Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Charity

This story at C&L caught my eye:
A Tale of Christmas Magic at the Aramingo Diner

Last Saturday, Dec. 5th, something startling and wonderful happened at The Aramingo Diner in Port Richmond.
[...]
The manager on duty, Linda [...] tells me that a couple in their 30s paid their check at the register, then asked the cashier to let them secretly pay the check of another couple in the dining room - a couple they didn't know.

"They just wanted to do it," she said. "They thought it would be a nice thing to do."

When the unsuspecting patrons went to pay their check, they were floored to find out that strangers had picked up their tab. So they asked the cashier to let them pay another table's check, also anonymously.
[...]
For two hours, delighted customer after delighted customer continued to pay the favor forward. And a buzz began to grow. Not among patrons, who had no inkling what was going down at the register, but among the dining-room wait staff - Marvin, Rosie, Jasmine and Lynn - and other Aramingo workers moving in and out of the room.
I did something similar yesterday. Where I work we have a hiring freeze, raises canceled, healthcare bennies cut back, (the last strikes me as ironic because we do medical research.) But I still have a job and it pays fairly well. To quote my friend Bill Arnett:I. Am. One. Of. The. Lucky. Ones.

So I took the money I would have spent on gifts for people who don't really need them and asked the supervisor of one of our tech support groups to step out into the hall because I had a complaint about his groups' work.

After we were alone I told him my complaint was that they didn't get their bonuses this year. I forked over some cash and told him it was from the research wing and he should distribute it as he saw fit.

Now this particular guy is very conservative, listens and believes Rush, but he's got a good heart and does good work, and I'm willing to bet when he handed out the 'bonuses' he probably added a bit of his own.

This was in addition to what I gave my favorite local charity that does nothing but feed people. No questions, no eval, no bureaucracy; if you walk in they give you a free meal. They're always going to be in my heart because I've been hungry, and being hungry sucks.

I'm not writing about this to tell what a great guy I am, (everyone who knows me well knows I'm not), but just to say if you've got an extra couple of bucks give it to people who need it. What I gave this year stings just a little bit. Heck, I may have to delay my vacation for a month or two. But what little I gave makes a whole lot more difference to the folks I gave it to than to me.




Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

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