Ashley took a quick glance and noticed the men checked their bill a couple of times. The waitress felt a knot on her stomach after they called for her attention. This group of customers had been acting suspiciously, and now they wanted to take her to the backdoor of the bar. Ashley didn’t know how to respond as her eyes looked for help. Her breathing became rapid and shallow. The red flags were rising everywhere, yet she had no other choice but to obey.
A waitress named Ashley Latella worked during the night shift at the Seagrape Café in Fairfield, Connecticut. She had ends to meet, so she also volunteered to work during the holidays of December. Since the establishment was filled with people, she thought it would be safe for her to work even though how late it would be. That was when a group of male customers walked into the bar and was eyeing her.
With Christmas festivity, the mood in the bar was different. The crowd danced as the DJ’s bass roared in time like they were one. Ashley was pacing back and forth, taking orders and serving menus. Neon lights flashed everywhere, but the manager couldn’t help but noticed three men. They were too well-dressed for the place, and they immediately sat down to the corner table as if they were trying to conceal themselves from the overflowing crowd.
The manager guessed that their ages were around forties. His eyes never left them as he observed how they sat quietly, with the majority of students swarming the area. Their presence seemed off for this type of place. When they had their orders, it was Ashley who went to their table. The manager’s eyebrows furrowed as he noticed the way they intently stare at the waitress. But this was only the beginning of their strange actions.
Playing It Cool
Ashley, on the other hand, wasn’t clueless at all. She was aware of their burying eyes whenever part of the bar the waitress went. Ashley felt uneasy, but she had a job to do. The waitress tried to carry on as she served them their food naturally. Unfortunately, the night was still long at the Seagrape Café.
The three men didn’t stop ordering drinks. Whenever she left their table, they would glance at each other then back to the waitress. Even more strange, they would pause from talking and went in complete silence whenever Ashley approached their table. She sighed in relief when they finally asked for their bill. However, they demanded more from her.
Ashley knew that quiet and calmest customers tend to cause the most trouble. She had a hunch that they were scheming something, but she had no idea what it was. On problems like this, Ashley would just switch the table to a male co-worker. Unluckily, the other waiters were also busy because the bar was too packed that night. She had no other choice but to serve these men’s table. And when they asked their bills, she got an odd request.
Seagrape Café was popular for students, and it was peculiar to have three older adults walked inside their establishment. She was certain that these men were the oldest in the crowd tonight. Both her experiences and intuition told her that something wasn’t right. Ashley could sense trouble right in the corner where these men were.
Different Kind of Customer
Ashley had experience with all types of customers. But she would treat them equally whether they were nice or just plain rude. Since part of her job was to have patience and just bring excellent service to each table. However, her years of experience from being a waitress went downhill when these three men refused to pay their bill.
Ashley was looking forward to ending her shift tonight, so she gave her best at work. She ignored all the uncomfortable stares from the three men and went to retrieve the bill folder. But when she got hold of the folder, one man placed his elbow over it. Ashley couldn’t pull the bill because he was using force to pin it down. The man swiftly grabbed the folder and made sure it was beyond her reach. He was obviously testing her patience. Ashley’s face fell, and three men stood up from their seats. Another man leaned to the waitress and whispered some words that sent shivers down her spine.
The three men would pay their bill in one condition… Ashley would go to the back room with them. She stepped back in horror after she heard the words. That was absurd! She thought. The waitress knew something was wrong with them, but she didn’t expect to receive such a bizarre request.
The men wanted to settle the bill in private with the waitress, but for a woman like her, it was a sure red flag. She instinctively glanced at the bar to look for help and the first thing that came to her mind was their manager.
Her suspicion grew more. What were these men’s real intentions towards her? If they only wanted to complain about the food or her service, they could have just told her right where they are. Ashley knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant, but she wanted to refuse their condition. Good thing, her manager happened to pass by.
To The Rescue
Being observant, the manager already knew that Ashley was in trouble. He caught a glimpse of the waitress’ face, and it was his first time to see her looking so terrified. So he rushed to the table and asked Ashley what was going on. Even the manager was bewildered after the waitress explained everything to him. But it seemed like the three customers were firm on their request.
As a result, the manager had to make a decision and told them that he would accept their condition only if he tag along with Ashley in the back room.
In The Back Room
As a manager, he first thought that these customers had complaints about the bar. When they walked into the back room with the three men and Ashley, he noticed tension filled the air. He took a deep breath and prepared himself for possible danger. He had to protect Ashley. The three men faced the waitress and uttered something that made the manager blink several times.
When the three men secured that they were all alone in the room, they confessed that they’ve been observing Ashley the whole time. They have been into many bars before but they were amazed at how Ashley handled the swarm of orders despite how exhausting it was. The tension between both parties immediately melted. The customers handed the leather folder to them, but the manager’s face washed blank as soon as his eyes’ landed on the bottom of the bill.
The manager was caught off guard when he saw $500 written on the bill. This was the first time he saw a tip that was quintuple the amount of the original bill! As a matter of fact, the balance that the three men had was only $112. He was grateful for the generosity these men showed to his staff. But before he could react further, they told him that he made a mistake. The manager’s eyes widened when he double-checked the bill… it was definitely not $500!
And There Was More!
His face transitioned from awe into looking disoriented as he held his breath from what he just saw. This was the moment when Ashley broke down in tears because she just realized another zero in writing. Words can’t describe how thankful she was that she gave the men a warm hug. Due to overwhelming emotions, she almost forgot to ask their actual reason. And they gladly explained why.
Their Sole Reason
The men were part of a fellowship called “Tips for Jesus” and explained that their mission was to do the Lord’s work by one tip at a time. They had been traveling around America and gave out huge tips to the hardworking staff. They even stated that they tipped $11,500 just in the city of Manhattan. Their group was pretty popular on the internet and a lot of workers already claimed that they received enormous tips from the group. Ashley, however, doesn’t want to keep the money by herself.
With the amount of blessing Ashley obtained, she decided to pay it forward. The waitress went to their local toy store the following day and purchased countless toys. Then Ashley traveled to Al’s Angels toy drive to donate the toys she just brought. The waitress believed that to return the kindness she just received, she had to share the grace to those in need.