So my experience has been that you can never anticipate when just the right person somehow magically is placed in your path but miraculously it happens when we least expect it but most need it.
A few years ago I was visiting the most magical place on earth and fortunate enough to be staying at their most wonderful hotel. After a very long plane trip that involved switching planes and a long delay marked by weather and mechanical problems, my great kid and I arrived at the hotel many, many hours after we should have. While flying is almost always the fastest way to get anywhere, the side effects of sitting and not moving for too many hours are tired muscles and swollen ankles. Because of a broken foot I had suffered a few years earlier, the swollen ankle syndrome tends to be exacerbated on a plane and I’m afraid by the time we checked in, I was in a lot of pain.
Bed rest helped a lot but the next day I was still limping a bit and walking on it seemed to make it worse. I needed to retrieve my rental car so I could head to the local CVS Minute Clinic and get checked out but my rental car was parked an incredibly far distance from the entrance to the hotel. I asked one of the people at bell services if they could take me to the car in a golf cart and they promised they would and asked me to have a seat. I did and I waited. And waited. And waited some more. After about 40 minutes, I didn’t see any sign of a golf cart so I went back to bell services and found out the person who had spoken to me had apparently gone off duty and forgotten to call for the cart.
It wasn’t a big deal and I figured I’d just head back to the room and ice my foot and try again later. And that’s when the young lady I spoke to – Angel – told me to sit down and ran off to get a golf cart right away to take me to my car. She hurried back, got me settled in, took me to my car and helped me out of the cart. She couldn’t have been nicer and I made sure to get her name so I could let the management at the hotel know how great she’d been.
But the next day showed me how much of a truly great person she really was. She called our room and asked who my favorite Disney character was (Wall-E, by the way) and a few hours later I got a delivery to my room with a Wall-E figure and a photo signed by Mickey Mouse (the real one, I promise) saying he hoped I felt better. When I called bell services to thank Angel, she brushed it off as no big deal and then told me she had arranged for us to have valet parking at the hotel for the rest of the week so that we wouldn’t have to walk a long way to retrieve my car, just in case my ankle didn’t get better as quickly as I hoped.
I know we are all surprised these days when we get great customer service because too many companies don’t place the emphasis on that when training their employees. What used to be something that was the norm is now the exception. And Disney is a company famous for its great customer service, as I have experienced many, many times. But this went beyond fantastic customer service. Angel took care of me, followed up with me, checked in with me and inspired me with her kindness and extraordinary commitment to providing a great experience to all of the lucky customers who crossed paths with her.
I am blessed to still have Angel in my life these many years later. She still sends me a text on Mother’s Day and Christmas and I still try to pay back her kindness to me every year by sending her a little thank you gift to remind her how much her one simple act mattered and how I will never forget how God placed an Angel in my path when I needed one.