My Father-in-Law Humiliated a Waiter, but Karma Struck When He Least Expected It

At the risk of coming across as too dramatic, I’ve always thought that there is karma. The adage “what goes around, comes around” comes to mind. But I never imagined that it would happen the way it did, or as quickly, as it did one evening with my father-in-law (FIL), Benjamin.

The premise of this man, bless his heart, is that the entire cosmos, in all its cosmic majesty, revolves around him and is ultimately meant to provide for all of his desires. And karma chose this very day to make him face truth.

A man looking straight at the camera with tools behind him | Source: Pexels
A man standing with tools behind him and facing directly into the camera | Source: Pexels

× Allow me to illustrate: Linda, my husband Sam, and I were out to dinner with him at a neighborhood eatery Benjamin insisted was the “best in the state.” He’s the type of man who puts in orders like he’s ready for a food crisis—four burgers, fries, the whole thing!

After our waiter brought us our lunch and left, our patient server came back to the kitchen. Little did my FIL know that this would be the beginning of an epic story of instant karma.

A waiter taking down an order at a restaurant | Source: Pixabay

A server at a restaurant accepting orders | Source: Pixabay

As soon as the returning waiter realized there was a “missing” burger, Benjamin exploded like a volcano, and we watched in dismay as his face was painted with dismay and wrath. “Four burgers was my order. “Why are there only three?!” he yelled, drawing unwelcome attention from across the table.

The ever-patient server reassured him, quite nicely, “I made sure I put them all in the bag, sir.”

“Are you blind? Just three remain.” His condescending voice broke through the din of patrons inside the restaurant.

A waiter holding four burgers on a serving board | Source: Freepik

Four hamburgers are being held by a server on a platter | Source: Freepik

I was about to speak up at this point to support this poor woman who was merely trying to go about her job, but my husband knew his father would simply take off in a phony rage and cause more of a commotion. Knowing that I couldn’t bear to see anyone treated unfairly, he gently took hold of my hand and urged me to keep quiet.

Sam’s instincts are always right, especially when it comes to his father, so I retreated and took a seat, observing the spectacle.

A woman reacting in shock while the man besides her stays calm | Source: Pexels

A shocked woman reacts, while the man next to her maintains his composure | Source: Pexels

The server apologized, realizing that Benjamin was one of those irrational customers who thought they were always right. “Sorry, Sir,” she said. “I’ll fetch you an additional one,” yet her response indicated that she was positive she had brought all four.

We sat there staring at him in contempt as the innocent woman left to fetch my avaricious FIL a fifth burger, but we kept quiet so as not to escalate the conflict. Benjamin appeared temporarily satisfied with the waiter’s suggestion, a black cloud of a smirk growing across his face.

He had no idea that the universe was going to give him a GIANT helping of humility!

A waiter about to serve a plate with a burger and fries | Source: Pixabay

A server about to deliver a platter of fries and a burger | Source: Pixabay

When we finally arrived home, the smugness soon gave way to complete terror. When my FIL noticed his wallet was missing, his face became white as a sheet! Tension increased as he looked about wildly, his thoughts going back to the restaurant.

With knowing looks, my spouse and I were surrounded by silent thoughts.

Strangely, when my FIL contacted the restaurant out of desperation, the same waiter answered! You could almost feel the serenity in her voice when she stated that she had found his wallet! However, the news had a significant twist that he hadn’t anticipated.

A happy waiter speaking on the phone | Source: Freepik

A content waitress using a phone | Source: Freepik.

The waiter told him about the odd policy of the restaurant, which my FIL had always made fun of on the menus and walls of the establishment: any lost items that were not claimed within an hour would be given to a charitable organization!

It hit him like a freight train, the understanding! He informed us, “I think they gave away all my money, we need to go back,” as soon as he hung up the phone. To be honest, I thought justice had been done when I saw him in such distress and terror, but that was just the beginning!

A stressed looking man | Source: Pexels

A man who appears anxious | Source: Pexels

When we returned in a hurry to the restaurant, we encountered the height of irony. With a victorious smile on his face, the waiter gave him an envelope from the nonprofit and thanked him for his “kind donation” before serving him a “free beverage.”

There were receipts inside, showing how the money in his wallet bought dinner for a number of the homeless that night!

A rare moment of humility replaced the customary pomp and circumstance as silence fell around him. My husband took this moment to gently address his father’s behavior, igniting a heartfelt discussion about respect, gratitude, and the ripple effect of our actions.

