Pay­ing it for­ward

Cus­tomers com­mend Cold­brook server for gen­er­ous ges­ture

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COVER STORY - BY ASH­LEY THOMPSON KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA COLD­BROOK ath­omp­son@kingscountynews.ca

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.”

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