Everyday Heroes

Customers Jump In To Help Overwhelmed Worker

He was the only one there due to a scheduling snafu. Customers got to work instead of getting angry.

The marketing tag line for the restaurant chain Waffle House is "Good Food Fast." But no one was going to get any kind of food fast at a Birmingham, AL, Waffle House a couple of weekends ago. Because of a scheduling mistake, one worker (name tag: Ben) was the only one there, left to fend for himself as the usual crowd of Saturday late-night customers started coming in.

One of those customers was Ethan Crispo, who snapped a few pictures and chronicled it all. You might have expected he'd come away with pictures of angry faces and quotes from patrons leaving in disgust. Instead, the situation took an unexpected and uplifting turn.

(One employee was left to serve the entire restaurant because of a scheduling mistake)

Crispo told Al.com that, as he watched, a man at the counter stood up, asked Ben for an apron, and started to work. "It was a transition so smooth I initially assumed it was a staff member returning to their shift," Crispo wrote in an e-mail. "But it wasn't. It was a stranger just pitching in to help. He just saw this other person in a bad spot and just jumped in," wrote Crispo.

Soon, other customers jumped in to help, busing tables and washing dishes, including a woman still dressed from a night out on the town by the looks of Crispo's picture. Crispo says the other customers appeared to play along. It was just one of the most wild instances of really, really cool people just coming together.

(Ben gets help from a customer still dressed up from her Saturday night out)

"We really appreciate their efforts, though we do prefer our associates to be behind the counter," Waffle House Director of PR Pat Warner told Al.com. But he praised the fact that people were willing to help. "That's the great thing we have with our customers, the sense of community."

For Crispo it was just an example of how a small act of kindness on the part of a few people made a difference to a bunch of other people that night.

"Humanity isn't just good, it''s great."

When is the last time you dropped what you were doing and pitched in to help someone who needed it? Wednesday November 13 is World Kindness Day. Why not look for ways to be of service, and #StartSomethingGood on that day - or any day?

How can you start something good?
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