One Special Moment

Discussion created by anadyr on Nov 7, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 9, 2011 by arkwright

We've been working at the edges of this, but most of us have been travelers for a long while and in the course of those travels we have met some extraordinary people who have gone far beyond what we expected to make our journey better, actually more than that, memorable! 


How about a thread on these wonderful people?  It does not have to be Marriott related folks but certainly they are welcome.  Just remember no last names, a kind of rule in Insiders.


I got a call at Christmas several years ago that my elderly Mom in Florida needed emergency surgery to repair a heart problem.  Living alone she had taken herself to the hospital and called me from there. The surgery was planned for the next morning so I rushed over to the Monterey airport to buy what I assumed would be an extremely expensive open jaw go and return ticket on United. 


Chuck, the Customer Service Rep at United, listened to my request to make a holiday time visit to Orlando with interest and then asked "why the hurry?"


I mentioned the plight of my Mom and it got his fingers racing across the keyboard.  "You are now 'an employee' of United and listed as having non-bump standby status, and your flight leaves in three hours.  You'll be in Orlando at 5 am." (he smiled and winked).


I thanked him as he handed me a confirmed First Class roundtrip ticket, and asked how much.


Chuck said with a smile, "Just the tax, it think it's forty six dollars."


I thanked him, paid, went home, got on the flights and arrived at the hospital near Orlando at 7:45 in time to sign the papers for my Mom's surgery, which was successful. I spent eight weeks getting her to the point that she could be living alone again.


Coming home in early February I expected to see Chuck greeting us at the bottom of the ramp.  He was not there, so I asked, and another employee told me that Chuck had died on the job while assisting another customer, a surgeon, who was at that point just checking in.  Chuck suffered a stroke and could not be revived, sadly.


About 500 people were at his memorial service, filling the cathedral. Talking with some whom I knew I discovered that Chuck had done favors for other folks, but in my heart, it was his kindness that got me to Florida at a critical time.