Everyday Heroes

Hotel Employee Praised After Working 32 Hours Straight During Tropical Storm

When flood waters left him and the hotel guests stranded, he jumped into action.


When Satchel Smith went to work at the Homewood Suites last Wednesday in Beaumont, TX he didn't know that he'd be putting in some serious overtime. The 21-year-old works behind the front desk at the hotel, although when the rain started coming down as Imelda rolled through eastern Texas, his job description grew much bigger.

(Source: Tornado Intercept Facebook )

Due to torrential flooding forcing most of the roads to close, Smith's co-workers weren't able to come in, so he was the only hotel employee left to tend to the guests. This meant that aside from his desk duties, he was the hotel's chef, maintenance man, room service attendant and any other position that needed to be filled.

While some may have been a bit stressed out in such a scenario, Smith handled it all with a smile. His calm attitude caught the attention of one of his guests, who got his permission to share his photo on Facebook.

Along with a picture of the grinning young man, Angela Chandler wrote the following:

"Meet Satchel. He is the only employee here at Homewood Suites in Beaumont. The access road is underwater and I10 is shut down due to flooding. We can't get in or go out. The hotel a mile from us is under water. Satchel has been here all night. His coworkers couldn't make it to work so he stayed. He has manned the phones, answered each of our questions, ensured that we have had a hot cup of coffee or tea, and helped serve us a hot breakfast. He has handled this situation with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face."

(Source: Angela K Chandler Facebook )

Smith said some of the guests helped with preparing breakfast and dinner, and one man even braved the high flood waters to deliver water and food to a few truckers who were stranded across the highway.

"The guests were very helpful," he told CNN . "It was basically like a big family."

After a marathon 32-hour shift, one of Smith's co-workers was finally able to make it in to work. He took a quick nap, and then he helped out his co-worker until his father was able to pick him up Friday afternoon.

Chandler's post quickly went viral and has been shared over 13,000 times. When guests said he was a "hero" for being so kind and helpful his response was, "I always believe treat others how you would like to be treated. It's like a motto of mine."

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