Who knew a story about Tom the Costco doorman could restore one’s faith in humanity?

An update on Tom Goessman, a longtime doorman at Seattle’s Costco, drew hundreds of heartfelt responses from readers. What did he have that we all seem to need?

If you want to restore your faith in humanity, a colleague said the other morning, read the readers’ comments.

She had to be kidding.

The comments under an online news story are a saloon I step into with one hand on my holster. One person makes a valid, thoughtful point, but then two stools down, someone pops off with a sexist or racist comment. Someone else weighs in on that and one scroll later, a full-on brawl has broken out, the subject of the story long forgotten.

Asked & Answered

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That didn’t happen with my story on Tom Goessman, the longtime doorman at the Costco Warehouse on Fourth Avenue South in Seattle who was beloved for guessing members’ totals before looking at their receipts, and for drawing pictures for their kids. Goessman, who contracted polio as a child and got around in a wheelchair, recently moved to Glendale, Arizona, for health reasons.

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The update — which also kicked off a new feature we’re calling “Asked and Answered,” where we research readers’ questions — drew an unexpected wave of positive comments, Facebook likes and responses about how Goessman connected with people.

Someone named “SeattleSpinMD” wrote about buying his now-wife’s engagement ring at the warehouse store. When he saw Goessman was working, MD picked up a bag of chips and some razors “just to throw him off.”

“When I rolled up in front of him, he looked in and said, ‘$23’ confidently,” MD wrote. “I handed him the receipt, he looked at it and without missing a beat, he put out his hand to shake mine and said, ‘Wow — getting married to trick me — that’s a good one….

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