Wednesday, February 17, 2010



Fw: The Folded Napkin (Keep a tissue handy) - Inspirational - good one

Bharat J. Gajjar Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 6:00 PM

----- Original Message -----
From: Atul Dave
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:17 PM
Subject: Fw: The Folded Napkin (Keep a tissue handy) - Inspirational - good one

--- On Wed, 2/17/10, Pratab wrote:

From: Pratab
Subject: The Folded Napkin (Keep a tissue handy) - Inspirational - good one
To: "Pratab"
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 12:36 AM

*You just gotta read this.*

*The Folded Napkin ....**

A Truckers Story

If this doesn't light your fire ... Your wood is wet!*

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His
placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy.

But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted
one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and
thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my
trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as
long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college
kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their
silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded 'truck stop
germ' the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think
every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people
would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first
few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped
around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had
adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of
him. He was like a 21-year-old kid in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh
and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt
and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee
spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was
persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were
finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one
foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he
would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto
his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his
rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added
concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to
love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a WI Dow who was
disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social
Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their
social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had
fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably
the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being
sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that
morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put
in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often
have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was
a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at
work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word
came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the
aisle when she heard the good news.

Marvin Ringers, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of
this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Marvin a withering look.

He grinned. 'OK, Frannie, what was that all about?' he asked.

'We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.'

'I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the
surgery about?'

Frannie quickly told Marvin and the other two drivers sitting at his booth
about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: ' Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK,'
she said. 'But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the
bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is.' Marvin nodded
thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.
Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really
didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day
until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of
paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

'What's up?' I asked.

'I didn't get that table where Marvin and his friends were sitting cleared
off after they left, and Pete and Tony were sitting there when I got back to
clean it off,' she said. 'This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup'

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I
opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed 'Something For

'Pete asked me what that was all about,' she said, 'so I told him about
Stevie and his Mom and everything , and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked
at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.' She handed me another paper
napkin that had 'Something For Stevie' scrawled on its outside. Two $50
bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny
eyes, shook her head and said simply: 'truckers.'

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is
supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said
he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called
10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that
we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his
mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited
them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed
through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing
cart were waiting.

'Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,' I said. I took him and his mother by
their arms. 'Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate your coming back,
breakfast for you and your mother is on me!' I led them toward a large
corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched
through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth
of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of
the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner
plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper n napkins.
'First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,' I said. I tried
to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the
napkins. It had 'Something for Stevie' printed on the outside. As he picked
it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the
tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his
mother. 'There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all
from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. 'Happy

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and
shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and
hugging each other, Stevie, with a big smile on his face, was busy clearing
all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.

Plant a seed and watch it grow.

At this point, you can bury this inspirational message or forward it
fulfilling the need!

If you shed a tear, hug yourself, because you are a compassionate person.

Well... Don't just sit there! Send this story on! Keep it going, this is a
good one.

God gives cloth, wood and fire even to a dead man,
It is so sad that the living man keeps worrying...

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing
it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."- Buddha

A good way to change someone’s attitude is to change our own, because the
same sun that melts butter, also hardens clay!

Life is as we think it, so think beautifully.


¸.·´* ¸.·´¨¨))

((¸¸.·´* ¸.·´* -:¦:- *"What you do for yourself alone dies with you ... what you do

-:¦:- ((¸¸.·* for others remains and is immortal." - Pratap*



At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, just want to say hi. I'm new here.


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