It can be easy to judge people we see out in public without knowing their stories. From frazzled-looking parents and distraught toddlers to obnoxious teens and snotty professionals, our first glimpses of other people’s stories often give us impressions that may not add up to what’s really going on in their lives.
When a couple trying to enjoy their dinner at a local Cracker Barrel restaurant in Alabama couldn’t easily get through their meal, onlookers may have judged them as being unprepared. The pair sat there trying to balance their utensils and a young toddler, who was sound asleep in their arms while they tried to eat.
Manager Doug Shoe didn’t care about the backstory, though. He didn’t bother to ask if the couple was unprepared to plan their meals around nap time or if they couldn’t get a sitter—he just came over to lend a helping hand, no questions asked.
Shoe explained to the couple, who turned out to be the child’s grandparents, that he’s the father of young twins himself. With a smile, he offered to take the child and hold him so the grandparents could eat in peace.
When they accepted, he pulled up a chair and snuggled the tot, joining their dinner.
A proud employee snapped a pic of the heartwarming event and shared it online, explaining that it was a perfect example of why they were so proud of working for Shoe:
"This is one of the best managers I've ever had. In the midst of our 2nd shift tonight, we had this couple come in with…
“In the midst of our 2nd shift tonight, we had this couple come in with their sleeping grandchild,” the employee explained.
“While Doug was checking on all the tables, he saw they were trying to balance holding him and eating, at the same time. This man proceeded to ask to hold the baby, so they could fully enjoy their meal. This brought tears!”
Eating out with a young child can certainly be a harrowing experience, particularly due to situations like this. Children don’t often run on perfect schedules, so parents and other caretakers can find themselves out and needing to eat when the kids are fussy, sleeping, hyper, or restless.
Most would see a restaurant manager as the person who makes sure servers get the food out to the correct tables and keep customers happy with their meals.
As Shoe clearly showed, though, oftentimes the best managers are the ones who are able to go above and beyond what is asked of them in the job description. Even though this wasn’t the kind of situation that a manager is specifically trained for, he managed to make sure the customers were happy without even blinking an eye.
Shoe’s family stumbled across the post, and his wife, April, made sure all of the well-wishers knew just how much their words touched him.
“I am EXTREMELY appreciative for all of the love and support that is pouring over him in a time that he has REALLY needed it the most,” she wrote in reference to the photo. “He does not feel valued outside of our home and I am so thankful that God felt that Doug needed to be reminded of his worth.”
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