This evening when I was coming onto my shift, Rich approached me with a situation at his table. He told me that he had a young gentleman who had just undergone 5 heart surgeries after a complication with his 24th heart surgery. Yes… 24th heart surgery. He had spent an extended period of time in the hospital and was just realeased today. Before he made it home, he wanted to stop by T-bones for his favorite meal, teri tips. His doctor had even given him medicine to take on the way there, so he would be able to make the stop before he returned home. Rich made a great call to RAK the table. The customer was touched, and very thankful to have a great server.
Tonight Jamie was working in the lounge, and saw two familiar faces. Trisha and Jack are regulars, and are caring, understanding, and as Jamie quotes “the ideal guests”. Tonight the couple arrived with handmade presents for the staff, after they handed out the gifts, Trisha informed her of some unfortunate news. She told Jamie that she had been diagnosed with both Kidney and Esophagus Cancer and will be undergoing chemo and radiation in the coming months and will likely not be returning for a minimum of 6 months. Jamie approached me and asked if we could RAK them in hopes to see them both coming back healthy and happy. They were in tears by the time they were leaving and promised to come see us soon.
So today I had a job shadow with a student from Pinkerton Academy. She was sitting with me logging the PFG order when she noticed an older woman sitting alone and felt for this lady. I told her she could go over and ask her if she wanted to join her for dessert and offer her something sweet. She was super apprehensive and nervous about how to go about it so despite my RAK this week already, I told her about our program and allowed her to approach with the RAK instead of alone without purpose. She was Mic’d up with me during the day so I encouraged her along the way as she finally walked over (I was watching on the camera) and sat down!! Amber, her server, came over and said the woman was beaming with happiness over someone to share her time. 40!!!! minutes later the student asked me to come over to the table and the woman told me how they had been talking…talking about how the world goes round, how the world is different now and how she can learn to live in it. She had woke up that day asking God for someone to share that with and here she was spending this time with this lovely young lady and how happy it made her. When she asked me for her server to bring the check I realized the student hadn’t even told her that part yet and let her know what we were doing for her and it just made the whole experience even more valuable. She thanked me and gave me some advice of my own as the young lady was actually my daughter 🙂 It was really awesome to watch it unfold and see how happy it made both people. Proud mama moment right here.
**Warning** You may want to have tissues
Most people have felt the loss cancer can bring in some varying form. The onset can be the scariest part….not knowing if your prognosis is correct, not knowing if you will see your children grow up, or if you will grow old with your spouse. I can’t imagine experiencing it on a first person level. I have only experienced the scare as it plagued my mother and father but both survived with aggressive surgeries and minimal long term effects. When Jessica approached me and shared she was just in a conversation with a guest about his families troubles, I couldn’t not react in some way to say we care deeply for your family and this most difficult time- what can we do… This gentlemen was dining with his wife. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. She is thankfully expected to live but you can see the cancer has taken the liveliness from her. What can be more heartbreaking than seeing your wife suffer through treatment? Your daughter being diagnosed a day apart with Stage 4 and not expected to make it. While the mother is suffering through her battle she and her husband have taken her daughter in with her kids and husband who is a marine and not home at all times. (I believe he is expected to take leave soon to be home through the next stages). The daughter is unable to eat, nor wishes to eat anything other than Mashed Potatoes preferably from here so we bought her all the mashed potatoes she will ever want. We took care of the couples tab and shared a card for them to give to their daughter with GCs in it attached to a note to recieve all the Mashed potatoes her heart desires. There is not a random act of kindness big enough to take the worry and pain away from this family but as they were leaving and sought me out to thank me, I knew that small guesture was greatly appreciated and when the mother smiled just a little bit with the sign of tears in her eyes I was grateful for the rush of a busy shift.
One of my servers, Lindsey, came to me to let me know that she had a table on date night. They have 4 kids at home, and whenever possible, they get a babysitter and come to T-Bones. I introduced myself to Shelly and Jesse, and explained the Random Act of kindness. they were thrilled. Shelly was very excited to Pay it forward.
