MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) – The Whitey’s Ice Cream shop on 41st St. in Moline has its fair share of regular customers.
“There’s a gentleman that comes in every day, Elmer is his name, and he’s a character,” manager Rhonda VanDyke said.
Every now and then, VanDyke and her co-manager, Madonna, like to cover Elmer’s bill.
“And Madonna even treated him on his birthday to a giftcard,” VanDyke said.
VanDyke has worked there for years, but 16-year-old Brenden McGee only has three months under his belt. It’s his first job, but, already, he’s picking up on the store’s standards.
“Well, a lady came through the drive through,” McGee said. “She was pretty upset. She was crying.”
It happened last week. McGee says the woman could hardly speak. Finally, he understood, she wanted to order a shake.
“And then I made it for her and I handed it to her and I’m like, your shake is on me tonight, you have a good night,” McGee said.
She smiled and drove away. Earlier this week, she returned and asked to speak with a manager.
“I was really shocked actually,” McGee said. “I didnt expect her to come back.”
“You never know, when someone asks for a manager, if it’s going to be good or bad,” VanDyke added.
But it was good. The woman told VanDyke about McGee’s kind act and explained why she was distraught that day.
“She told me that, you know, she had just lost her husband a few weeks ago, and it was really tough, and I understood where she was coming from because I’ve had the same experience and so I felt really bad for her, but it was really cool that Brenden could cheer her up,” VanDyke said.
The woman also asked VanDyke whether Whitey’s would be able to give him recognition.
“I said no, we don’t have any employee of the month kind of thing, but we do let our office know,” VanDyke said.
So they put a note under his employee file and a small, “Way to go Brenden” sign in back room for his small act of kindness, which, for the woman, went a long way.
“It definitely is better to be kind and polite, I mean, we automatically have to be polite to people, but it’s always nice to go that extra mile,” McGee said.