Life
Exhausted server finds note and tip from college student he’ll never forget
After David waited on the table of young guests, he looked at their bill and was left speechless.
Kathleen Shipman
09.24.21

Getting ready for a new baby is always exciting, but it can also be a stressful and costly time too. After all, there are a lot of things a newborn needs – and raising kids, in general, is expensive.

These were the struggles David Fabila was facing.

Fabila, from Roseville, California, was preparing for the birth of his fourth child.

YouTube - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sacramento

To help pay for everything his family needed, the father was working two jobs. Sometimes he even filled back-to-back shifts between both locations. It was a struggle, but it needed to be done.

One Friday night, Fabila was exhausted when he showed up to work at the local wine bar.

YouTube - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sacramento

The House of Oliver, as it’s called, was flooded with guests, and Fabila had just finished a shift at his other job too. He told CBS Sacramento:

“I was telling my coworkers that tonight is not my night, I’m not having a good night, I just came from my other job, I’m exhausted,” he said.

He was the only server assigned the patio which was swamped with large parties.

During his time out there, however, he served several bottles of wine to a table of young men— one of whom was watching him very closely.

Posted by House of Oliver onMonday, September 10, 2018

When the table of men was ready to leave, Fabila grabbed the bill to enter the transaction into the register— only to discover someone had left him a $192 tip.

On the bill, they had written: “We’re young, but we’re worth serving.” As you can imagine, Fabila had to stop and blink a few times.

“Unless you work in the service industry, you don’t really understand how much tips mean to a server, to a bartender,” he said.

YouTube - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sacramento

And indeed, tipping etiquette is a contentious topic. While some people feel they should only tip for exceptional service, the accepted amount is generally 15-20% of the pre-tax total.

This is because servers rely on tips for their wages. In fact, the minimum wage for tipped workers in the United States can literally be as low as $2.13 per hour. It makes sense then that if a customer leaves next to nothing, well, that can deeply hurt a waiter or waitress’ pockets.

Pixabay - Free-Photos
Source:
Pixabay - Free-Photos

So, as you can imagine, the unexpected gift meant a lot to Fabila, the exhausted server with another child on the way.

Turns out Steffen Berr, a Sacramento State student, was feeling generous and had noticed how hard Fabila had been working.

YouTube - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sacramento

“I’m in a position where I have the resources and luck to do this so why not just go for it?” he said.

“I’m really glad I did it; he really needed that money more than I did.”

YouTube - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sacramento

It’s unclear if Berr’s actions were part of the #TipTheBillChallenge that was circulating social media at the time. Berr said he had never heard of it and was simply celebrating finishing his senior year.

To Fabila, the expecting father, Berr’s actions meant the world.

“You totally just made everything so much better … you have no idea what you do for me, and that’s what made it so great … I’ll never forget this.”

YouTube - CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube - CBS Sacramento

Not everyone would be able to leave such a generous tip. However, Berr’s act of kindness is inspiring, and a reminder that we should do nice things for others whenever possible. After all, even small acts can make a big difference!

Watch the video below to see more on this very heartwarming story.

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By Kathleen Shipman
hi@sbly.com
Kathleen Shipman is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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