When Kasey Simmons spotted a woman upset at his local Kroger grocery store this week, he offered her what he thought was a small act of kindness: paying her $17 grocery bill.
“She looked like she was having a bad day,” the 32-year-old North Texas man recalled to WFAA, adding he complimented her on her beauty and just wanted to make her smile.
The next day, Simmons was working his usual server shift at Applebee’s when someone came in and ordered a flavored water for 37 cents — the cheapest item on the menu.
When they left and Simmons cleared the table, he realized that they had left a gift behind.
A photo of the receipt published by WFAA showed the diners had written in $500 as tip, making it one of the largest gratuities he’d ever received.
“I just remember the reaction from the cashier,” Simmons told WFAA, describing the tip as “about 50,000-percent.” “The cashier’s like, ‘I hear about this all the time on the news.’”
The patrons also left Simmons a note on a napkin in pink ink from the woman’s daughter, thanking him for cheering up her mother on what happened to be the three-year anniversary of her husband’s death.
“On one of the most depressing days of the year... you made my mother’s day wonderful,” the daughter wrote on a napkin. “She has been smiling since you did what you did.”
“You are one of a kind,” she added in the note. “Have fun with this... You made her year.”
Simmons told WFAA he was just doing what he thought was right.
“It’s about showing someone you care,” he told the TV station. He hopes to eventually meet the woman and her family again, he added, so he can thank them in person.