Bella Haig is eighty years of age, and has been a server at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles for fifty of those years. Early last Friday morning, she reportedly received the largest tip of her career, $150, from the lead singer of rock band U2. She didn’t know who he was when he came in with some friends after U2’s performance nearby, but when she approached to take their orders he asked her to recommend an appetizer. As she told CBS LA:
I went to the back and I said “this guy doesn’t look Jewish, but I’m going to get him some matzoh ball soup with carrots and noodles and chicken.”
She reports that Bono enjoyed the soup to the last drop, and asked her to recommend an entree, so she served him up a Reuben sandwich, which he also very much appreciated. She had been clued in by colleagues that he was in fact a famous rock star, but still was surprised by the generous $150 tip he gave her. She also told CBS LA:
I was happy to wait on him. He looks better in person actually than on stage.
The octogenarian says she used the tip to take her own family out to dinner.
Things didn’t go quite as well in the PR department for CBS head honcho Les Moonves, who reportedly earns an annual salary of over $60 million, and was recently caught on videotape failing to tip a valet who brought him his car as he left a birthday party for media magnate Sumner Redstone. Moonves’ problem apparently was that (as he thumbed through his visibly large wad of cash) he realized that he only had one hundred dollar bills. “Get you next time,” he said.
And maybe he will, if there is a next time, if he ever sees that particular valet again. But I think you’d have to say that Bono seems to have a better appreciation of the importance and value of being generous in the moment, before it passes.
Les Moonves, unfortunately—thanks to a camera and the internet—is now stuck in a moment he’ll never get out of …