This past holiday season, my husband and I decided to take our 2 college-aged daughters and our 2 high-school-aged sons on a family trip in lieu of Christmas presents. After searching online for great holiday destinations, my husband and I decided on Quebec City, Canada. We thought a trip with experiences would have a longer lasting impression on them and would make great family memories. Lovely memories were accomplished along with so much more ~ a lesson from the heart.
On the last day of our trip, we weren’t flying out until the evening, so we decided to spend the afternoon in Montreal before heading to the airport. We packed up the car at our hotel and headed for Montreal. We parked in what we thought was a safe public parking lot on a very busy corner in broad daylight. We had most of our things in the car including our heavy backpacks that everyone used as carry-ons. Upon returning to our car, we noticed that someone had smashed a backseat window of our SUV and stolen the three backpacks from the middle seats. My husband called the police who refused to come, but told us to instead come to the police station. At this point, we had to go catch our flight so there was no time. The police said we could do an online police report, but there wasn’t a lot of hope for recovering our items.
The next day once we were home, which was New Year’s Eve, our 19-year-old daughter received a Facebook friend request from an unknown person. She accepted their request, and the person sent her a message that he and his wife had found the three backpacks in a parking lot, saw her ID, and decided to track her down. My husband got his phone number and called him to make sure everything was above board. This nice man is from Romania and didn’t speak English well, but told my husband that when they found the backpacks, they called the police and waited several hours. The police were not responsive, so they decided to take matters in their own hands to try to contact us. To our surprise, he insisted on mailing the backpacks to us. This sensitive man knew these were items that were hard to replace, such as key fobs, prescription eyeglasses, etc.
The story continues...apparently, there is a lot of red tape with sending things from Canada to the United States. Between several trips for this man to the UPS store, lots of paperwork to fill out, and many conversations between him and my husband, he was able to send a box with the backpacks to us. The man carefully packaged and boxed up the items so they would not break. It took about 10 days of back and forth to get this accomplished. We are forever grateful to this man for taking the time to do this for us. His extraordinary gesture saved us lots of money on replacing the items and gave us back items with high emotional value too. Would it have been easier for him to walk away and not go through the trouble? Of course!
This man managed to restore my faith in humanity after a crushing blow on the last day of our trip. This experience made me reflect on the day-to-day decisions I make to be of assistance to others, even when it isn’t easy. In the customer service/hospitality industry, there are always challenges to tackle and customers who need our assistance. This is the time to step out of our comfort zone and go above and beyond to assist those who need it. Let us all challenge ourselves to find ways to make someone’s life a little brighter, to pay it forward, and do the right thing, even if it isn’t the easiest.