Getting An “A” Grade In Kindness Beats Getting An “A” Grade In Practically Anything Else

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 10, 2018

(My brother goes to university while working part time in a small restaurant. His boss is a middle-aged man who constantly gets angry over the smallest things, but all in all is a good guy. His restaurant is in a mostly French-speaking area, but his French is bad and he usually communicates with his staff in English. He recently had a lot of trouble finding and keeping waiters. His wife is also sick with cancer and hasn’t got long to live.)

Boss: “Hey, [Brother], do you think you could work the night shift on Wednesday? [Other Waiter] just quit and didn’t give notice, and we have nobody to cover that shift.”

Brother: “Hm… not really. I’ve got a final exam the morning after, and I need the time to study. Can’t [Other Waitress] work it?”

Boss: “No, she’s already scheduled at her other job. You’re sure you can’t do it? It’s just…” *at this point he starts tearing up* “I would work the shift myself, even if my French is bad, but it’s my wife last chemo treatment on Wednesday and I can’t make it back in time. It won’t cure her but it will give her a little more time with us. I’d close the restaurant for the night but business hasn’t been very good lately, and I can’t afford to turn away customers. Please…”

(His boss actually starts sobbing. He’s someone with very conservative values, the kind of person who thinks men should not be seen crying.)

Brother: “Okay, I’ll work the shift under two conditions. First, I serve the customers and nothing else. I’ll bring my books and study during the down times, if there are any. And after we close, I do the bare minimum cleaning and will leave the rest to the morning guys. How is that?”

Boss: “Okay! No problem. You bring your book, and you study while you work! Thank you so much! You have no idea how much this means to me.”

(Since then, his boss has always been very thankful towards my brother. My brother ended up not being able to study much during his shift because there were too many customers. He studied after his shift and barely passed his exam. He never did regret that decision, though. As he told me, sacrificing one good grade was worth it to bring a little peace to someone in a very difficult situation. The only thing he regrets was not being there for the wife’s funeral, as he moved to another city before she passed away.)

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