Ashley At Denny’s

My husband and I took four small children in to a 1950’s themed diner today.  We made a complete mess, one child dousing himself and his immediate area in apple juice, and had one lovely patron fall in love with all of the children.  She made a point to come over and tell each child they were absolutely beautiful.  After we finished eating I busied myself putting coats on children while husband went to pay the bill.  When we left we were outside buckling the children in to the car.  I asked my husband if he had tipped and he said yes and told me how much, I asked if he had spoken to the manager about the waitress and he said no.  I told him I was going back in after we got all of the kids buckled in.

The diner was hopping busy.

There were black shirted staff all around the back of the counter as soon as I walked in, about six or seven of them.  I asked if there was a manager.  A nice man said “I am”.   And everyone else just froze.  They literally (from dictionary.com: “actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy:”) stopped moving and watched me.  It kind of made me panic.  They were all staring at me and I wasn’t sure why.

I got all nervous but just did what I came in to do.  I smiled at him and put my hand in my pocket.  I pulled out some more money and gave it to him.  I asked him to give it to Ashley.   I told him we had just left with four little children and she was exceptionally kind and helpful to our “littles” and us while we were there and made it a wonderful experience.  When I handed him the money, he had remained smiling, the others suddenly started to move.   And smiled.

It occurred to me that maybe they didn’t always have the experience of having someone come back in and ask for the manager for a good reason.   Which makes me sad.  We take time out of our days to complain, enough so that people aren’t surprised by it.  But when we take the time out of our day to be thankful and complimentary, people are surprised and not sure what to expect.  I know that the kind and courteous manner in which we were treated was not a one time occurrence so hopefully they get thanked often.  Maybe people just don’t go back in after they have left, to do so.

(Just so I’m not making my husband look bad, the tip he left was already 45%, I wanted to go in and add the additional tip of speaking to her boss.  I was always told when you want to thank someone for doing a good job, tell their boss.  I added the extra money just to make the additional point to her boss how well she did.)

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48 thoughts on “Ashley At Denny’s

  1. lbeth1950 says:

    I’m sure you made that waiter’s day.

  2. Yes, I definitely make a point of telling management when service is good. There is enough complaining in the world!

  3. ksbeth says:

    i love this story, as a former waitress, a mother, a grandmother and a person. you are so right about the expectation of a negative in this situation and you turned it around beautifully.

  4. I try and make it a point to portray the positives in an experience along with the negative if needed. Thankfully we don’t have to tip over here, we only do so if we feel the staff have gone the extra mile, or shown above and beyond customer service. I’m glad you enjoyed the night and I’m sure Ashley was thrilled ☺️

  5. Jim McKeever says:

    You “caught someone being good” … Bravo, Colleen! And yes, it should happen more than it does. No wonder the staff went silent, as I’m sure they were expecting a complaint. Ashley had a great day, thanks to you.

    • THank you Jim, but she really did make our day go so much better. She was so helpful (I should have mentioned the lady who helped us get seated as well!). And she was just there for everything we needed and not bothered by anything. The kids were well behaved. But even well behaved little ones are a bit messy with clumsy little hands. I hope I did make her feel as good as she made us feel. 🙂 🙂

  6. You’re such a kind person Colleen. To take the time to do this could have made a huge difference to her in some way we don’t know. I’m sure the boss was doubly pleased that it wasn’t a complaint too!

  7. Not only did you make Ashley’s day, and the managers, you put a smile on all the servers’ faces. What a good deed angel you are! ❤ ❤

  8. What a lovely thing to do. I’m sure Ashley won’t forget it. Perhaps she’s even writing a post this morning about you. ❤

  9. April says:

    Good for you, and what a wonderful way to make someone’s day! You made more people smile than just the manager and employees–sounds like your readers are smiling too. I know I am.

    • Aw, thanks April. It does feel so much better to go back to someone with a positive. I never feel good after complaining, ever. So I rarely do. Well, maybe to my husband in the car or at home. I hope Ashley did get the other messages….and maybe some day she’ll come across this. 🙂

  10. I love that you did that Colleen! I go out of my way to report good whenever possible. ❤
    Diana xo

  11. Gibber says:

    Wow Colleen that brought tears to my eyes and I hope I learn from this and remember to do the same.

