It pays to be kind…literally—at least for Melina Salazar it did. The woman from Brownsville, Texas had worked at the same restaurant, Luby’s, for 16 years and waited on the same man, 89-year-old Walter “Buck” Swords, for 7 of those years.
Swords wasn’t the easiest customer to deal with. He was very particular about his food—wanting his order piping hot regardless of if it could burn him and he often cursed at many of the waitstaff if he was dissatisfied with their service. Most of the employees had grown so sick of the man that they pawned him off on Salazar. She seemed to be the only person in the restaurant who was patient enough to handle the old man.
For 7 years she took his order, made sure that everything was prepared to his satisfaction and delivered outstanding service. It was Salazar’s way of treating all of her customers, not just Swords. She had grown accustomed to his routine, so she noticed immediately when he missed a day at the restaurant. When he missed multiple days of dining at Luby’s she knew that something was wrong.
After some investigating, Salazar was shocked to learn that Swords had passed away. She came across his name in the obituary and was saddened to learn that her most loyal customer wouldn’t be returning. That wasn’t the end of her story with Swords. Some time later, Salazar received a phone call from Swords’ lawyer telling her that the man left her $50, 000 and his 2000 Buick. She was stunned, having never expected to hear about Swords again, let alone to learn that she would be inheriting some of his estate.
You never know what influence you may have on the people around you. Be kind to one another—there’s always someone watching.
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