Tonight I received a phone call in regards to a guests’ experience in Derry. She explained she had a very long day and was stuck in horrible traffic on 93 so came in to eat to escape the traffic, relax and kind of decompress from the day. She was with her daughter and just needed to come in for some food and wrap up her day with a drink before going home. She continued to stress how she needed to just have a nice meal. I started to feel like she was about to tell me of a horrible experience when she just needed to have an enjoyable time for whatever reason. I could hear the shakiness in her voice. What followed made me incredibly proud of my server. Tara took wonderful care of this mother and daughter. Made them feel well “taken care of”. She was kind and friendly and made their experience worth the stop. See, What had happened that day was enough to exhaust and deplete anyone. They spent the day at CMC. Her husband had Bi-Pass Surgery that day and although it went well it was a terrifying day. They experienced exactly what they needed. When Tara came over with the check she delivered a chocolate cake and said after a long hard day you deserve to have a piece of chocolate cake. Maybe that will make you feel a little better once you’ve made it home. Tara could sense her sadness and just made one very simple gesture to try to make her smile. It was so heartwarming and to think Tara didn’t know anything about this woman’s day but was moved to do something kind. The woman did all she could to not be moved to tears inside the restaurant and waited to get home to call me and thank me for Tara’s Random Act of Kindness. After she shared her story and wanted to make sure I knew how special Tara’s experience was with this woman I asked her for her address and am sending her a Gift Certificate so she and her husband can come out to eat and dine in once he’s recovered and home. They of course will ask for Tara.
This isn’t my typical RAK story done on my own but certainly worth leaving here as it embodies everything our RAKs stand for. I will be reading the story at premeal and give her a gift certificate in front of her peers so she can know how special she is and what she did for this woman and her daughter on a most difficult day. I’ll share it on Staff Matters once I’ve made a big deal about it “in house” 🙂
I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who has befriended a young man that lives next door. He is Autistic/Asperger’s Syndrome and is high functioning so he helps her out around the house, does her landscaping, odd jobs etc.. She helps him with social interactions, someone to talk to and brings him out to lunch. He only comes here!!! Although he struggles with social skills, he is confident ordering a chicken pot pie and dining in at our Derry location. He is a triplet and at 20 years old he is watching his sisters go off to college and it difficult for him since he doesn’t get to do the things we take for granted. This woman is his friend and our store is his place. After he left I sat and joined the woman for a little bit while she told me their story. I presented her with a gift card so they could come out for lunch again and gave her the RAK certificate to pay it forward and together find someone they could give it to. She wanted to let him give it to his parents and proudly say it was because he did such a good job today saying “thank you”. We went one step further and I issued another Gift Card so he could give his parents the opportunity to go out to dinner themselves. She was thrilled and of course I made her cry. It was a very emotional conversation and was at the beginning of the shift. It definitely changed the course of the day for me as I’ve been having my own personal world a little upside down lately so this was a huge reminder that there are better things to focus on and be grateful for.
I had a guest call in late night for takeout. He comes in often and usually gets the same item with extra pickles. I found out that he had asked his girlfriend to marry him! She said yes that day! We took care of their meals and passed on a RAK certificate to keep the happiness going. The guest looked at me shocked, and said ” Wow, This has been an awesome day!”. Everyone involved was excited and passed on their congratulations to the happy couple.
Yesterday a young woman came in anxiously awaiting the arrival of her sons. They joined her, ordered drinks and an appetizer, and left almost as quickly as they came in. She was left with an order she had placed, asked for it to go and was visibly upset although clearly working hard at not showing it. I went over, asked her about her day and she explained it was supposed to be her birthday lunch with her sons. I wanted to make her birthday day a little happier. I bought her take out and gave her a gift card to come back with her family for a nice meal. It definitely made her feel a little better about spending the time alone. We wished her well to enjoy the holidays and asked her to pass it along with a RAK certificate. Not the birthday dinner planned but at least we made it a little more special!
A couple months ago, I received a message on our Derry T-BONES FB page with an image of a young boys homework. It showed his family dynamics and things the family does that he loves. Amongst it was his favorite place to go and favorite thing to do as a family. Guess what it was…….”go to T-BONES”. So I responded back asking his dad to message me with their address so I could send him a letter addressed to him with a GC attached so he could come in and buy his own dinner next time. His dad messaged back and after he received the letter let me know how ecstatic he was and what it meant to him.
Tonight they visited and asked for me, thankfully I was working. I asked his family if I could take him to the kitchen area and show him a surprise. On our “star” board is a picture of his homework. I brought him over and showed him when people say something nice about our servers we like them to feel good and display the message. And that’s just what his paper did. He was awestruck to see his writing and copy of his homework on the board saying Going to T-bones is what’s so special about his family. They were visiting to celebrate his mom’s birthday tonight. They wished for no dessert so when finished I went over with a GC for their next visit so he could take his family out for dessert and then do something nice for someone else with our RAK certificate. He was there with extended family so they explained the idea to him about paying it forward and he thanked me for making his night. The big smile on his face when he walked out with the RAK certificate in hand it couldn’t have felt any better.