  12. I have had similar experiences. As soon as you say “May I please speak to the manager”, a definite chill descends over the conversation. This happened when I called an eating establishment on the phone recently. All I wanted to do was ask about doing a charity night! lol

    You are definitely right that we, as a society, expend much more energy communicating dissatisfaction over satisfaction.

    • 🙂 I chuckled over your phone call. I can imagine that chill. I guess it does speak to our priorities doesn’t it? Maybe we need to step back and take another look at how to handle ourselves and what we feel we should be saying. Thank you BrightSpots!

  13. Robin says:

    That was a wonderful thing to do, CM. You’re right about people being quick to complain. I know from working in the service industry that it’s a rare thing to have someone go to the boss with something positive rather than a complaint. It’s also a wonderful thing that can lift a person up for days. Weeks. Sometimes even months. In fact, I still smile when I think about the letter someone sent to my boss to let her know he thought I did a good job. And that was about eight years ago! 🙂

    • You are so right Robin. It does last us a very long time doesn’t it? I can remember the times when someone has gone out of their way to say something nice. Probably because it is a rare occasion ….. we just don’t take the time. Though honestly my husband and I do make a very conscious effort to thank those who serve us in any way for what they do. And if warranted we seek out managers, I even wrote one store clerk’s manager a note right there in front of the clerk and told him to take it to his manager behind the glass window. He seemed genuinely pleased by the extra time I took to thank him and point it out to his boss. It made my evening to see him smile. 🙂

  14. markbialczak says:

    It makes me feel good to tell servers they did a good job. You went above and beyond with your combined tipping of two months’ salary, MBC! 🙂 Seriously, you did good telling the manager that Ashley made the day for you, hubby and the littles by doing her job well.

    • 🙂 I hope she felt as good as we did MBM. My husband has a friend who, he and his wife, use tipping as their ‘charity’. They tip hugely to great service and talk with their servers about their stories. They feel giving great tips to hard working people raising families, going to school, working 2 and 3 and 4 jobs….is a great way to put their money to good use. Maybe “charity” is the wrong word to use. I know it is, but it’s early and my brain is stuck. Any way, I believe in paying for great service as well. And by golly it just feels good to tell someone they are great at their job. 🙂

  15. Wow!!! I love this. It made think about myself and if I have got the extra mile to make someone day special. Thanks for paying it forward. 😊

    • 😀 Thank you Shian, and you’re welcome. Ashley really is the one who deserves the thanks. She was so pleasant and did an exceptional job. It’s too bad we don’t spend more time talking about that than about ‘bad’ jobs. 🙂

  16. I think this is really lovely, Colleen. We are good tippers, quite frankly. I’ve known too many people who don’t tip well at all…so I always seem to overdo it! But when someone is a particular stand-out, it seems to me that you have the right idea! Let the manager know! I’m sure this was so appreciated. Thanks for setting such a good example!

    • 🙂 Thank you Debra. I know everyone has different ideas on tipping. The money of course is the best tip for someone working hard, the next best tip is giving their boss the good word on their good work. 🙂

  17. Patty B says:

    You have a heart of gold! I never thought to tell a manager when someone goes out of their way – good point. yes, – both money and letting the boss know are important to letting them know how kind someone was. I am going to make it a point whenever anyone who goes the extra mile, be it in a restaurant, store, billing depts whenever I have a problem, especially at Tri Care (health insurance) or hospital to let their boss’s know.

    • Thank you Patty! 🙂 I learned this lesson years and years ago. I try to pay it forward and pay it out as often as I can. I kind of cringe at me being considered the kind one, it was Ashley who was generous with her attitude, spirit and calmness. So many times when we interact with others doing their job, even in customer service, we are left feeling bad for having been in a position where that person had to do their job. Ashley had no such attitude. But I thank YOU for thinking me so nice. 😀 That feels good.

  18. niaaeryn says:

    That is so true. We never seem to say thank you, or job well done, all you hear are complaints. It kind of then lends to more negativity. What you both did was wonderful. A profound story, love it when you get me thinking, and redirected to the positive 🙂

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