This Waitress Served A Cowboy Who Seemed So Out Of Place – Then What He Left As Tip Made Her Gasp

On the surface, Rosalynd Harris and Jason White had nothing in common. However, the waitress still had to serve the Texan Trump supporter two days after the new president’s inauguration. What happened next? Well, it could only be attributed to Harris’ warm smile, White’s eye-opening, first-hand experience of America’s political conversation and the country’s enduring values.

Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., is just about the last place where you’d expect to see a cowboy. The restaurant – named after former busboy and noted poet Langston Hughes – also serves as a community gathering place. In fact, this is where “racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted” and “art, culture, and politics intentionally collide,” according to the establishment’s website.

Perhaps that’s why waitress Rosalynd Harris was surprised to see a table full of Texans sitting in the restaurant when she clocked in for her shift. The men, too, were aware that they stood out. Their pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” hats didn’t quite go with the restaurant’s walls, which are decorated with African-American art.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jason White, 37, was one of the three men sat in Harris’ section on January 23, 2017. He and his friends had flown from Texas to the nation’s capital in order to attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration on the previous Friday.

The pals also checked out the capital’s most notable landmarks, including Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And their trip additionally coincided with the Women’s March on Washington, which took place on January 21, 2017 – just one day after Trump had sworn his oath of office.

ADVERTISEMENT

The significance of this background? Well, White said that the whole experience – different political opinions being shared harmoniously, the landmarks reiterating mutual American values – moved him to do what he did for Harris, 25.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have to think about being better Americans, we have to look into ourselves and how we treat one another,” he told The Washington Post. “If everyone did a little something to show respect… we can love one another.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, despite the fact that White and his friends stuck out like sore thumbs at Busboys and Poets, Harris served them with her best face forward. The waitress had attended the Women’s March the day before, but she didn’t let her own political convictions get in the way of her work.

ADVERTISEMENT

Harris did admit that she assumed the three men were in town to support Trump. Still, that didn’t stop her from providing them with the same cheerful service that she gives all of her customers. “What a smile did was actually spark a motive in someone that was really beautiful,” she told Fox News.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over the course of the meal, the men racked up a tab of $72.60. Typically, American waiters and waitresses can each expect anywhere from a 15 to 20 percent tip for their service, depending on the quality of their work. In other words, Harris was expecting $14.50 max for her time spent serving White and his friends.

ADVERTISEMENT

But instead, White decided to thank Harris for her hospitality in a big way: unbeknownst to even his friends who dined with him, he left behind a 625 percent tip on their bill. That totaled $450 in the waitress’ pocket – just for her showing a kind face amid political differences. And alongside the money, Harris left a note to explain his out-of-the-ordinary kindness.

ADVERTISEMENT

The note read, “We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American. God Bless!”

ADVERTISEMENT

For Harris, the note itself was enough to move her; she didn’t even need to see the tip to feel emotionally overwhelmed by White’s unexpected kindness. That said, the waitress had recently begun to pick up additional shifts at the restaurant in order to pay the upfront costs of moving from one apartment to another.

ADVERTISEMENT

In fact, she had only taken the job at Busboys and Poets in the first place because she needed the money to pad out her income. Harris is a professional dancer by trade, but her paychecks for performing aren’t always enough to cover her expenses.

ADVERTISEMENT

Needless to say, then, the extra-large tip was a huge weight off her shoulders, as she told The Washington Post. But that said, the entire exchange meant so much more to Harris, who was still feeling the good vibes from the Women’s March on Washington the day before.

ADVERTISEMENT

Moreover, Harris said that she was instantly reminded not to judge any book by its cover. “This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing,” she continued. “It instills a lot of hope.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The simple fact that he didn’t want to create a scene but just wanted to let me know that this was a great experience and this is what he hopes for people in general – it was very touching. It’s really amazing and makes me want to go about my interactions with that kind of energy more often,” she told Fox News.

ADVERTISEMENT

The restaurant, meanwhile, decided to share the note on its Twitter feed, and the post quickly racked up thousands of likes, retweets and positive comments. Even Rosalynd’s regular customers expressed delight – but not shock – about her personality paying dividends. However, not everyone agreed with the praise that was lavished on White and his friends.

ADVERTISEMENT

One patron at the restaurant, Jason Reynolds, said, “I’m not going to applaud these guys for being decent. I just can’t. I recognize the gesture, and I commend them for extending themselves, but it’s not necessary, and it shouldn’t have to be necessary for you to see me or anyone who is unlike you as just like you. Period.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Yet White hoped the gesture would demonstrate what he had learned during his weekend in Washington, D.C. Specifically, that Americans are all Americans and that, deep down, no two people are as different as they may appear to be on the surface. Moreover, he promised to live by that notion from then on – and hoped others would do the same.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As I sat there I thought about the entire weekend and I thought I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me,” he told The Washington Post. “But if most Americans have a preconceived perception about people then we’re never going to get better.”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT