Man Gets An Unexpected Visit At Work After Paying For A Stranger’s Groceries
We all know of someone who’s always in high spirits, cheering people up whenever possible, and Kasey Simmons is one of them. He ensured that whoever he interacted with had a smile on their face, whether by offering them a complimentary drink, or a hug, he was a friend to all.
Unsurprisingly, he was one of the best employees at his local Applebees. Yet, despite working in the service industry for a couple of years, the summer of 2016 changed his life.
He Was Born An Optimist
Born and raised in Texas in the ’80s, Kasey found it easy to cheer up people; he was the life of the party. His big contagious smile became an asset when he decided to get a job at Applebees, and he soon became one of the most revered employees.
While he always looked forward to the next day with optimism, Simmons wasn’t prepared for what looked like an ordinary summer evening in 2016, which turned nightmarish.
His Grocery Store Trip Turns Eventful
Considering that he worked the late shifts at Applebees, Simmons decided to go to his local Kroger supermarket to get some groceries. It was a nice summer day, and everything was going well.
However, as he stood in line waiting to pay for his items, he noticed that the person in front of him was acting strange, but he didn’t know that there was nothing ordinary about his trip to the store.
He Noticed Something Was Amiss
As he waited to pay for his items, he noticed that the elderly lady appeared distraught, and she caught his eye. Kasey tried to mind his business, but he noted that she glanced in his direction several times. Since he was good with people, he immediately noticed that the woman had been crying.
Seeing people in sad situations got Simmons upset, and he wondered whether there was anything he could do to help the distressed woman.
A Stranger To The Rescue
Many people would avoid talking to strangers, especially if they look like they’re having a bad day. They try to avoid uncomfortable interactions to respect the other person’s privacy, but Kacey isn’t like most people.
His big heart wanted to see everyone happy regardless of who they were, so he approached the woman to try and lift her spirits.
Futile First Attempts
Simmons tried to make small talk with the woman by talking to her about the weather, but that didn’t go so well. Describing their interaction to ABC News, Simmons told the lady, “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.”
Still, the lady didn’t break into a smile, putting Simmons a bit back, so he had to change tact.
He Made Her An Irrefutable Offer
Kacey was not one to give up on his quest easily, and he was determined to put a smile on the lady’s face even though his first attempt failed.
Since trying to talk to the woman didn’t work, he decided to do something different so that she could feel cared for. With that in mind, he offered to pay for her groceries.
It Was A Small Amount
Seeing the woman’s distress, Kacey didn’t want her to leave without him doing something nice for her. Paying for her groceries was one way he could put a smile on her face, and when she pulled out her credit card, he informed the cashier that he’d pay for her items.
The woman didn’t want to accept the offer, but Simmons was adamant, and he won that stubborn fight. While the total bill was about $17, the reason he wanted to pay was to ensure she felt cared for.
That Was Not All
After a bit of back and forth, Simmons convinced her to accept the offer. Yet, that wasn’t all; he also gave her his contact information, where she could reach him whenever she wanted to talk to someone.
He even invited her to Applebees whenever she couldn’t sleep; he was open to having coffee with her. Little did Kacey know that their small interaction would be an unforgettable story.
Things Weren't Great For Him
You’d think that after Kacey Simmons’ act of kindness to a stranger, he’d have a great week, but that was not to be. Despite his bubbly attitude, the shifts were quite unbearable when he clocked in for work the next day.
Simmons was falling behind, and the service industry can be pretty tough to work in. Yet, he always had a smile on his face throughout the tough week.
He Was Overwhelmed
Throughout his career, Simmons greeted everyone with a smile, starting each day with optimism. This day was different, though, as he told ABC News, “I was having such a bad night that I was about to walk out of [that] place.”
Kacey tried his best to keep everything under control, but when a lady came in, he caved, confessing, “Hey, my name’s Kasey. I’m just letting you know that I am so far behind and I’m in the weeds right now.”
They Had To Wait For A While
Many of us aren’t willing to wait for more than 20 minutes for our order to get ready, but on that day, Applebees was quite packed, and customers had to wait for a while to get a table.
Simmons wasn’t kidding when he told the lady that he was behind and she had to wait for 45 minutes to get a table. Despite being under a lot of pressure, Kacey kept his customers happy and offered the lady and her family complimentary drinks as they waited.
An Unexpected Order
Amidst the mayhem, Simmons got a table for the family and anticipated a hefty order after their long wait. However, they surprised him by just requesting drinks, despite the hour-long seating wait.
His confusion heightened when they picked the cheapest option, Applebees flavored water. With his extensive service industry experience, Simmons believed he’d seen everything, but this family was undoubtedly peculiar.
The Family Had A Strange Request
Despite finding their order peculiar, Simmons generously offered to pay for the family’s bill as a thank-you for their patience.
The family expressed gratitude but insisted on receiving a bill to leave a tip for the server. When Simmons arrived with the check enclosed in a leather folder, the lady requested that he split the 65 cents between two credit cards, which shocked him.
It Was All Quite Weird
While waiting for a check to tip made sense, splitting the bill for such a small amount was confusing for Simmons. He couldn’t fathom why anyone would do this.
The lad sensed something peculiar about this family but couldn’t put his finger on it. Kacey wondered if they were simply odd or if this was some prank they were playing on him for no apparent reason.