A happy waiter holding a glass and shot pourer for a drink | Source: Freepik

A cheerful server with a shot pourer and glass for a beverage | Source: Freepik

“Dad, you know what you did to that waiter was wrong, and it’s probably why you forgot your wallet at the restaurant,” he told him when we got to the safety of the car. “You always have this idea that you can do anything you want and there won’t be consequences,” Sam said.

With tears in his eyes, he added, “You know that’s part of the reason why Mom isn’t with us today.”

What my husband was referring to was how Benjamin ended up living with us because his wife, Sam’s mother, divorced him and took everything. My FIL repeatedly cheated on Diana, a sweet and loving woman who would’ve given the world to Benjamin.

A man pleading with a woman | Source: Pexels

A man pleading with a woman | Source: Pexels

When she finally got tired of his entitlement, she took him to the cleaners in court, sharing a folder and footage of years of private investigations she’d done on her husband to prove his guilt. She’d known throughout his marriage about his infidelity but only confronted him once or twice, where he pompously told her:

“I am the MAN in this household, and I don’t have to answer to YOU!”

However, he definitely “answered” to her when she filed for divorce and won everything before selling it all and relocating to another country. Only Sam and I had contact with her via texts and sometimes video calls.

A happy couple on a video call on a laptop | Source: Pexels

A happy couple on a video call on a laptop | Source: Pexels

It was a painful yet cathartic experience for all, especially for my FIL, who had never acknowledged facing the consequences of his entitlement in such a direct and immediate way. The incident at the restaurant and Sam’s heartfelt confrontation marked a turning point, not just for my FIL but for our family as a whole.

The lesson from karma was a clear and profound one that led the man who once embodied entitlement and arrogance to vow to change. He began a journey of volunteering and connection with those he had overlooked—the homeless people who’d benefited from his loss.

A homeless person sitting on the floor | Source: Pixabay

A homeless person sitting on the floor | Source: Pixabay

Our family dinners, once tense affairs, transformed into sessions of meaningful conversation and laughter. My FIL, previously the source of strife, became the catalyst for unity, embodying the transformative power of kindness and empathy.

So, there it is: A story of how a misplaced wallet and a “missing” burger taught us all the invaluable lesson that no act of kindness, no matter how small, goes unnoticed by the universe. Karma, in its most poetic form, reminded us that humility and compassion pave the path to true fulfillment. And for my FIL, it was a lesson learned not a moment too late.

A man giving a high-five to someone off-camera | Source: Pexels

A man giving a high-five to someone off-camera | Source: Pexels

While Linda’s story about how karma finally knocked some sense into her FIL shows how sometimes it takes time for people to get the message, here’s another story that will make you halt before doing something stupid that you’ll regret later.

Sarah’s Story about Bad Karma against Her Dad That Will Make You Think Twice before Acting Out
In a classic tale of dinner drama turned karma jackpot, a Reddit user, let’s call him John, recounts a meal out with his then-fiancée, Sarah, and her less-than-stellar dad. Picture this: a cozy restaurant scene, our couple, and the dad who’s had a history of favoring his new family over Sarah.

A man having a meal at a restaurant | Source: Freepik

A man having a meal at a restaurant | Source: Freepik

As the night winds down, Dad offers to foot the bill, a gesture that seems nice until Sarah’s request for a to-go box for her leftovers sparks his snide remark about wasted fridge space. John, ever the knight in shining armor, steps in,

“Hey, that’s not your fridge to worry about, leave her be.”

But, oh, does that ruffle Dad’s feathers! He throws a fit, tossing the bill at John and storming out with a dramatic “FINE!” Poor Sarah’s caught in the middle, upset at John for stirring the pot. Now, here’s where the universe decides to spice things up.

While waiting for the bill, tensions high and Dad lurking outside, the waiter reveals they’re in the middle of an “every bill’s a winner” contest. Usually, it’s a free drink or appetizer on the line, but not tonight. Tonight, John and Sarah hit the jackpot – a trip for four to sunny Florida, all because karma decided Dad’s departure was the perfect moment for a grand prize win!

And so, our couple learns that sometimes, standing up for your loved ones not only brings you closer but might just land you a vacation in the process. As for Dad, well, let’s hope he’s learned something about kindness and maybe, just maybe, he’ll get a postcard from Florida.

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