A Struggle

This man in the picture is a waiter at a restaurant called Tuti Beiruti in Olaya. We have been ordering food from them for about 10 years now.
Come storm, come rain or be it a hot summer day, this man and other waiters like him work around the clock, make deliveries and even clean up the restaurant! How much could they be getting each month? 800? 1000? Not more than this I am sure.
Well, every time we order food, and these guys deliver, we tip them. Five riyals or ten riyals, depending on what change is available in the pocket. I have even given two riyals once because that was all the change I had. Response? A most humble thank you. Gratitude. Constant excellence in service.
Today, as I went to pick up some food from Tuti, I asked this man while I waited outside: What is your real income?
” We send every penny of our salary home, and have nothing left each month. We get food and shelter from the restaurant AND we survive on the tips you give us”
So I made a calculation. Say, 10 deliveries minimum per day? That’s say an average tip of 4 riyals per delivery? 40 riyals per day times 30 equals to 1200 riyals extra each month. I told him this and suggested they increase deliveries. He stared at me. What? I said, don’t you understand?
He smiled slightly, and he said, ” Sir, you are one of the very few or maybe the ONLY one that tips us. We would not dare ask for it. I once told one of your neighbors that you tip us well. They called and complained about me after slamming the door on my face. Sir, every riyal counts. Allah bless you”
He just looked at me with a smile that could burst into tears, said salam and got on his little scooter ( that’s what he is doing in the pic) and left to make another delivery…
Need I say more about how our people have no hearts in their chests anymore? 4 riyals for you is money you forgot in your jeans pocket. For him, its bread and butter. Be grateful to God and nice to those that serve you!

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