Friday, March 18, 2011

A Simple Act of Kindness

My dinner at the Event
Spring Roll, crab dip, chips, marinated veggies,
and Reuben sandwiches

At my advanced age (and man oh man I am really old now),  I sometimes think I can no longer be surprised.  But every now and then someone of something happens that catches me off guard and momentarily speechless.  Such an occurrence happened this past Wednesday while I was at work at my 3 to 11 shift at my hotel front desk clerk job in Lewes.

I arrived at work at my usual time of 2:45 pm and clocked in.  I noticed everything was cleared away in the kitchen where I clock in.  I asked Mike the maintenance man "Is something going on tonight?"  He said "Yes, we have an event."  For those of you who don't know what an 'event' is in hotel terms I'll explain it to you now.  

An "EVENT" is a gathering of people at the hotel for an "EVENT."  Pretty straight forward huh?  The event could be anything from a wedding reception to the local Rehoboth Film Society meetings.  The hotel where I work at in Lewes has twenty-two rooms and two VIP suites for guests to rent.  We also have two meeting rooms for 'events.'  Tonight an event was scheduled for the Lewes Chamber of Commerce 'mixer', which is nothing more than a gathering of local businessmen and women to get together and network.

These events are almost always catered by a local caterer.  Sometimes the event organizers bring their own snacks but that is a rarity.  In the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach/Milton area we have several fine caterers who serve up some mighty fine horse dervies which is washed down by red or white wine which is provided by the hotel.  Tonight was such an event.  

Events are good news and bad news for the front desk clerk.  First it disrupts my normal routine.  Since tonight's event was running from 5 to 7, that meant I wouldn't be able to eat my dinner at 6.  Also, it means I would be standing behind the front desk for hours.  When the event attendees arrive, the owner of the hotel prefers that the front desk clerk be standing behind the front desk to greet the guests as they arrive.  I understand that, it's part of my job.   A big smile and a friendly greeting, I'm good at that.  But I knew my back would be killing me later plus my stomach would be aching from hunger.

Thus it was with some surprise that after a couple of hours standing at attention, greeting and smiling, Lorraine, the wife of the caterer placed something on the desk in the back office.  I questioningly looked back at her.  I wanted to know who it was for.  She said "Here is something for you."  For a few seconds I was puzzled.  "For me?"  She said "Yes, it's some of what we're serving tonight.  If you need more, let me know."  

Well, my heart was touched.  Here is one of those rare moments where I didn't have to ask, plead, beg or demand something.  Someone saw my situation and took pity on me and provided me with sustenance.  Hey, that simple act of kindness by Lorraine just knocked all the cynicism out of me for the whole day.

Thank you Lorraine.


  1. Love it. That's what life should be all about. :)

  2. What a nice story. I love people like her.

  3. "So shines a good deed in a weary world" - Shakespeare

  4. What a sweet story, and the food looks terrific! Lorraine does look like a motherly, thoughtful lady. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Ron. I've become enamored of your blog of late, thanks to Mark at My Simple Life. Just wanted to say that your hard work (and Bill's) on that beautiful brick home is just breathtaking. I hope someone special breathes life back into that beauty.

    You said spring rolls, and now I can't wait until dinner. Did you get a special dessert afterwards? I hope so!


  6. anne marie in philly7:28 PM

    looks dee-lish!

  7. KBL,
    Thank you so much for your nice words about my blog. I love to blog and I'm glad some enjoy reading about my goings on.
    I prepared a slide show of 165 pictures of our former home in all its former glory for Bill on his iPad yesterday. It was beautiful looking at those pictures but sad at the same time. We still are amazed that what has happened to our former home. Not only was it a beautiful home, but the location was perfect. I wish we could buy it back and use it as a summer home.
    The spring roll was delicious. I didn't get dessert later but would have liked some. I'm a 'dessert' guy.

  8. Anne Marie,

    I'm not a seafood type of guy so I was surprised that I actually liked the warm crab dip. Just goes to show you good cooking will win the day. The spring roll was pretty good too and I'm not a Chinese food type of guy either!

  9. Cubby,
    I have a tendency to be cynical then along comes someone like Lorraine who renews my faith in the goodness of people.

  10. Walt,

    My thoughts exactly, this is what life should be about. Her unselfish act touched me.

  11. Tiger,
    I like seeing good deeds everywhere, not just directed at me although it was nice to be on the receiving end.

  12. Let's hear if for random acts of kindness !
    I have a suspicion these mawkish things actually make the most power in the universe.

  13. Yes Spo, let's hear for random acts of kindness. I frequently perform RAOK much to the consternation of Bill but I do it not only because of the recipients but for my own selfish reasons because it makes me feel good. What was unusual about the RAOK performed on me this past Wednesday was that it surprised me because it almost never happens to me. Hey, it's a nice feeling when it comes my way. I could get used to this!


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