How One Customer Made This Waitress's Day

Elise Solé

A kindhearted man who picked up the tab for two distraught women he didn't know not only made their day, but also gave the waitress on duty a feelgood story she'll never forget.

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On Tuesday, Pirog posted her story to Reddit along with a photo of the man's note, which quickly racked up nearly 2,000 comments and triggered a feel-good chain of similar anecdotes. A man with the user name “Mr. Joe Moose” shared an experience in which a stranger paid a restaurant bill for him and his father before the older man deployed for Afghanistan. “I'm sure they don't even think about it any more, but it sticks in my mind. That gesture of respect and comfort meant the world to our family,” he wrote. While a user named “Permanentthrowaway9” recounted the time he worked as a cashier at Wendy’s. After a busload of autistic children entered the restaurant, an older man paid for everyone’s meals, which totaled $500.

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Pirog was working her usual shift on Tuesday, at Daedalus Restaurant & Pub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when she noticed two women seated in her section. “One was in her 50s, the other in her 20s, so I assumed they were mother and daughter,” Pirog tells Yahoo Shine.

The pair ordered dinner, and halfway through their meal, the younger woman’s cell phone rang. “She spoke briefly, and after hanging up, she began crying uncontrollably,” says Pirog. The older woman comforted her, but she was inconsolable. Soon, both women were in tears.

“I was trying not to stare but I was concerned,” says Pirog. She walked over to a nearby table where a single man in his 30s was sitting, and grabbed his check, which totaled $50. Before charging his credit card, she noticed a note tucked into the bill folder. It read, “Do me a favor and bring me their check too. Someone just got diagnosed. Don’t tell them.”

“I had no idea what this woman was diagnosed with but it sounded very serious,” says Pirog. She returned to the man’s table with a second bill that included the women’s $25 meal, and was curious to ask the man for more information, but “he seemed to not want to talk about it.” Pirog also declined to provide Yahoo Shine with identifying details of the women and the man, to protect their privacy.

When she retrieved the man’s signed credit card slip, she found he had left Pirog a second note, thanking her for her help. “I walked over to the women and told them what the man had done," says Pirog. "They were shocked and very overwhelmed — the older woman kept asking if I knew the guy and that if I see him again, to please thank him for her.” The younger woman, more composed at that point, thanked Pirog as well.

“Our staff is amazed by what this man did,” Daedalus owner Lawrence Hopkins tells Yahoo Shine. “We’ve been in business for 13 years and the only time I've seen a person paying for someone else's meal is when it’s people who know each other. This was something special.”

Pirog agrees. "You don’t normally see selfless gestures like this in a big city, so I wanted to share it as a reminder that people can be generous and kind."

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