Paying it forward
Customers commend Coldbrook server for generous gesture
Roger Flynn gets emotional as he recalls the story behind a good deed he won’t soon forget.
Flynn, a server at The Root Restaurant in Coldbrook, went into work one morning in mid-May thinking it would be a routine shift – until he met the first customer of the day.
The woman asked for a takeout steak dinner, and chatted with Flynn while she was waiting for the order to be filled. She told Flynn the food was for her father, Berwick resident James Keddy. The woman added that Keddy was not doing well in the hospital, and his family wanted to treat him to one of his favourite meals.
“He really loved the food here and she just really wanted to do that for him, and I connected with her right away,” said Flynn.
The customer proceeded to show Flynn a picture of her father, and he recognized Keddy immediately.
“He and is wife are very kind people – that’s I always remember,” said Flynn, describing Keddy as jovial.
“The nice ones tend to stand out and you look forward to seeing them. Customer service is not an easy job, so the people that make it a pleasure to serve, you look forward to seeing them come back.”
Flynn offered to pay for Keddy’s meal, and asked the woman to send along his well wishes.
“I did this because I could relate to how the lady was feeling. I’ve been through it with both of my parents. It was just something that I wanted to do,” he said.
He didn’t expect any recognition for the kind gesture, but Keddy’s family was sure to express their gratitude.
Reanne Wadsworth posted a comment on The Root Restaurant’s Facebook page to publicly thank Flynn for going out of his way to lift her grandfather’s spirits. The post garnered more than 300 “likes” in less than a week, and several Facebook users commended Flynn for his generosity in the comments section.
“Sometimes in life it’s hard to see that there is really truly some good people out there… Roger I wanted to let you know you most certainly made this family smile for your sincere gesture that truly meant the world to us,” wrote Wadsworth.
In a follow up interview, Wadsworth said the family gave Flynn a card with a $25 gift card tucked inside to express their gratitude, and he amazed them yet again. Flynn said he didn’t feel right profiting from a good deed, and gave the gift card to the neighbouring Tim Hortons restaurant, requesting that they use it to pay it forward and buy coffee for customers on Keddy’s behalf.
“This man is truly an angel; we could do with more of these kinds of people in today’s world. His gesture meant more to us than we will ever be able to describe, and showed us that good people do exist in this crazy world,” said Wadsworth.
As for Flynn, he’s overwhelmed by the response to what he sees as a simple act of kindness.
“I think it’s wonderful. I hope that other people will sort of take note of the response that it’s received and take it upon themselves to pay it forward,” he said.
“You do these little things in the moment hoping that it brightens one person’s day, and it’s just caused a chain reaction. It’s fantastic.”
Flynn traces his philosophy on customer service back to the days he worked at Walt Disney World.
“Your entire purpose for being there is to create magic… and it really resonated with me,” the Berwick resident said.
“I think that if you can make someone else’s day a little bit better, then that’s why we’re all here.”