Was It A Test?
Simmons was having an awful day at work and didn’t feel like dealing with any pranks, but he wouldn’t take it out on customers. The customer is always right, which means he had to comply with the family’s request, despite the illogical nature of splitting the bill.
Simmons suspected it was a test of his character, telling ABC News, “I think she wanted to see if I was a real nice guy or a fake nice guy. The real nice guy splits it, and brings the lady her check.”
A Strange Note Surfaces
Simmons invested unexpected effort into a peculiar 65-cent order, ultimately deciding to split the cost between two credit cards. Once he returned the cards, the strange family picked up their belongings and disappeared without a trace.
After they left, Simmons picked up the bill holder and discovered a mysterious cocktail napkin tucked inside the sleeve. The napkin bore an unexpected message written in bright red ink.
An Incoming Surprise
Simmons returned to the table after the strange family had already left the restaurant, not anticipating a significant tip due to their cheap order of flavored water. However, upon opening the bill holder, he was speechless at what he saw.
Given their peculiar behavior, he was astonished to discover a massive $500 tip split between the two credit cards used to pay for the order. Kacey couldn’t believe his eyes, wondering if it was truly possible after such a modest order.
A Massive Unforgettable Tip
Tipping customs differ globally, but neglecting to tip your server is regarded as impolite in the United States. People working in the service sector often earn a lower hourly wage and depend on tips for their livelihood.
The standard tip ranges between 10-20%, and Kasey Simmons presumed the family would leave a similar amount. Yet, their tip surpassed his imagination as they provided a 770% gratuity on a $0.65 bill, and it was just the start of an astonishing sequence of events.
The Bright Red Message
Receiving a $500 tip thrilled Kasey Simmons, but it wasn’t the end of his astonishment. The note was related to an act of kindness he had performed the previous day, and he began to choke up as he read it.
It read, “On behalf of the Sullivan family, I want to thank you for being the person you are. On one of the most depressing days of the year (the death of my father, 3-year anniversary), you made my mother’s day wonderful.”
The Family Wanted To Find Him
The Sullivan family’s peculiar conduct became clear after Simmons read their message, and he recollected the melancholy elderly lady he encountered at the store the previous day.
He couldn’t believe her daughter would go to such lengths to repay his kindness and express gratitude. The timing of their generous act was perfect as Simmons was struggling through a challenging work shift. Still, he wondered, would this be sufficient to turn his situation around?
Not A Small Gesture
Although Kasey didn’t think he did much for the elderly woman, the Sullivan family thought otherwise. He not only paid for her groceries but also attempted to bring a smile to her face and make her day slightly better, which was the only thing that mattered.
The lady’s daughter acknowledged that in the note, saying, “My mother has been smiling since you did what you did. Her grocery was only $17.00, and you insisted on paying and told her she was a very beautiful woman.”
It Can't Be True, Can It?
Simmons was having a terrible day, so he understandably found it difficult to accept that this was happening. When leaving him the tip, the family’s peculiar conduct made him speculate whether this was an intricate prank.
As everything was going awry for him that day, receiving a $500 tip appeared too incredible, particularly as he had contemplated leaving his job that night. “I thought, ‘This has got to be a joke.’ There’s no way,” Simmons shared with ABC News.
It Slowly Sank In
It’s reasonable to assume that anybody in Simmons’ situation would be taken aback by the surprising tip, but the red-inked note changed his perspective swiftly.
Simmons later informed ABC News, “I read that letter and I’m thinking, ‘This $500 tip is for real, dude!'” He was struggling through a horrible workday, but the note on the cocktail napkin changed everything, and he understood why the family did it, ending his day with some good news.
Coping With His Loss
Simmons’ act of kindness towards the crying elderly lady at the supermarket was fueled by his desire to make someone’s day better. He didn’t know the reason behind her tears and only wanted to do what he wished someone would do for him.
The Sullivan family’s kind gesture touched Simmons deeply because he’d also experienced loss. Kacey shared with US Weekly that he understood the pain of losing a loved one, as his daughter passed away at two months four years ago.
He Wanted To Do The Right Thing
Kasey didn’t expect payback when he brightened the elderly lady’s day at the grocery store. Instead, he loved to make people smile and hoped others would offer support when they saw someone struggling.
“Even with what I did at the grocery store, I would want someone to do for my daughter, mom, or grandmother… If they looked the way that woman did at Kroger, I would pray you would do the same,” Simmons quipped. His act of kindness touched the Sullivan family and many others.
The Story Went Viral
Simmons’ heartwarming story quickly went viral, inspiring thousands to pay it forward. News outlets and magazines worldwide interviewed him, eager to learn more about his random act of kindness.
Despite not seeking recognition or media attention, Kacey was thrilled to see how his story impacted others. His simple goal was to bring joy to an elderly lady at the supermarket, but he ended up bringing smiles to the faces of countless individuals around the globe.
An Unforgettable, Touching Gesture
Did Kasey Simmons ever meet the Sullivan family again to thank them for their act of kindness that brought him to tears? While it remains unclear whether they ever crossed paths again, their generosity had already positively impacted each other’s lives.
Even if people don’t meet again, the memory of small acts of kindness can continue to inspire others. Some individuals come into our lives to show that the world is full of compassion and service, and this realization is what truly matters.