Sometimes, we have to struggle between what we know is right and what the rules say we can do. One kind server from Canada battled between her duties to her job and the needs of others when she noticed a homeless man outside of her workplace. Deciding to help him even if it risked her job, the server began to cook meals for him. In the end, his identity revealed the importance of helping those in need.
Cindy worked as a server at one of Canada's premier restaurants. This establishment boasted two Michelin stars and customers expected only the highest-quality food. Though she was working as a server, Cindy dreamed of working in the kitchen. She had been studying to become a chef. Her job allowed her to get some experience and pay for her education at the same time.
However, everything changed when she noticed a homeless man near her work.
Every day, Cindy walked the same route to the restaurant. Most days, she would see a homeless person sitting in the same spot near the shop. Regardless of what the weather was like, he sat in the exact same spot.
To Cindy, the man seemed lonely, though he never showed it to anyone. As people walked by, he would smile and greet them if they smiled back. As far as Cindy could tell, the man never asked anyone for money or help, he simply wanted to talk. While Cindy felt this was admirable, she also felt like the man must be hiding his feelings, so she kept watching.
Cindy had noticed that many of the people who walked by this man were less than friendly and some were outright rude. It was a common occurrence for people to walk by him without even acknowledging his existence. Sometimes, an entire day would pass by without anyone stopping to talk with him.
One day, Cindy saw a group of young men spit into the man's cup, something she couldn't understand. Her concern for the man began to grow.
As a Michelin star restaurant, Cindy's place of employment attracted wealthy guests who were easily capable of spending several hundred dollars a night. To Cindy, this was difficult to swallow. After all, a homeless man spent his days on the street just around the corner. To her, the divide between the rich and the poor had become painfully clear. But how could she help the man?
Cindy realized that she had the power to help the homeless man, though it was risky. Even though she didn't necessarily enjoy her work, she needed it to pay her bills, save for college, and gain experience in the culinary industry. But, to her, it was unfair for people to be spending hundreds of dollars on luxury food when someone was starving just a few dozen feet away. At the risk of losing her job, Cindy began to plan.
Cindy believed that she could sneak some ingredients from the kitchen and cook the man a meal. However, if Cindy wanted to help him, she had to go unseen. Unfortunately, the chef of the restaurant was present on the floor and could be heard across the restaurant. As you might expect of a Michelin star restaurant, all the ingredients were extremely high-quality, with prices to match. Nobody could ever find out what she was doing.
While some people might frown against Cindy stealing from her workplace, she felt that it was the right thing to do. Still, she battled with the moral issue of theft versus letting another human suffer. Ultimately, Cindy saw it as a Robin Hood-esque way of taking from the rich to support someone in need. However, despite her good intentions, Cindy was more than aware of the crime she was committing by stealing from the restaurant.
Though she could feel the fear gripping her, Cindy chose to move forward with her plan. After all, nobody else was helping the man. She waited until she heard the chef scream at the kitchen staff, allowing her to know exactly where he was. She took the opportunity to sneak toward the freezer. As she crept closer, she felt more justified in her actions as her boss continued to make the other employees miserable.
Eventually, Cindy was able to reach the freezer without alerting anyone. She quickly searched the shelves for ingredients that no one would miss. After making her decisions, Cindy managed to stash around 20 ingredients in her bag. While this may sound excessive to some people, Cindy knew the bare minimum of what she would need to take to make a meal for the homeless man outside. With success just a few moments away, Cindy suddenly heard a loud knock at the freezer door.
Fear cut through Cindy like a knife. This was the end. She had been caught, she would lose her job, and her life would be over. Nobody but the chef was allowed to be alone in the freezer. All other kitchen staff had to have someone else there to vouch for them and prevent theft. Thoughts began to race through Cindy's mind.
Even though Cindy was aware of the risks, she had tried to steal the food anyway. However, the reality of her situation was quickly setting in. With someone standing at the only exit to the cold room, Cindy had no possible escape. She realized she would no longer be able to afford her culinary studies. Even if she could, her reputation as a thief would follow her and prevent her from ever working in the culinary world. Yet, as she panicked, something strange happened.
Cindy leaned against a wall, struggling to get control of her thoughts. The wall that she leaned against had been slowly decaying over the years and became incredibly weak. Unable to support her weight, the wall collapsed, dumping Cindy on the other side. Cindy quickly looked around, unsure of where she had ended up, still expecting the worst.
