A 17-year-old boy in Virginia, USA was upset and shamed by callous comments that ended up going viral. The young man decided to get back at the woman and the entire restaurant in the best way he knew how.
No one was expecting such an unreal turnaround and she didn’t see it coming. Now the whole world was watching her every move.
As a young person, eating out on your own dime is a luxury that many teens forgo. So when you’ve eventually saved up enough to treat not only yourself but some of your friends as well, you hardly give a thought to what form your money comes in, plastic, paper, or coins.
It might not have been on his mind, but apparently he was about to make a major faux pas.
A Part-Time Job
The 17-year-old in question was none other than Cohen Naulty. He was working as many kids do as a waiter during his senior year of high school for work experience, as well as to bring in some extra money to do the things he enjoyed in life.
He didn’t realize that the path he was on would change his life forever.
Working as a waiter meant that Cohen often got most of his money in tips, and tips tend to be in, you guessed it… small change. Change like quarters. Now Cohen could make endless trips to the bank after every few shifts, but that seemed like a lot of extra steps before spending his money in the best way he knew how…
Taking friends out for food. After what happened he would have to think twice about spoiling people.
Cohen had finally collected a whopping stash of coins and was pretty sure he would be able to take out some friends and leave a great tip for the server too. It wasn’t the dinner that was to make waves, but the quarters he paid for it with.
He never imagined that such a sweet gesture would cause such a backlash.
It wasn’t long after the very enjoyable pub lunch with friends that it all turned sour. It was only by chance that Cohen saw the scathing post, written by an obviously overly entitled waitress.
The post is a picture of Cohen’s bill surrounded by the quarters he paid with, accompanied by an extremely hurtful caption.
Just Plain Mean
Cohen was quick to see the mean-spirited post on Facebook, but it was too late. Everyone who knew him had seen it too. He couldn’t control the torrent of emotions that bubbled to the surface. He was feeling hurt and embarrassed that the waitress at his favorite restaurant would post something like that about him.
So, what had the rude waitress written that had caused such a stir? And would she get away with it?
Tears Turn To Rage
Cohen was mild-mannered by nature, and not one to cause a fuss. He held back the tears, at first. But the more he read the waitress’ audacious words, the angrier he became. How dare she? And when he realized that they had also ridiculed his mom, he saw red.
The post began: “We’ll just caption this… “How NOT to pay at a restaurant,” but it didn’t end there, the worst was still to come.
She Had Gone Too Far
The post continued, “cause that’s the nicest thing we can think to say about this ridiculousness.” While the post is embarrassing enough for any patron, it was the hashtags that really started shaming the young man… #nohometraining being a direct dig at Cohen implying that his parents did a bad job raising him.
Cohen wasn’t going to take this lying down. A strange sense of calm washed over him as he plotted. The nasty waitress, as well as the restaurant, were in for a surprise.
Hatching A Plan
Cohen thought carefully about his payback plan. It would require commitment and effort to work. He was after so much more than petty revenge now. No, he’d go a step further. The staff at Beer 88, and particularly that snide waitress, were going to pay. They would never see it coming. It would be spectacular.
But then, something unexpected happened. And Cohen knew that it would work in his favor.
Not A Good Look
Posting anything negative online is just never a good look for any company. Once the general public started reading it they were not shy to tell Beer 88 just how inappropriate their little in-house joke was. The community began to rally for Cohen. Beer 88 was quick to take down the offending post because once it started getting negative reviews, they just kept coming. But they weren’t quite quick enough because Cohen had already taken a screenshot and posted it to his own page.
Little did they know, he was plotting his personal revenge.
When Cohen saw the comments flooding in from Facebook users and former patrons of Beer 88, he almost laughed. He knew that he could sit back and let the restaurant feel the wrath of the community that was clearly on his side. After all, they had it coming.
But would all the backlash be enough of a rude awakening?
Time For Payback
Any normal teenager or, in fact, any adult, would probably take this opportunity to complain and moan about how embarrassed and angry they felt by being targeted on social media like this. But not Cohen. He simmered quietly and made a plan.
His revenge was far, far sweeter. Cohen had a novel idea and he wasted no time setting it in motion.
It wasn’t long before local news outlets caught wind of Cohen’s story. He was inundated by interviews, and he stood by his actions and his revenge.
