Lifestyle & Human Interest

Waitress Receives Heartbreaking Thank You Note from Recently Widowed Customer: 'I Lost It'


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

One Sunday last year, a woman came into the Perkins restaurant where waitress Megan King was working. As the woman sat eating her meal alone, King said she seemed “a bit sad.”

“She came in about halfway through my 17-hour shift, and it was on Sunday, which is always pretty busy,” King said, according to Newsweek. “About halfway through her meal, it started to slow down so we chatted for a few minutes.

“Small talk, nothing too deep. She told me she was almost 70 and has been slowing down a bit. She said she just wanted to stop by an old favorite for a bite.”

“She was sweet and easy to take care of.”

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The woman paid for her food and left, but not before penning a note for the waitress. As soon as King spotted the note and read the message, she broke down in tears.

“Thank you very much for your kind service,” the note read. “This was my first time eating out alone since my husband passed. I was hoping I could get through it.”

“I was very surprised,” King said. “As soon as I read that she’d lost her husband, I lost it.

“I had to use the restroom to get myself together enough to tend to my other tables even though I really didn’t have time to take a rest.”

She tweeted about the encounter, sharing a picture of the note and the tip.

As internet strangers are wont to do, several Twitter users criticized the struggling diner, chastising her for only leaving behind a few dollars.

But King had words for them.

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“[O]ld people who live on fixed income deserve to get out for a nice meal,” she tweeted. “big tippers make up for it anyway. im serving them. you arent. im standing by that, thanks.”

She also pointed out that the commenters didn’t know the basic facts: The woman’s meal had cost $11, so the $3 tip she left behind was generous.

“A lot of our customers are older and living on fixed incomes, so they tip what they can,” King later elaborated. “They are always welcome, no matter how much or little they tip.”

Hindsight has made King wish she’d done more — but perhaps she will have another chance in the future.

“In retrospect, I wish I would’ve taken her quiet as an invitation,” she said. “I think that’s what she wanted, looking back. She kept looking up at me so I assumed something wasn’t right with her meal or that she needed something.

“I guess she did, in a way. [She needed] an ear.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking