Woman Leaves Before Food Arrives, Waiter Finds Note On Napkin


Scribbled In Red

He immediately found himself dumbfounded by the figure written inside the leather folder. Is this just some sort of misunderstanding or a practical joke? Then, his gaze traveled to the napkin. It was covered in similar red writing.

He was completely incredulous as he studied the one line over and over again: “My mother did not need you to help her.” Then, in a flash, it all began to make sense.

Had Enough

Public Domain

Texas resident Kasey Simmons had been having one of those days. But this particular day was shaping up to be one of the worst days of his career. Working the night shift at the local Applebee’s was difficult enough on most days, but when it was short-staffed it was impossible.

He was trying to pick up the slack as best he could, but stemming the tide of customers seemed like a losing battle. And when another woman walked in, Kasey reached the end of his tether.

Going To Be Trouble 

ABC News

Sitting down with her family, the woman waited patiently for Kasey to take their drink orders. And when he finally got around to serving her table, he decided to be completely upfront about the situation he was facing. 

“Hey, my name’s Kasey,” he said, trying to crack a smile. “I’m just letting you know that I am so far behind and I’m in the weeds right now.” When he told her that he would only be able to take their food order in 45 minutes, her face fell.

Run Off His Feet

ABC News

Trying desperately to placate the woman, Kasey offered to buy the table’s drinks. This really wasn’t his day. With orders piling up and more customers entering the restaurant, he was beginning to feel increasingly overwhelmed.

To make matters worse, that’s when the complaints started to come in. The diners were unhappy with the speed at which Kasey was serving them.


Rachel Ray Show

Kasey was just one server, but there were half a dozen tables that needed his attention. He looked over to another woman who was demanding her drinks, but he knew that there was no way that he would be able to serve all these tables by himself! Then he began to consider the alternative. The little voice inside his head egged him on. What if he just walked out right now?

As tempting as giving up seemed, Kasey was no coward. And besides, he really needed the money to make ends meet.

A Curveball

ABC News

Kasey was used to working exceptionally hard, but he had his limits. He decided to ask management to send a second waiter to his section to help him out. But Applebee’s was very understaffed that night, so he wasn’t surprised when his request was denied.

Trying not to succumb to fatigue, he soldiered on. But the new curveball that came his way was completely unexpected.

Good And Bad

Public Domain

Kasey was used to having both good and bad nights on the job, but the outcome largely depended on the tips he received. Some customers were extremely generous and left huge tips, which he greatly appreciated. But others weren’t as charitable. Even after he’d tried hard to give them good service, some diners would leave small tips, or even worse, none at all. Kelsey knew that this was the reality of life in the service industry.

Dashing back to the woman so he could finally take the table’s orders, he was completely blindsided.

A Small Order

Public Domain

The woman told Kasey that the table wouldn’t be ordering any food, but she did order a bottle of flavored water before she left. Kasey felt awful — she and her family had waited patiently for a whole hour just to order their meals, but now they were leaving.

He hurriedly fetched the woman’s flavored water and then rang up the bill, but he had no idea that she wasn’t through with him yet.

Splitting The Bill

ABC News

The bill for the bottle of flavored water, minus the table’s drinks that Kasey had said were on him, came to just 74 cents. The woman searched her handbag for the money, but then said that she didn’t have it.

As if Kasey’s hands weren’t already full, she asked him if he could split the amount on two credit cards – 37 cents on each. Kasey couldn’t believe it, but he patiently obliged before dashing off to serve another table.

The Note

ABC News

Finally, after attending to his other customers, Kasey went back to the woman and her family to fetch the bill. But as he approached the table, he realized that it was empty. Fearing the worst, he couldn’t help but imagine that they had left in a huff, angry that he hadn’t tended to them as well as he should have.

If that was the case, there was nothing he could do about it now. But when he opened the leather folder and saw the note on the receipt, his eyes widened.

Did He Deserve This?

ABC News

Written in the gratuity line of the receipt the woman had written $500.37. At first, he thought she must have made a mistake. But when he counted the wad of cash and the coins, he knew it was correct.

Tears welled in his eyes as the incredibly generous gesture truly sank in. But he still felt confused. What had he done to deserve this? Then, he saw the note on the napkin.

An Explanation

ABC News

“On behalf of the Sullivan family, I want to thank you for being the person you are,” the note written on the napkin in red ink began.

“On one of the most depressing days of the year, (the passing of my father’s 3-year anniversary) you made my mother’s day wonderful. She has been smiling since you did what you did.” Puzzled, he read on until the note began to make sense.

Good Karma

Youtube – nozmoking1

Only earlier that day, Kasey saw an elderly woman in the Kroger grocery store while he shopped for a few necessities. Immediately noticing that she looked quite upset, he approached her. “I noticed there was a lady standing in front of me,” he recounts.

“It looked like she had been crying because once in a while she’d glance over to me.” But he had no idea that his actions would send some good karma his way.

Southern Hospitality

Supermarket News

Texans took hospitality seriously, or at least that’s what Kasey Simmon’s mom had always taught him. He respected those around him as a young man, but Kasey’s caring nature went beyond family.  

It started as a day like any other. However, on this warm Texan morning, Kasey had no idea what a simple gesture would lead to when he decided to help a stranger. 

Trying To Brighten Her Day

Facebook – Kasey Simmons

“I go up to her and say, ‘It’s not raining inside. There’s no reason to look so down. I’m sure you have a beautiful smile because you are a beautiful lady.’ It looked like she had a bad day,” Kasey remembers.