“It’s just U.S. currency. I’m allowed to use it. It’s not illegal. I’m not doing anything wrong,” he told WSET. So, what did he decide to do about it?
Support From Friends
“They said we didn’t have any home training,” said one of Naulty’s friends to WSET. “That was dirty. That was one their hashtags was #nohometraining… we couldn’t believe they posted it on Facebook,” one of his friends said to WSET.
“If anybody met Cohen, they know it couldn’t be farthest things from the truth,” Kim Naulty, Cohen’s mother, told WSET. “And, you know, he’s a good kid.” But soon, everyone would know just what kind of person Cohen really was…
The Quarter Boy
‘The Quarter Boy’, in honor of the quarters he pays with, decided to take the high road. He did not shame the restaurant nor his server from Beer 88 that day, he did something far better.
He was intent on turning the awful negative experience into something positive for everyone, including himself. He didn’t even mention the restaurant by name… They’d dug their own social media grave on this one. What he said was simple and inspiring.
A Fantastic Idea
“Took a few friends out to lunch and only had enough to pay for their meals in quarters. I was blasted on FaceBook by the restaurant for paying in quarters. It was not a good day,” he wrote.
“Then I had a great idea. I love paying for people’s meals even if I have to scrape together my last quarters to do so.” This whole drama made Cohen realize just how much he loves buying people food and more importantly why. So why is Cohen so inspired?
Kindness And Quarters
His post continues and soon the genius behind what he is asking for is revealed, “Paying for someone’s meal can change a really bad day around in just one moment of kindness.”
“I would like to keep this going and make it fun. I am sure there are places out there that wouldn’t mind being paid in quarters and perhaps you can help me out by donating a little to help me pay for their meals!”
Cohen’s incredible idea was to set up a charity campaign. He then started a fund-raiser on his own FaceBook page to collect donations, all to be used to buy strangers a surprise meal.
“We will use 100% of the donations to pay for other’s meals and post videos of their reactions! If you would like to be part of my mission donate here!”
“If you are a restaurant that wouldn’t mind a register filled with quarters at the end of the night and a special treat for one of your patrons now and then please post so I know who I won’t offend by coming by,” Cohen added.
And, sure enough, there were plenty of restaurants who weren’t about to snub Cohen and his small change.
The fund-raiser took on a life of its own with people donating money, leaving comments and complimenting the decisions made by the generous young man.
One poster left this message on his page, “I’m so proud of you for putting so much good into the world. If there would only be more people like you, the world would be a more peaceful, trustworthy, and happy place.” And the money wasn’t bad either!
Food And More
When the fundraiser came to its completion Cohen had raised a total of $10,148.00. He took none of the money for himself, instead, sticking to his initial goal of helping others.
He still buys food for people but he does other things with his quarters too. “Had an awesome time filling up the coin laundry for some sweet folks today!” So do all the restaurants really hate being paid in coins?
Money Is Money
Well, no they don’t. Money is, after all, money. Some restaurants even supported Cohen’s campaign with their own donations — some donated money, others — pizza.
You can also often see post of Cohen walking around supermarkets giving out some gift vouchers. Other than his huge heart there is one other thing that makes him so well supported by his community…
What Will He Do Next?
A local TV company did a story about Cohen Naulty’s campaign and he kept up his own media presence by cleverly videoing all of his food giveaways.
He has treated kids and couples, policemen and students, the homeless and the hungry and there is no end in sight to what he will do next.
What About Revenge?
Cohen never once thought that his actions would have such a great impact on everyone that read about his mission. His motivation never was to become popular but his kindness has ensured that he made his way into people’s hearts.
Everyone is rooting for him, and why not? It’s a welcome relief to see people making a positive difference in the world today. As for his revenge?
Change Your Thinking
His revenge is what most people truly need in this day and age; the ability to let go and grow. Beer 88 could learn a few things from Cohen, especially when looking at their attitude toward their paying customers.
They later released an apology on their Facebook page that said: “It was posted as a joke, intended as a joke, and should be taken as a joke” but totally ruined any real apology when saying that paying in coins is “annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry.”
“We try to keep our page funny and relate-able, and had no idea that this would be offensive to anyone,” the apology continued.
Still rather rude when the boy left a $10 tip on a $20 bill!