lunch stop. Normally I would go out to eat with my parents, but I decided to go eat with my friend Brennen. We asked each other which place we should go to. After much discussion, we settled on Applebees. A frequent place we go to eat. Brennen had no idea that I was going to do a pay it forward act. Once we arrived at Applebees, the receptionist greeted us very kindly and brought us to our seat. We sat down, picked up our menus, and waited for our server.
"Hi! How are you two doing today?" A woman named Brandy, probably in her late 20's, said enthusiastically. "I'm doing good, how about you?" I replied. "Great, so what can I start ya'll off with to drink?" She asked. We told her what we wanted and also told her what we want to eat already. She was very attentive and acknowledging. With a smile, she said "Thanks, and I'll be right back with your drinks." At that moment, she was off. Brennen and I looked around the room and noticed that the place was nearly full and she was very busy. Regardless of how busy it was, she was able to bring our drinks to us in less than 2 minutes.
It seemed as though she was right behind us the entire time we were waiting for our food. She was always there when we finished our drinks. Brandy never failed to keep our satisfaction in mind. I can be honest; I don't think I'd be able to handle such a high-strung, fast-paced job like being a server. 15 minutes later, my cheeseburger with fries and his boneless wings are done. She brings our food to us and I say a simple, "Thanks." She smiles and says, "You are welcome."
Foods done, time to pay. I was beginning to feel the nerves crawl up on me. I actually was beginning to question going through with it. She brings Brennen's receipt and mine. At this time, I told Brennen what I intended on doing today. He thought that the pay it forward idea was cool. Both of our bills combined totaled $20.54. So, on my receipt that she brought back to me, I wrote on the tip line the same amount, $20.54. Then, along the side of the receipt, I wrote "Pay it forward." After that we got up and left the building.
Coincidentally, I parked my car right outside of the window where we sat next to. As I walked to my car, I observed her picking up the receipt. The look on her face said it all. I saw her looking through the window, looking for me, as I was getting in my car. I sat in my car for a minute, pondering over what I had just done and how I feel good about it. In the book Choosing Civility, written by P.M. Forni, Forni introduces a quote about kindness to us. He picks a quote by a famous poet Ralph Waldo Emerson stating, "Then [Good Manner] must be inspired by the good heart. There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us" (qtd. In Forni 1).
So what should happen from here? Hopefully Brandy will pass on the generous act and do something nice for someone else. If everyone passed there pay it forward deed on, who knows how the world would be today. Men would become more chivalrous like holding doors for women. Not because she's your girlfriend or because a certain lady looks good, but because it's right to do. People would not be so greedy with their money and they would lend it to others without expecting reimbursement. People would begin to view others as better than themselves and they would have a more humble view of themselves. Just imagine. One random act of kindness can start a chain reaction that can eventually change the way we view each other and change our relationships with one another forever.