A 21-year-old Texas hotel employee is being hailed as a hero after working 32 hours straight and helped to ensure 90 guests’ safety and comfort as the region was assailed by Tropical Storm Imelda.
Satchel Smith, a full-time college student at Lamar University, began his shift at the Homewood Suites in Beaumont, Texas, at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18. While flooded roads kept his co-workers from getting to work, Smith served guests alone, WFAA reported.
Angela Chandler, a hotel guest, praised Smith in a post on Facebook.
“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,” Chandler wrote. “He has handled this situation with grace, kindness, and a beautiful smile on his face.”
Even inexperienced, he was now the hotel’s chef, maintenance staff, room service staff, and any other vacant space that needed filling.
“I’d never worked in a kitchen,” he admitted. “I’m not really a good cook.”
Outside, the highways were closed and drivers were stalled in their cars, so Smith and the guests also lined up to bring food and water to stranded truckers.
Finally, after his co-worker returned to work, his shift ended at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20. He then took a short nap at the hotel and went right back to work to help out his coworkers and the guests until his family could safely drive to pick him up.
However, Smith, who only works one day a week at the hotel, said that he doesn’t see himself as heroic and just did the right thing in a disastrous situation.
“I was always gonna be there for them, I would never plan on leaving,” he said.
Satchel is a nice example of what to do in a crisis, Chandler said.
“I have seen a big teddy bear of a man washing dishes and serving eggs, a little grandmother wiping down tables, and a man drenched from head to toe because he crossed I-10 to deliver bottles of water to truck drivers who have been stranded,” Chandler said.