There’s a little chain sandwich shop near where I work. Even though they don’t have much that I eat, I have been in there many times, and it always seems pretty well-run.
Last Friday, I was walking somewhere else, a few blocks from the shop. I passed an apparently homeless person – one of many we see downtown. This one was young and looked worried, huddled in her shabby coat, quietly asking for help.
I am wary after the constant pitches I receive almost every day outside the subway station, many from apparent scam artists; I feel like a zebra at the watering hole. This time the young woman in question looked genuinely needy, and I felt a little guilty hurrying by, but I am hard-pressed to meet my own financial obligations.
As I returned a while later, I saw a man I recognized talking to the huddled woman. He is the manager of the sandwich shop mentioned above. As I passed, I overheard him telling her to come around the shop later and he’d see what he could do.
I know nothing else, but it seems likely he was offering her food, money, or even a job. He employs a lot of young people he watches over with a fatherly attitude.
It was a private moment. I shouldn’t have overheard. I’m sure he wouldn’t want his name or his establishment’s name connected with acts of charity in a public way. I just want to share that I saw a moment of kindness, of decency, in a hard world as winter approaches.
Post a review on Yelp and mention this. Seriously – you might help out the guy’s business (or his employer, if he doesn’t own the place, might reward him).
Hold off on that of you don’t know if it was the employer and not the employee. The employee could actually get in trouble with the boss if this was done with the company’s food without permission.
That’s true, this is a good point.
Do not mention this on Yelp. I occasionally do nice things via my business. The last thing in the world I want is any sort of publicity. Things easily go from a discrete act of kindness to a line of people demanding their stuff.
Another good point – silly me, jumping the gun. Maybe just a positive review on Yelp about the great service.
Or even mention that you witnessed one of their employees doing a great thing for someone else, but you’re not going to say exactly what out of respect for privacy.
Just keep it vague enough that nobody is going to read it as an invitation to get the same thing, and no uptight manager/owner will get concerned about business resources being wasted on non-paying-customers.
Instead of doing something publicly, you could go in to the store, buy something, and then leave him the biggest tip you can. If you can afford it, I’m thinking you could buy a $1 drink and leave a $9 tip. If he asks why, just tell him that you’re paying it forward.
I wouldn’t acknowledge it at all, for the reasons stated, as well as not embarrassing the person. I would be embarrassed if a third party acknowledged something I did in a private moment for someone else. I suggest keeping it to yourself with the knowledge that decent people are out there, and do something for someone in a third-party pay it forward type thing.
Lots of vagrants and truants here in my city. Some food establishments (the more high-end the better the effect) would let a particular unfortunate (just one at any time) into the restau, seat him or her at the least conspicuous seat, and give him or her a plate of what is clearly a strict allocation of food. The practice doesn’t seem to offend “regular” customers.