It’s the sort of thing one might expect in the Wiregrass. But in a bigger city? Only if it’s in Alabama.

We’d imagine that if customers went into a restaurant anywhere else and began to wonder what was taking so long, they’d complain — loudly — or leave, or both. But in a Birmingham Waffle House last weekend, a group of late-night, early-morning customers found themselves in a crowded restaurant with only one worker rather than the usual team of Waffle House associates. A misunderstanding over scheduling left the man alone after the previous shift clocked out and the incoming shift didn’t arrive. So he did what any conscientious worker would do — he started taking orders and juggling at the grill.

Wiregrass area residents can be counted on to lend a hand; that’s apparent by the vibrant volunteer community and the generosity shown during United Way campaigns.

Apparently, there are good folks in Birmingham, too. Rather than berate the overworked lone Waffle House worker, customers grabbed aprons and got to work. One man started washing dishes. A woman dressed for a night on the town started a fresh pot of coffee. And another patron, moved by the scene unfolding before him, began to take photos and notes, and told the story to, and then to The Washington Post.

We’re pleased the story gained a broad audience. It seems that too often Alabama’s appearance on the nationwide stage is because of something that’s incredibly regrettable and not at all representative of the state’s rank-and-file residents.

There are far more Alabamians who are quick to offer assistance and random acts of kindness. It’s good that side of our citizenry got its due.

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