Stressed-Out Denny’s Waitress Serves 3 Grungy Men And Nearly Collapses When She Sees $500 Tip

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content. She lives in Queens, NY.

The holiday season can be stressful for everyone. There’s so much pressure to buy gifts for friends and family, host loved ones for meals and parties, and make everything absolutely perfect.

It’s not only overwhelming emotionally, it’s also a huge financial strain. For people all over the country, the holidays are actually the most challenging time of the year.

Trisha Murphy knows all too well what it’s like to feel this strain. She’s a waitress at a Denny’s in Maine, and she works her butt off to provide for her family.

Trisha always plasters a smile on her face and puts her customers’ needs above her own. Recently, though, it was even more challenging to act normal at work.

Her car had gotten towed, she needed to take extra shifts to pay the bill, and she had no idea how she was going to make it all work. That’s when a customer’s $500 tip changed her entire holiday outlook.

Thumbnail Photos: Wikimedia / Billy Hathorn // Facebook / Love What Matters

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Trisha shared her story on the Facebook page Love What Matters, where it quickly got a lot of attention.

Within four days, the post had over 30,000 reactions and almost 2,000 shares.

denny's outside

Trisha wrote:

Yesterday morning, I was so stressed I could barely function.

Most of my Christmas shopping wasn’t done, my car got towed to Bangor (with a $735 bill on its head), and there’s only a week until Christmas.


I went into work, racking my brain as to how I was going to pull this off. I can pick up a couple extra shifts and do some odd jobs.

That would mean I’d have to pay extra for a sitter, though. I couldn’t even concentrate at work. Regardless, I painted on a smile and acted like it was just another day.

restaurant table

Work was terribly dead and I thought for sure, I was screwed! I got this table, three men.

They all looked a little grungy and judging by their demeanor, I figured an average tip.

soda drink

The older of the three kept asking me about Christmas. I just told him I’m in it for my kids, but besides that, I don’t really get into it all that much. He joked that he’d come be Santa.

I (like every other waitress) led him to believe I was married and kept on with pleasant, yet safely distant, conversation.

denny's inside

When I gave him the bill, he told me I had to cash him out. I let him know that the hostess does that. He insisted I go to the register and cash him out.

I thought it a little odd, but obliged anyway. When he put his card in, he had a huge, ear-to-ear, smile. The receipt printed, and I almost collapsed!

denny's receipt

I looked up at this grungy looking man, my face as white as snow, and tears in my eyes. He just smiled again and said, ‘Merry Christmas dear,’ and almost danced out of the restaurant.

He came back in to make sure I didn’t have a heart attack. I still might!

santa claus

I don’t know this man’s name, but I hope he realizes that he literally saved Christmas for my children and me!

Good people do still exist. Yesterday was the day I met Santa!

lwm comments

Everyone who read Trisha’s story absolutely loved it.

One person wrote: “Never judge a book by its cover or a person by their outward appearance. Kindness and compassion don’t dress to impress.”

trisha comment

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