A black Washington, D.C., waitress received a pleasant surprise Monday while working her usual shift at Busboys and Poets, a Washington restaurant that has its own distinct social-justice mission, the Washington Post reports.
Rosalynd Harris went into work still in a great mood from Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. The optimism of her customers over the weekend had been contagious, and so she was particularly upbeat as she got to a table of three white men in her section around midmorning Monday.
According to the Post, they all chatted warmly, with the men revealing that they were from west Texas. One man was a dentist and complimented her on her smile. But what Harris never expected was for them to leave her a $450 tip on their $72.60 bill, attached to a personal note.
“We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people,” the note read. “Not race. Not gender. Just American.” The note ended with, “God Bless!”
Harris admits that she assumed the men were in town for President Donald Trump’s inauguration, unconsciously prejudging them. Based on their note, she’s probably right, though it’s hard to know for sure.
“You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,” she said, “but [the customer is] more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange.”
It is always pleasant when people put their money where their mouths are, and the $450 tip certainly did quite a bit to help Harris.
According to the Post, the 25-year-old is a professional dancer who started waitressing about a year-and-a-half ago to make extra money to pay her bills. Harris told the Post that she needs to move into a new apartment soon and was worried about how she’d gather the cash to pay any upfront costs.
She scheduled extra work shifts just to make sure she had enough, but the extra $450 is “a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said.
Harris also said that the men reminded her that many Americans do want unity, regardless of politics.
“This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing,” she said. “It instills a lot of hope.”
Read more at the Washington Post.