Shining Armor and a Dirty Job

My story of chivalry doesn’t involve anything that will change the world, but I think it’s a fine example of a knight in shining armor.

It happened several years ago when I was on vacation. I was staying in a large hotel just outside the French quarter in New Orleans. Little did I know there was a huge convention of some kind coming into town on the day I was leaving. The convention center was just a block away, and when I got down to the lobby to check out, it was total chaos. Hundreds of high-powered business executives were trying to get checked in, and the staff was totally swamped. It took me about half an hour to get checked out, mostly because none of these VPs and sales reps had any time or patience for some lazy guy on vacation.

Unfortunately, when I got to my car in the hotel parking lot, I found that the battery was dead. I had left the headlights on all night. I tried waving to a few passing cars in the lot, but everyone was too wrapped up in getting to the convention. The drivers completely ignored me.

Finally, I went back to see if I could get one of the clerks or bellmen to call a tow truck. As I was shouting to be heard over all the hubbub in the lobby and explain my situation to the person at the desk, I felt a hand on my shoulder. A guy wearing a very nice suit said that he would take care of the problem.

We went down to the parking lot, he brought his car over and got mine started with his jumper cables in just a few minutes. It was only when he got out to disconnect the cables that I noticed the little gold name tag hanging from his jacket read, “Hotel General Manager.”

I guess he had just been walking by the desk and heard me asking for help. I’m sure his yearly salary was probably more than I’ll make in my whole life, and there were probably a dozen overworked employees he could have ordered to take on the dirty job of giving my car a jump, but he did it himself. He didn’t make a big deal about his title or his position, he just came to the aid of a stranger in need, and that is chivalry. He’ll always have my respect and thanks.

Dave Mendoza, Arizona

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