A dad has shared a heart-rending snap of an elderly gent who 'dressed up' and polished his shoes to go to Wetherspoons – only to be allegedly ignored by staff because he didn't have the app to order his first post-lockdown drink.
Thoughtful Mark Farrier said he felt compelled to buy two pints of lager for the 'old fella' , who was sat on his own in a Cardiff pub.
The thermal engineer, 39, said the 'old boy' found himself unable to quench his thirst because he didn't have the app on his phone and staff walked past him for 15 minutes, the Mirror reports.
An emotional picture shows the 79-year-old sat in the bar in his smart jacket, at last downing two pints bought for him by Mark.
Hundreds have since praised the act of kindness after the image went viral on social media.
Others said pensioners are often forgotten about by pubs, who need to do more to make everybody feel welcome.
Mark's giving nature was praised by Wetherspoons, but the pub said customers could not order at the bar due to coronavirus restrictions and should instead ask staff at the table or use the app.
Mark, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, said: "I just felt a bit sorry for him. He looked like he needed a bit of company.
"He looked like he'd polished his shoes and got a little bit dressed up. He said he'd been sitting in the house on his own.
"I could see him trying to get the attention of the waiter and he just flew past him a few times. He was just trying to get their attention and they were just bombing past.
"I saw him sitting there looking into space on his own. I left it for five minutes, so I said let's get him a pint. We bought him two pints. I just posted to raise awareness and to help people out.
"A lot of elderly people will be in this position this week. All I did was buy him a pint. He couldn't use the app so I bought him one. Most people should be doing that."
Mark says everyone should look out for older people in society as they may not have smartphones, which leads to problems when pubs need drinkers to order their bevs online.
He continued: "I'd just finished work and we were out afterwards.
"I stayed at the hotel around the corner from there. We always pop in and try and get dinner.
"I know it was their first day opening and there was only one person doing table service, but they could have acknowledged him and said 'alright, give me five minutes and I'll take your order'.
"The staff were really nice and polite. When I confronted them, they apologised and said there's only one person doing table service."
Social media reactions ranged from gratitude for Mark's generosity to people upset at the OAP alone with no drink.
Daniella Blechner said: "It's exclusive and lacks the human connection we all crave. I really feel for this man."
Rasmus Knutsson said: "The elderly used to be sought out for advice, now they are treated as useless and troublesome. Even from a purely selfish standpoint mankind is pretty stupid. Because we are all heading there."
Michele J. said: "Thank you for sharing. It annoys and upsets me when businesses forget that not all people – especially the more mature of our country – don't own computers/smart phones/ tablets (47% over 65).
"They should not be excluded from our society just because it's easier for businesses to operate that way. I commend you Mark and your friends for making this gentleman feel included."
A spokesman for Wetherspoons, Eddie Gershon, said: "At present, as a result of Covid restrictions, customers can't order at the bar.
"Instead our pubs across the UK allow customers to pay and order with a member of staff as well as using the Wetherspoon app.
"We are not sure why this individual customer was not served, but we can guarantee that he was not ignored by staff.
"It was a lovely gesture of the fellow customer to intervene and buy him a couple of pints.
"We salute him for doing this."
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