It’s not easy to wait tables in the third trimester.
As Today reports, Courtney English is a waitress at the Lamp Post Diner in Clementon, New Jersey. She’s also pregnant with her first child and due on April 1. She told Today that it’s getting more difficult to do her job, but she has the support of her boss and co-workers:
“It is tough waitressing at this point, but I have a lot of help; my co-workers won’t let me lift heavy trays, and they give me sections close to the kitchen. I have the greatest support from my co-workers and bosses.”
Last Friday, English was working the lunch rush and had a police officer seated in her section. She didn’t think much about it at the time.
“He ended up just ordering a salad and water. He was real simple,” she told ABC News.
English didn’t realize the officer was listening as she talked to other patrons about her pregnancy and how excited she was for her first child.
Nor did she know that the officer had just become a father for the first time. Nick Hionas, the owner of the diner, told ABC:
“He recently just had his first child so he was a little emotional and saying that was the greatest day of his life and it’s gonna change her life.”
The officer finished his meal and left, but not without leaving a surprise behind for his waitress. On his $8.75 meal, he left a $100 tip, along with a message: “Enjoy your first. You will never forget it.”
English told ABC that she didn’t even know about the tip until later when she went through her receipts:
“I thought it was a mistake, I didn’t think that that was right. But I asked the hostess like four different times, ‘Is that right?’ and she confirmed it was and she showed me the receipt. I started crying. This doesn’t happen. It was really genuine. It was really nice.”
English’s father, Brian Cadigan, was so touched by the gesture that he shared a photo of the receipt to Facebook.
In his post, Cadigan wrote about how bad stories about police officer abound, but, “Most of the good stuff they do you will never hear about, they don’t do it for glory or recognition, they do it because they are good people.” He added a message to the officer who left the tip:
I don’t know you Mr Police Officer, but you made my little girl cry, and made her year. Thank you, I always had the utmost respect for Officers, but you went above and beyond not just an officer, but a beautiful human being.
The local police chief told reporters that the officer in question would like to remain anonymous.
You always hear about how Bad the Police are, How They treated you like dirt, how they are on a Power Trip, Yes I am…
English says she already had a lot of respect for police officers, even before this unexpected act of kindness. She told Today:
“It was wonderful feeling, completely unexpected and genuine. Cops are portrayed as horrible people a lot of the time, and they aren’t, and this just goes to show that a young officer [saw] a struggling mother-to-be and wanted to extend a little help!”
The officer’s gestures has inspired others as well. A manager at the diner says they’ve been getting calls from all over the country, offering to help the first-time mom.
The waitress plans to put the tip to good use and use the money on baby gear and necessities. She told CBS 3:
“It really means a lot. It’s been really hard saving for the past couple months, so it was really, really amazing.”