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Reprinted from Decorah Newspapers, 8/18/2016

Dear Editor:

The other day I was in a local diner and I observed a fellow diner eating alone. When he finished he continued to remain at his table and periodically make noises.

There was only one waitress on duty and she was busy tending her many customers. When she passed him, he called out in a loud gruff voice and complained that she hadn’t talked to him. She apologized and explained that she had quite a few customers to take care of but she was here now. He further (loudly) complained that he wanted the price for his meal.

She explained the usual procedure for payment by the cash register. He was more agitated as he again complained that she hadn’t talked to him. She continued to make him feel comfortable and cared for as she sat down across from him and told him she was his friend, and to show him this was so, there was no charge for his meal. The other diners burst into applause.

The situation could have turned out so ugly as it turned out this man appeared to be intoxicated as he meandered his way out and slowly walked away. I hope this waitress reads this, I know she doesn’t want attention but in this day and age where things can escalate so quickly into dangerous situations, her gracious example reminds us that care and kindness can turn a potentially ugly situation into smiles all around.