Do you know those people know exactly how to cheer up others? Kasey Simmons has that magical talent. Whether it’s a hug, a smile, or complimentary drinks, Kasey always goes above and beyond to make other people happy. His kind heart made him a successful and loveable employee at the local Texan Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar.
But in the summer of 2016, something incredible happened, and Kasey’s world was turned upside down. The cheerful waiter was treated a bit strangely by one of his customers. Once he finished reading the note that the customer left, everything started to make sense. This is a truly remarkable story about spreading love. There are still some good people out there, and this guy will certainly restore the faith you might have lost in humankind!
This story proves that good Karma comes when you least expect it.
An Ordinary Guy
Kasey Simmons was born and raised in Texas in the ‘80s. He had a reputation of being a dedicated Samaritan with a kind soul. Kasey would walk into work every day, ready for his shift with a huge smile on his face. His positive attitude often rubbed off on the people around him.
It was an ordinary hot summer day when Kasey decided to head over to the local Kroger supermarket store to pick up some groceries. He usually worked evening shifts, which meant his schedule was open during the day to get his shopping done. While he was waiting in line to pay for his food, he noticed someone in front of him acting strangely.
Poor Old Lady
The woman standing in front of him in line was acting unusual and seemed a bit off. The lady would glance over at Kasey every once in a while, but he wasn’t sure why. After he observed her behavior for a short while, he realized this poor, elderly woman had been crying. Kasey couldn’t stand to see anyone unhappy. Even some lady he didn’t know.
Why was she crying? And what should he do? Is there even anything he could do? When I’m upset, I like to be left alone and avoid all uncomfortable confrontations. At the end of the day, they were just two strangers waiting in line at the grocery store.
A Kind-Hearted Stranger
Even though most people would probably ignore a crying stranger in a store, either to respect their privacy or so, they don’t have to deal with other people’s issues. However, that’s not Kasey. He had a good heart and knew a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
Even though he didn’t personally know this woman, he couldn’t see her so sad. That’s when he decided that it was time to turn her frown upside down. He was determined to cheer her up, or at least get a little smile out of her. But what exactly was he planning to do? How was he going to approach her?
A Bad Day
During an interview with ABC News, Kasey explained that he simply said “hi” to the lady, and they exchanged a few words. Then he threw a cute line into the conversation: “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.”
That definitely would have cheered me up, but it didn’t seem to be working on the elderly lady. Kasey said, “It looked like she had a bad day. She kind of shut me down a little bit.” However, he wasn’t giving up. Since his words didn’t work, the determined man decided to take some action.
Determined to Make Her Smile
Kasey further explained to ABC that he wasn’t leaving until he made this lady’s day at least a little bit better: “I wanted to make her at least grin a little bit, and it wasn’t happening.” When he came to brighten up people’s days, Kasey did more than just talk the talk; he walked the walk.
He took his gift of cheering people up one step further. Since he couldn’t get a smile out of this woman, he tried to pay his kindness forward, literally. The lady didn’t even tell Kasey why she was upset, so she didn’t expect him to pay for her groceries. Furthermore, why would she accept his offer?
It’s Not About the Money
The elderly woman’s groceries added up to just under $20, and as she was pulling out her wallet, Kasey took out his credit card and beat her to it, saying, “I got it” to the cashier. It was sweet, but the woman was hesitant to accept the sympathetic gesture at first. He was a stranger, after all.
However, the stubbornly generous Kasey wasn’t taking no for an answer. Kasey wanted to see her happy and to make her feel like people care about her, even strangers. He clarified to ABC News that “it was only $17, but it’s not about the money… it’s about showing someone you care.”
Off to Work
After going back and forth a little bit, the lady finally accepted Kasey’s sweet offer. And Kasey got what he wanted: to see a smile on her face. Paying for this sad woman’s groceries made Kasey feel good, so he decided to take it one step further. While speaking to US Weekly, Kasey shared:
“I wrote down my email address and phone number… [and] I told her, ‘Look, I work at Applebee’s, I usually close, which means I’m there till 2 a.m. If you can’t sleep and want to talk, I’ll buy you a dessert or coffee.” What Kasey didn’t know was that his act of kindness would start another saga the very next day.
A Heart of Gold
Kasey doesn’t go about his day like your average Joe; he lives his life with pure kindness. What he did for this woman was solely because he is a good man with a thoughtful heart. Good things should happen to good people, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
The next day, Kasey went into work with his usual perky attitude; however, his shift turned into a complete nightmare. It was a busy night, and he was falling behind because he had so many tables. If you have ever worked in the service industry, you know what I’m talking about. Still, he greeted each of his customers with a smile.
