Monday, January 26, 2009

Generosity of strangers

So Saturday, little Bub and I went to meet J for lunch. We had some errands to run in the area, stopped and got some Skyline. For those of you located nowhere near Ohio, Skyline is Cincinnati style chili. It's cheap. It's very good. It's quick. And it's readily available in the southwest quadrant of the state.

Anyway, we are used to having meals discounted if J is in uniform (which he was). We don't expect it, we CERTAINLY don't demand it, but we appreciate it and accept it when offered. J tells me typically this Skyline gives them 50% off when they are in uniform. I think Moe's does the same thing. It's a nice perk.

J gets up to pay, I am getting the boy's coat on (no small feat with a wiggly 21 month old), and I overhear some conversation along the lines of "Are you sure?" at the register. I am not really paying attention, but J comes over and says that our bill has been taken care of. I said "the whole thing? That's odd." He says "some guy came in to get carry-out and asked them if we'd paid, then paid it for us. When I got up to pay, the cashier threw the bill away." Since my back was to the door, I didn't even see the guy come in or leave.

I was pretty speechless. I know that sort of thing happens for military and firemen occasionally, but in general cops don't get that kind of appreciation. I don't want it to sound like it is a HUGE deal, because it was probably a twelve dollar meal. It's the gesture.

And it meant a lot.

15 comments:

MeadowLark said...

Husband's department (and all the other local ones as well) do not allow it.

I think it is nice though.

FroneAmy said...

I clarified the post, but I didn't realize I had led you to believe this. The guy didn't ask J if we had paid yet. He asked the cashier. And just paid it. Whether or not the department allows it, and we are pretty sure there is a policy against accepting gratuities, was out of his choice.

MeadowLark said...

Oh! No, it was me... Sorry for not paying attention. I think my brain just shifted out of gear.

Doing ridealongs in Virginia, I was amazed because it's common practice to have free meals and the officers would simply go to different places each night. Go figure.

Mrs. "Smith" said...

That was a truly lovely thing to have done for you. You are right about cops not getting that kind of appreciation. Glad it happened to you.

MeadowLark said...

I asked last night and Husband said that even if someone pays for their meal, they will leave the proper amount of money on the table or with the cashier. The cashier is free to do with it as they please -- divide as a tip or whatever.

Of course, his department is fairly paranoid since we live in a pretty liberal (read: cop-watching) community. GRRRRR

5150Wife said...

Wow. What a nice and unexpected gesture. Random acts of kindness are always a breath of fresh air. But when they're directed at a cop like that? Wow, blow me over!

copswife said...

That's amazing. So happy for you guys.

cincygirl said...

Skyline is awesome! All of their locations do this for officers. I was an employee for the company for 7 years. If you want to know more about the phenomenon that is Cincinnati chili check out my website...cheeseconey.com. It is a social network for chili lovers to share recipes and wonderful stories like these! Jessica@cheeseconey.com

Tenderfoot said...

It is nice when people do that. Or simply come by the table and say "thank you." That seems to be happening more as of late.

Momma Val said...

Hey Wow! That's cool. How nice. Probably somebody that the cops have helped out at some point and they were paying it forward. I/we have not had anything like that happen. I got a discount on my wiper blades one day without him because I have police memorial plates. Other than that I only get discounts when I am with him. We get loads of free tokens and play land wristbands at the big fun land arcade and family center. The perks of being a cops wife, I tell ya :)

Mr. Police Man said...

AS Meadowlark commented, our departments don't allow us to accept gratuities.

The idea is that we act a certain way to get something on the cheep. My department doesn't allow it either but we always go eat at places that "pop."

However, Badge Bunnies comment about someone doing a random act of kindness need not be looked at as a gratuity. Nothing was expected in return for the favor.

Lets not overlook the simple complement this kind stranger gave the police officer.

Texas Ghostrider said...

We have restraunts that will discount our meals and I along with my partner always makes sure the tip is at least double what the full price ticket would be. We make sure that we don't take advantage of these stops. I have had a "donor" pay for my meal twice in 20 years.... That makes my outlook on the public a whole lot better. A nice "thank you" from the public would be all I need from the public or the food industry. I never order what I can't pay for. At times it is really embarressing getting a break on a meal.

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LoudBrownProud said...

That was a very nice way to say THANK YOU to your dh!My dh gets comped if in uniform for his meals but not always.

mrsofficer said...

aww this was sweet of them...My hub's also gets discounts and comps as well.His city loves the officers there,ofcoarse they do not ask most establishments just do it.