One struggling mom was finding the holiday season particularly stressful last year, but an interesting encounter with a customer changed everything in a huge way. Trisha Murphy, who works as a waitress at Denny’s, had to take on additional shifts to make ends meet. A tow truck took off with her car and left her with a $735 impound fee, which made buying Christmas gifts for her kids difficult.
With the holidays quickly approaching, she took on extra work to make up the money. When she saw three grungy-looking men seated at one of her tables, she initially believed they would, by their appearance, be average tippers. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Trisha explained the situation on Facebook, writing: “Yesterday morning, I was so stressed I could barely function. Most of my Christmas shopping wasn’t done, my car got towed to Bangor (with a $735 bill on its head), and there’s only a week until Christmas. I went into work, racking my brain as to how I was going to pull this off.”
She continued: “I can pick up a couple extra shifts and do some odd jobs. That would mean I’d have to pay extra for a sitter though. I couldn’t even concentrate at work. Regardless, I painted on a smile and acted like it was just another day. Work was terribly dead and I thought for sure, I was screwed! I got this table, 3 men. They all looked a little grungy and judging by their demeanor, I figured a average tip.”
One of the men asked her a lot of questions about how she would be celebrating her Christmas and she noted that she would be celebrating the holiday for her kids, but didn’t “really get into it all that much.” The man joked he could come to her house and be Santa, and Trisha led him to believe she was married and kept the conversation “pleasant, yet safely distant.”
When it was time to pay the bill, she explained that the man who mentioned playing Santa asked that Trisha personally cash him out, rather than settle the bill with the hostess at the front of the restaurant.
Trisha recalled: “He insisted I go to the register and cash him out. I thought it a little odd, but obliged anyway. When he put his card in, he had a huge, ear to ear, smile. The receipt printed and I almost collapsed!”
She was stunned by the tip he left and suddenly had a feeling this man was a real-life Santa Claus! The man smiled and wished her a Merry Christmas before leaving, but did return briefly, as she explained: “He came back in to make sure I didn’t have a heart attack. I still might! I don’t know this man’s name, but I hope he realizes that he literally saved Christmas for my children and I!”
His generous tip of $500 allowed her to get her car back and buy her kids Christmas presents. She noted: “Good people do still exist. Yesterday was the day I met Santa!”
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