The Worst Shift Ever
I worked at a restaurant, and I know how stressful and frustrating it could get at times. Kasey confessed to ABC News, “This day happened to be the worst day of my Applebee’s career. I was having such a bad night that I was about to walk out of [that] place.” I can totally relate!
No matter how overwhelmed Kasey felt, he tried to keep the craziness at the restaurant under control. As he was dealing with the chaos, a lady walked in, looking for a place to sit. Kasey joyfully greeted her and let her know the situation in advance: “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.”
The Waiting Game
Okay, let’s be honest here if you go to a restaurant, how long are you willing to wait? Most of us want to be seated as soon as possible and order. As we know, hungry people can get very cranky. I think the average person would wait about 20 minutes, and that’s pushing it.
Plus, Kasey had already informed the lady that she would have to wait 45 minutes before her family could get a table. Most people would go eat dinner somewhere else (at least I would). But the family stayed. Kasey knew how to treat customers and gave them a round of complimentary drinks as they were waiting patiently.
Just Water, Please
Despite all the commotion going on during the crazy dinner rush, Kasey finally got the family a table to sit at. Because of all the chaos, he didn’t think much about the fact that these people waited almost an hour to sit. And their order seemed a little strange. All they wanted were drinks, more specifically, the cheapest drinks, like flavored water.
When you work in the service industry for years, you think you have seen it all, but somehow people always seem to surprise you. He wasn’t really sure why they waited so long for water. However, when the next thing happened, Kasey began to think that the family was bonkers.
A Strange Request
Since all the family ordered was drinks, Kasey told them he would take care of the bill because of how patient and understanding they were. The family was well-aware that Kasey wanted to cover the bill, but the lady still asked for the bill so that she can leave their waiter a tip.
As Kasey walked back to the table to pick up the leather folder that was holding their bill in place, the lady made an annoying request. “I brought her the check, and she asked me to split the 65 cents between two credit cards, and I said, ‘are you serious?’” Kasey explained to ABC. As a former waitress, that’s so obnoxious!
Splitting 65 Cents
Kasey has been in the industry for a while, and he knows that the average customer would probably want the bill so that they can add a proper tip. What he didn’t quite understand was who in their right mind would split a bill that was less than a dollar. It’s weird, right?
Something was clearly off here. It was pretty obvious that this lady was up to something, but what could it be? What is going on here? Were they just a weird family who does stuff like that? Or maybe it was some kind of joke, and he was being punked? Your guess would have been as good as his.
The Customer Is Always Right
Kasey was having a stressful shift at the restaurant already. He thought all this strangeness might be someone kidding around with him to cheer him up a little. Kasey’s reaction when they asked him to split the bill was to go ahead and split the bill for them.
No matter how strange the request, in his mind, the customer is always right. Kasey later told ABC, “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.” I guess it’s pretty obvious what type of nice guy Kasey is.
A Mysterious Note
Kasey followed the customer’s ridiculous request and split the bill of one flavored water, a total of sixty-five cents on two separate credit cards. While Kasey was over at the register, this customer (who seemed to be a crazy lady) grabbed a napkin, took out her red pen, and started writing a mysterious note.
As soon as Kasey turned around, the family was gone. It was as if they vanished into the night. The only thing that was left behind was a napkin note and the bill’s receipts. He grabbed the check holder off the table and went to see the tip they left. He didn’t expect much on a 65 cent bill.
A Huge Surprise
Even though the family was gone when Kasey got back their table, he collected the bill and was absolutely speechless when he saw what they had left him. After they waited so long for a table, ordered the cheapest thing, and split a 65 cent bill, Kasey thought they were just an odd bunch.
After their weird behavior and a stressful evening, Kasey was exhausted and ready to call it a night. But when he took the bill, Kasey couldn’t believe his eyes. The tip made no sense. Did this strange lady really just leave him an astonishing $500 tip? On 65 cents?! Something wasn’t adding up here.
An Unexpected Tip
If you live in the United States, tipping is an unwritten law. Sure, it varies in different places and different cultures, but it’s pretty standard in America. My mom always taught me that nobody is my slave and that I should always leave a tip. Because of this, waiters get less money per hour, so if they don’t get a tip, they are practically working for free.
A tip is a sum of money that you add to your total to thank your server for their performance. The compensation is pretty expected, but the amount tends to differ based on how good the service is. What Kasey didn’t expect was a 770% tip. I was a waitress for seven years, and that doesn’t happen. But the customer left more than just the receipt.