“She kind of shut me down a little bit. I wanted to make her at least grin a little bit and it wasn’t happening,” He added during an interview with ABC News.

She Refused To Smile

Youtube – KIS KIS – Keep it short

The woman grimaced more now, but Kasey was not so easily deterred. She reminded him of his gran and, such was his nature, he could not bear to see her upset. 

He tried his best to crack some jokes and kept trying to make her smile. As he did this, he hadn’t expected her reaction. Instead of smiling as he hoped, she began to cry more. 

He Didn’t Give Up 


Kasey was invested in this now. Seeing the old woman so upset saddened him, and he felt more resolute about helping her. Where others may have given up and left her alone, Kasey couldn’t bring himself to leave her in tears. 

Trying his hardest and acting the fool for her benefit, Kasey was determined to change her mood. After all his antics, something finally happened.  

It Was Worth It


The woman’s face was pink now, her grey hair matted and wrinkled face streaked with tears. She looked so sad it broke Kasey’s heart. But after all his efforts, against all this, the woman broke a tiny smile. 

Seeing it spread across her face was like a ray of sunshine to Kasey. Now that he’d accomplished the smile, he wanted to do more for her.

A Small Act Of Kindness

Youtube – nozmoking1

After speaking to the elderly lady for a while, Kasey offered to pay for her groceries. He wanted so badly to brighten her day. The total came to $17. After insisting that he would pay for it, she agreed.  

She smiled at him warmly, and that’s when Kasey knew that he had just made her day a little easier. But he didn’t give it much thought after that. Little did he know, his good deed was about to come back to him in ways he’d never imagined.

A Bad Day

Facebook – Kasey Simmons

After he had paid for the stranger’s groceries, Kasey bid her farewell and gave her his Applebee’s business card. He wanted her to have someone to call if she ever needed help. Then, he headed off to begin his shift.

“Every time I get to work, I say, ‘It’s a great day. I’m going to make some friends and make some money,’” Kasey said. “This day happened to be the worst day of my Applebee’s career. I was having such a bad night that I was about to walk out of [that] place, and this lady comes in…”

The Next Day

Trip Advisor

By the next afternoon, Kasey could not dwell on the old lady. As a server at a local Applebees, his late shift was in full swing. Doing his best to keep up with the rush, Kasey cleared the table for a small family. 

He immediately knew something was off. Despite there being two parents and two young kids, all the family ordered was a small flavored water for 37 cents before asking for the bill. 

The Note 

Texas Monthly

 Being a dinner rush, any other server might have been annoyed by the family. They even asked to split the meager bill between two credit cards. But Kasey was no ordinary server. 

Instead of anger, he politely did as they asked, choosing not to judge. When the family left, and he fetched the receipt, his jaw dropped as he found the note left for him. 

Paying It Forward

ABC News

Kasey had no idea that the woman who sat down in his section was actually the woman from Krogers’ daughter. It turns out that she had paid a special visit to Applebee’s just so that she could repay him for the kindness he showed her mother.

“Her grocery was only $17.00, and you insisted on paying and told her she was a very beautiful woman… my mother did not need you to help her, but you made her year,” the note concluded.

The Payback

ABC News

Kasey could not believe his eyes. It seems ordering the flavored water had just been a ruse. Kasey had to check in with his manager if this was really happening. 

He felt like he didn’t deserve it. The manager confirmed it was real. For a 37-cent bill, the family had left Kasey a $500 tip. 

He Wasn’t Alone 

Facebook – Kasey Simmons

Kasey was so amazed by what had happened that he posted about it on social media. In no time, the story went viral. Before long, even national news agencies were running the story. 

The reaction to Kasey’s story has been overwhelmingly positive. Praised for his kindness, Kasey continues to look for opportunities to help others. 

Everyday Hero

ABC News

It wasn’t long before Kasey’s story was picked up by local news stations. Before he knew it, the story had gone viral. When he opened his Facebook feed, he was surprised to see netizens from all over the world hailing him as a hero!

“Fantastic to see that there are still good, generous, humble, sincere, and caring people in our vicious world of today. Well done and thank you!” one commenter wrote.

Kasey’s Philosophy 


Kasey’s philosophy in life is to be kind at all times, but his example may not always be an easy one to follow. 

These days, most people would rather look out for themselves than ever try to help another person – everyone is absorbed in their own lives. But Kasey’s story shows us that kindness can often be its own reward.

How To Change The World

ABC News

Another Facebook user described Kasey’s story as “heartwarming,” and almost everyone agreed. Then, the original commenter made a suggestion. “If everyone did one act of kindness a day the world would be a much better place,” she said.

But just how does Kasey feel about becoming a hero and garnering so many followers and fans’ attention on social media?

Leading By Example

ABC News

Despite his recent fame, Kasey remains humble. He just did what he thought was right by trying to brighten a stranger’s day. 

“Even with what I did at the grocery store, I would want someone to do that for my daughter, mom, or grandmother,” he confessed. “If they looked the way that woman did at Kroger, I would pray you would do the same.”

Making A Difference

The Scottish Sun

It’s stories like Kasey’s that help spread love and joy around the world. Performing one selfless act as simple as asking if someone is okay can make a huge difference in both your and their lives. And while not everyone might be as generous as the Sullivan family was to Kasey when it comes to returning the favor, that’s not the point of doing good deeds for others.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.