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‘Bleak’ and ‘depressing’: Supposedly feel-good story about 89-year-old pizza delivery man getting $12k tip backfires

‘Bleak’ and ‘depressing’: Supposedly feel-good story about 89-year-old pizza delivery man getting $12k tip backfires
A supposedly ‘feel-good’ story about an 89-year-old pizza delivery man receiving a huge tip to help pay his monthly bills backfired, with social media users more angered that the octogenarian had to work into old age to survive.

Derlin Newey from Utah’s Weber County works 30 hours a week delivering pizzas for Papa John’s because he can’t afford his monthly bills on social security alone. The man’s story gained attention after Carlos Valdez, a TikToker who got to know him through his deliveries, raised $12 thousand from his followers, gave the money to Newey as a tip, and filmed the whole thing.

“How do I ever say thank you? I don’t know what to say,” the elderly delivery man said, as he began to cry.

Local NBC affiliate KSL-TV broadly presented the situation as a heartfelt, uplifting story which showed that “being kind really pays off” – although the news segment did show Valdez commenting that “somebody at that age should not be working that much.”

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Twitter users, while awed by Valdez’s kindness, weren’t as blown away by the tale. Some commented that it was “bleak” and “depressing” that the systems in place allow old people to live so poorly that they resort to delivering pizzas to survive and pay their monthly bills. 

One user sarcastically quipped that if people gave every working 89-year-old such handouts it would shrink the octogenarian labor pool.

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