Of all the places Cindy could have found herself, she landed in one of the few locations where she could go unseen. The hole had dumped her into an empty, sheltered hallway where only servers tended to walk. Unable to believe her luck, Cindy covered the hole in the wall with a serving tray just in time to hear the chef enter the cold room. She quickly ran home with the ingredients, dodging the eyes of any potential witnesses.
It wasn't until after she arrived home that Cindy could finally take a breath and realize what she had done. After resting for a moment and realizing that she had succeeded, she quickly tackled the next phase of her plan. Cindy spent more than two hours cooking a meal for the homeless man near her work, putting her still-growing culinary skills to work.
With her freshly cooked meal safely tucked away, she hit the streets and headed directly to the homeless man's usual spot. Along with the meal, she also handed him some cash so that he could get anything else he might need. The man was completely stunned. Nobody had ever treated him with the kindness that Cindy showed. Despite all the dread and fear that Cindy had felt earlier, she then knew that this was the right thing to do… and she wasn't going to stop there.
Cindy knew that one meal simply wasn't going to be enough. Feeling proud of her actions, Cindy continued to bring the man meals every day for the rest of the week. The man couldn't have been happier and loved her delicious meals. Everything was perfect. Then, one day, the chef knocked on her door.
Upon seeing her boss at the door, Cindy immediately panicked, knowing that he had caught her. For a moment, she debated even letting him in, but he had already seen her and wouldn't be stopped. Her hands trembling with fear, Cindy slowly opened her door. The chef was furious. He had discovered the hole in the wall, as well as the tray she had used to hide it, and immediately knew she was responsible.
After finding the tray, the chef went to view the security footage to see what had happened. The cameras had clearly caught Cindy hiding in the cold store, as well as her bag full of now-missing ingredients. Cindy didn't even have the opportunity to talk as her boss fired her and proceeded to scream for 15 minutes, lecturing her on following orders and falling in line. Cindy barely even heard his ranting as her mind began to wander, thinking only of the fallout of her actions.
The next day, Cindy walked past the restaurant that used to employ her. Glancing through the windows, feelings of doubt and regret started to overcome her. Unable to clear her mind, she turned to walk away, only to set eyes on the homeless man still sitting in his usual spot. As he did every day, the man silently waited for someone to chat with him. So, Cindy decided to talk.
The man easily noticed how distraught Cindy was and asked why she looked so sad. She explained the situation to him and the man was appalled. He remarked on her incredible culinary ability, shocked that any restaurant would dare fire such a talent. The man, telling her it was a great loss to the culinary world, decided to take action himself.
He angrily stormed into the restaurant. Seeing a homeless man barging through the doors filled the chef with rage. He quickly rushed to the homeless man, demanding that both he and Cindy leave immediately.
The enraged chef screamed at the homeless man, saying his kind were not welcome in such a fine establishment. He hurled insults like "filthy" and "dirty," all while trying to remove both the man and Cindy. However, the roles quickly reversed when the homeless man revealed who he really was.
Once the chef had stopped yelling, the homeless man let out a soft laugh. He asked the chef, "You really don't remember who I am, do you?" and removed his dirty coat. Beneath the worn-out clothing was a neat suit. To onlookers, it was as if the man had completely transformed. No longer did he resemble a man who lived on the streets. He simply looked like any of the restaurant's other diners.
Cindy looked at the man, her jaw on the floor. He then explained what had happened. The man was never homeless. In fact, he was a food critic who had recently visited the restaurant and was appalled at how far the quality had dropped. While the service was excellent, the food was far below what one would expect from an establishment with two Michelin stars. He knew that this must be the chef's fault and chose to act on his gut instinct.
He went on to explain that he had purchased the majority of the shares in the restaurant just a week prior, making him the new owner. He chose to keep an eye on the business from a distance, observing the clientele and employees entering and leaving. It quickly became clear to him that the restaurant's chef was an incompetent manager who was driving the business into the ground. He turned to the chef and fired him on the spot, citing his nearly inedible dishes and terrible management.
After removing her former boss from the restaurant, the man spoke with Cindy. He talked about how the meals she had made for him were some of the best he had eaten in years, with innovative recipes and perfect flavors. With the chef position now open, he offered her the job.
Cindy could barely believe what was happening in front of her. Everything she had ever wanted was right there, she just had to say yes. Was she dreaming? Or was this a prank? Regardless, she immediately blurted out, "Yes!" before anyone could cut in and ruin the moment.
Cindy is now the chef and manager of the restaurant, keeping the kitchen running far more smoothly than her predecessor. She achieved her dreams and is finally doing what she loves, all thanks to a little bit of human kindness. Opening your heart to others and helping those in need has a way of helping you, as well.