The Heartwarming Letter
That’s when Kasey noticed the cocktail napkin that the family left. He began to choke up as soon as he read the words written in red ink. The lady wrote him an explanation for her massive tip. She wanted to thank Kasey for the kindness he exhibited the day prior. The note said:
“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 and 3rd anniversary), you made my mother’s day wonderful.” I don’t know about you, but I have the chills right now. It goes to show that you never know what other people are going through.
Paying It Forward
As it turned out, the family didn’t come in for dinner that night. The reason they walked into Kasey’s hectic shift was that they wanted to pay it forward. Suddenly, everything started to come together. Of course, he remembered the old woman; it’s only been one day since he saw her at the grocery store, after all.
He just couldn’t believe that her daughter came all this way, and waited forever, just to leave him this incredibly generous tip. He didn’t expect anything when he tried to cheer up the elderly woman, let alone getting $500. You really never know the difference one good deed can make in someone’s life.
He Called Her Beautiful
To him, being kind to others was pretty natural, but for the Sullivan family, it was more than paying for her groceries. He took time out of his day to talk to her and try to cheer her up, despite not even knowing her. That was the part that meant the world to them.
This simple gesture that didn’t take much effort from Kasey really impacted a family on a difficult day. The note continued, “[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.” That is sweet. I always get happy when someone calls me pretty!
“This Has Got to Be a Joke”
When Kasey first saw the “$500.37” written in bright red, he thought it had to be some kind of prank. He told ABC that when he first went over to grab the bill, “I thought, ‘this has got to be a joke. There’s no way.” It was only once he saw the letter that he realized this is really happening.
Kasey was working an extremely chaotic shift. He was under an immense amount of stress, and even though he was a joyful server, the pressure was really getting to him that night. It was probably hard for people to see past his smile, but Kasey was ready to walk out of the restaurant that night. That’s how bad it got.
This is Really Happening
I’ve been in Kasey’s position before, so I can certainly relate. Working under so much pressure is frustrating; there have been times when I wanted to walk out too (but didn’t). Basically, his day wasn’t going great… until he saw the letter. If it wasn’t for the sweet note, he probably wouldn’t have believed it was real.
So, despite being confused about whether or not the tip was real, or a possible “typo,” reading the napkin put everything in perspective. Kasey expressed to ABC, “I read that letter, and I’m thinking, ‘This $500 tip is for real, dude!” Thanks to the family’s appreciation and generosity, Kasey’s terrible shift ended on an enlightening note.
He Can Relate
As you can imagine, Kasey was completely overwhelmed with emotion after reading the note. It was just one day earlier when he saw the sad old lady at the store, who looked like she had been crying. Even though she didn’t tell him what was wrong, he knew something was deeply bothering her and tried to cheer her up.
He had no idea that the family had been mourning her husband’s death. What the family didn’t know is that it was something he could relate to. Kasey told US Weekly, “I know what it’s like to lose somebody… My daughter died four years ago when she was just two months old.”
Showing People Love
Kasey is a really special person. What he did that day at the grocery store came from the goodness of his heart. Whether he is at work or running errands, he always wanted to make people feel good. Of course, he hoped for the same in return but never expected anything.
Kasey explained to ABC, “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.” Kasey’s good deed reached more people that just the Sullivan family.
Spreading the Joy
It didn’t take long for Kasey’s inspiring story to go viral, and people all over the world saw his beautiful act of kindness. Before he knew it, Kasey was getting calls from magazines and news stations asking to interview him and share his story with thousands of people.
Kasey doesn’t do good things for money or recognition. He just truly has a heart of gold and had no idea that cheering up that poor old lady would change his life. Still, his acts of kindness deserve to be acknowledged, and they finally are. People all over the world are touched, appreciative, and inspired.
One Act, Big Difference
Its stories like Kasey’s that really show that there are still some good people out there. Watching people act selflessly helps spread love and joy around the world. It shows how a small gesture or a simple smile can truly change someone’s world. You never know what others are going through.
Of course, not everyone is as generous as the Sullivan family, but that doesn’t matter. The point is, if the Sullivan family hadn’t come into Applebee’s and left Kasey the note, he would have never realized the impact he made. We know that the family came in to leave Kasey a substantial tip, but did he ever see that elderly woman again?
Lives Changed Forever
The joyful server was so touched by the Sullivan family and was surprised that they went out of their way to show their appreciation. After receiving the note, he wanted to thank the family. They were already gone by the time he read the letter, but that doesn’t mean he forgot about them that easily.
Kasey wanted to actually meet the family and see the elderly woman once again. For now, it is unclear whether or not they ever made contact after that. We will be sure to update you as soon as we know. Either way, Kasey and the Sullivans are complete strangers who changed each other’s lives. We wish them all the best.