Many of our good deeds go unnoticed in life, and unless someone sees you and decides to tell the story, there is a possibility that no one would ever know. I don’t normally post about my daily life on social media. If I gave a stranger a hand or dropped a few coins into a homeless man’s cup, I don’t think it’s something that I should brag about – it’s just something that I should do, regardless of who is watching. For this man, his one act of selflessness led to a very surprising reward!
One stormy night many years ago, a man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night. While they were looking for a room, they were also interested in living at the hotel.
“Could you possibly give us a room here?” the husband asked. The manager, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town.
“All of our rooms are taken,” he said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out in the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my rooms? It’s not a grand suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for a while.”
The couple declined, thinking the manager’s actions were far too kind. But the young man pressed on. “Don’t worry about me; I’ll make out just fine,” he told them. Amazed and deeply touched, the couple agreed to stay the night.
As he paid his bill the next morning, the elderly man said to him, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”
The man looked at the couple and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh.
As they drove away, the elderly couple agreed that the helpful man was indeed exceptional; in a world filled with selfish people, finding someone who was both friendly and truly helpful was indeed rare.
The manager moved his own family out of their suites to let the wealthy couple move into the hotel after that, becoming friends as time went on.
Two years passed. The man decided that he wanted to built a hotel that would “outshine them all.” He began building a grand hotel, all the while thinking of the manager who had given up his suites and moved his family so that he and his wife could live in the hotel.
The man met the manager at lunch one day and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.
“That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built, and I want you to manage it.”
“You must be joking,” the other man said in disbelief.
“I can assure you that I am not,” said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth.
The man’s name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf Hotel, later named the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The manager who made room for them on one stormy night became its first manager was George C. Boldt.
He never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world’s most glamorous hotels, but it just goes to show you that being kind is always more rewarding than turning away someone in need.
Wow! Being in the right place at the right time with the right attitude completely changed this manager’s life! He could have easily said that there was no more room at his hotel. He could have turned these wealthy clients away without a second thought. But his generous and selfless acts showed them what his heart was truly made of, and the rest is literally history. Amazing.
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