Looks are deceiving and often times what you see isn’t always what you get. The well-known phrase has it right when it says, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, it’s somewhat of a natural human reaction to make judgments of others when we don’t know them well.
Brian Maixner was hired by the Doo Dah Diner owner, Timrie Shibley, as a server because he had a sunny disposition and welcoming personality. What Maixner didn’t have was a set of straight pearly white teeth, and instead, he had a mouthful of rotten teeth. Regardless of his unattractive teeth, Maixner never stopped smiling and made customers feel at ease and taken care of.
“The first thing we thought was, ‘What an outstanding server,’” Shibley said. “Yes, his teeth were offensive, but the second time you meet him you don’t think about his teeth. He smiles so big with eyes. He makes such a big impression.”
The single dad admitted that while his teeth made him feel self-conscious, it didn’t prevent him from being a good server for the past 20 years. Because he wasn’t able to afford dental treatment as a child, his teeth only got worse over the years.
Maixner’s big personality left a major impression on one customer in particular. Fred Boettcher was impressed with the 45-year-old’s evident love of life and his ability to make everyone feel comfortable in the Wichita, Kansas restaurant. Little did Maixner know, he was about to be the recipient of a life-changing gift. Boettcher sympathized with Maixner’s dental issues and he approached Shibley about presenting the server with a $25,000 tip to get his teeth fixed.
“He just said, ‘I know this sounds crazy, but I want to help him,’” Shibley said. “He said he had done this for nine or 10 other people, and has lived a blessed life and wanted to help.”
Maixner happily accepted the gift and set up appointments to get his teeth fixed.
“He had a lot of dental issues as a kid and he told me ‘I can do this and I should do it,’” Maixner said. “That’s the way he looks at it.”
While Maixner came back to work with a brand new set of gleaming teeth, he still had that glowing personality to match it.
Shibley shared the kindhearted story on Facebook, and soon everyone was feeling the need to pay it forward…
“If you were in the diner today … and wondered why some of the staff were walking around a little teary … it’s because one of Brian’s customers today gifted him with a complete dental makeover as a way to pay it forward for the many blessings he’s received in his life,” she wrote.
Maixner says that he feels like a new person and he appreciates his health more than ever before.
“It’s so great. It’s a huge weight off of my shoulders,” Maixner said. “I just have this new appreciation for my health.”
He also shared that before he was gifted the new teeth, he was determined to smile…
“I just decided to smile through it and show people that there are still good people and no matter how bad you look, appearance isn’t everything,” he explained.