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The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story

 
Captain Spaulding
User ID: 28245340
United States
11/26/2012 12:56 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
One random act of kindness. One smile. A few nice words. You never know what another person is going through, even if they look fine on the outside. Sorry for your loss. How are you feeling these days Captain?

My old man died a few years ago and since I had lost my home and business I went back to Wisconsin to clean and fix up the family farm we owned since 1939. It took about a year and a half and the property sold. I left "the farm" on Thanksgiving day all alone with my dog in back, not sure where I was even headed, Just driving west. And it was unusually cold.

I felt so damn alone and empty inside. My dog has her head on my lap and the radio was off. I pulled up to a toll booth, I think in Southern Illinois or Missouri and went to pay the guy. he said "the truck in front of you paid your toll and said to say Happy Thanksgiving".

Sometimes the world IS a good place.

Check out Tom Waits song "Big Joe and the Phantom 309". For me, anything Tom Waits does is gold, lined with diamonds and cigarette ashes.

Good luck to us all...
 Quoting: Captain Spaulding 28245340

 Quoting: LilacFrost


Thanks. Picking up the pieces of yesterday's life, so to speak.

I'm restarting everything. It's taking a little longer, but things could ALWAYS be worse. Still appreciate what I've got and moving forward. It's not over yet, I guess we all have our own mountains to climb...
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 27988886
United States
11/26/2012 12:59 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart.

Great employee.

So great I didn't bother seeing what exactly was wrong with him.

Sounds like some obamacare b/s to me.
¤ Itz A DreaM ¤

User ID: 5781878
United States
11/26/2012 01:00 AM
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clappa
"For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I'm suddenly having a hard time leaving it.
Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I'm not leaving... maybe I'm going home."

— Vincent, Gattaca
Eggcellent

User ID: 13043121
United States
11/26/2012 01:09 AM
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I sincerely wish you had posted as a "regular" rather than anonymous. Would love to give you green Karma for this unexpected & uplifting story!

Thank you.
 Quoting: sTTsTTT




I second that! bump bump and 5 stars, OP!

This story rings true to me. I have known a lot of truckers, and they work hard, long hours and sometimes must spend days or even weeks away from their homes and families. But they have the biggest hearts of any people I've ever met. They will be the first to step up when there is someone in need. Thanks for this story, OP!
"I have come to the conclusion that all news should be treated like 9/11, assume it is a psyop with actors participating in a staged event complete with props, until proven otherwise, in which case assume whatever is being recorded, reported, televised, is distortions/lying by omission/outright lies, until proven otherwise." - Anonymous, 4-13-12
Eggcellent

User ID: 13043121
United States
11/26/2012 01:17 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Not to pee on your parade but this is email fantasy. I like the part where they make the truckers the good guys and everyone else assholes. I'm an actual trucker and in my experience the percentage of asshole in the trucker population is high.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28476673


doesn't matter if it is true or not. the story is an inspiration to have a heart.
you are right, a lot of truckers are assholes just like a lot of others in this world...but there are some good people (including truckers) and those are the ones who can make a difference in someone's life.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 817672




This story may or may not be true. But I have heard of, and SEEN, several "Stevie"-type stories involving truckers who came through for someone in need. so, as far as I'm concerned, this story happened.

Oh, and fuck Snopes.
"I have come to the conclusion that all news should be treated like 9/11, assume it is a psyop with actors participating in a staged event complete with props, until proven otherwise, in which case assume whatever is being recorded, reported, televised, is distortions/lying by omission/outright lies, until proven otherwise." - Anonymous, 4-13-12
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19980561
United States
11/26/2012 01:18 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story

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 sp
eech 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 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 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 widow 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 work.

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. Bell Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer 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 Bell Ringer 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." Belle Ringer 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 Bell Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper 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 Stevie.

Pony 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 you 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 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 table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy Thanksgiving,"

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, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25783006


Best story I read in a long time. Put a tear to my eye.
:way...:
forgetmenot

User ID: 21280970
United States
11/26/2012 01:42 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
You all sound like democrats, compassionate, caring, and generous to those less fortunate then us. Why you vote the other way I'll never understand.
CHL2T
Handle it Man!

User ID: 989605
United States
11/26/2012 01:47 AM

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You all sound like democrats, compassionate, caring, and generous to those less fortunate then us. Why you vote the other way I'll never understand.
 Quoting: forgetmenot


Oh lord......shut the fuck up already
Behind every great fortune, there is a crime ~ Balzac

He was and was not, He was encompassed in the name yet not encompassed in the name, having as yet no name other than the desire to be called by a name.... ~Umberto Eco

Daydreaming without action is just hallucinating......
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 27988886
United States
11/26/2012 01:55 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Sadly, this cruel fiction story has been making the rounds on the internet since 1995.

Stevie is actually a 19 year old Obama supporter who is perfectly healthy.

Just kiddin. Five stars!
 Quoting: Super Bowl Dave


no kidding about it.

2009 it came out.

Enjoy your liberal hell you voted for.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1326993
United States
11/26/2012 02:20 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
I would like my five minutes of life back.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1227147
United States
11/26/2012 02:25 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
I worked a truck stop with a retard once. He damn near killed a friend of his in an industrial drier. Like the tard in this story, his momma was his ride and friend.
Dwight got fired for having a stash of porno mags in the laundry room.

I was 19 then. Never worked with a certified tard since.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 17579430
United States
11/26/2012 02:30 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
hmmm...

check the related threads
Horus
User ID: 19949961
11/26/2012 02:35 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
entire beaches
and most the land;
all counted he teaches,
tiny specks of . (sand)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28091206
United States
11/26/2012 02:44 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
FACT:

in 1976, My girl friend died.
I sold all our stuff in garage sale
and I hit the road hitch hiking
said I wanted to find where I should be
I went most everyplace east of the Mississippi
I met some most awesome people


But truckers
with their interconnected radios
talking with each other
were just AWESOME!

I spent 18 months on the road
by choice
because it was being such an adventure

it would take too much typing to say what truckers did for me
beyond providing meals
and lodging

but what I want to say
is that with their two way radios
I witnessed many things

this story may be fiction
but I bet many truckers recognize
the truckers this story celebrates

when I got to where I decided to settle
because of a daughter of a trucker that had just passed away
we had truckers for months
18 wheelers
come down our private dirt road
bringing gifts and cold hard cash
sometimes delivering for other truckers

the story may be fiction
but what it says about
many truckers
is truth!
Doc Savage

User ID: 21748249
United States
11/26/2012 03:08 AM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
OP, it doesn't matter to me if Stevie's story is fiction.

I'd just been feeling a bit depressed after watching some videos of selfish, soulless fools acting like savage animals at Black Friday sales. But this story brought me right back to the fact that there are a LOT of kind and generous people in this country -- and truckers are among the best of that breed.

Thanks, AC...

5-star rating



Last Edited by Doc Savage on 11/26/2012 03:14 AM
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1760050
South Africa
11/26/2012 03:23 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Why I believe this story..

Below is the number of a large retail store in South Africa where another Stevie works. All the Naysayers take up the challenge and email them and ask them about one of their grocery packers with Downs Syndrome.

He is just like Stevie

[link to www.yellowpages.co.za]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 22083480
Switzerland
11/26/2012 03:44 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
bsflag

nice story but a work of fiction...
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