A guest Blog by Larry Paulsen of Ogden and Adams:
“I have a unique story I’d like to share. This happened just a month ago. I own a lumberyard here in Cedar Rapids and I do most of the buying of the materials we sell. I have gained some great friendships over the many years that I’ve owned the business and several of the suppliers have become close friends. One morning, around Thanksgiving this year, one of my suppliers called me and told me something he had done the day before. My friend is a very thoughtful, caring, and religious guy.
“He had to spend the night away from home and being an early riser was one of the only customers at a mom and pop restaurant for breakfast. Since it wasn’t busy, he struck up a conversation with the waitress. She was a single mom raising three kids on her own without much help from the kids’ father. With Christmas coming they talked about how commercial Christmas had become and she told him her son really wanted a pair of tennis shoes that were priced at $130. She said she had to tell him that they couldn’t afford gifts like that. The waitress wasn’t complaining or feeling sorry for herself. It was just part of the conversation. My friend said when he left the restaurant he left her a $100 tip. He told me he couldn’t afford to leave a tip like that but she needed the money worse than he did and it made him feel good to do it.
“That same afternoon, a good customer of mine stopped in and I told her the story. I asked her if she knew anyone who was struggling and could use that $100. She thought for a moment and couldn’t come up with anyone. About two hours after she left the phone rang. It was her. She said she had been thinking a lot about my question and she remembered a lady who she deals with, was divorced with three children, and recently remarried a guy who was terminated from his job because he was injured. Not only had they not had an income for two weeks but also the company denied him his past sick leave and vacation pay even though he had 120 hours of earned pay they owed him. It didn’t look like they would have much of a Christmas. She said he was now looking for work and really needed the money.
“As it was, I had been looking for a new truck driver/yard worker with little luck. The job requires outside work, good driving record, being physically fit, and ability to pass random drug testing. It’s hard to find people with all those qualities these days. I asked my friend if he might be interested and if so, he could stop in and talk to me the next day. Well, I’m pleased to say that because of the generosity of a friend to a waitress in need and who inspired me, I now have a great new friend and employee. Everything has worked out great.”
Editor’s note: We do make a difference in people’s lives. May that difference be positive. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year to all.