21-year-old Front Desk Employee Single-handedly Keeps Texas Hotel Running for 32 Hours During Storm
When 21-year-old Satchel Smith showed up to work at the Homewood Suites in Beaumont, Texas last week, he didn’t prepare for the longest shift of his life.
Smith works at the hotel’s front desk. But when Tropical Depression Imelda hit the area, Smith was the only employee at the hotel for 32 hours, starting Sept. 18. He worked the kitchen, answered phones, completed room service, and even performed maintenance.
“Satchel has been here all night,” one of the guests shared in a Facebook post. “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.”
Even though Smith has never worked in a kitchen before, he did what he believed he needed to do to keep serving guests through the storm. Guests banded together to help serve breakfast and even prepare a dinner of chicken pasta with garlic bread. "The guests were very helpful," Smith told CNN. "It was basically like a big family."
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Guests also helped Smith trek out to the highway and supply stranded drivers with food and water.
A coworker made it to the hotel 32 hours after Smith first arrived to relieve him of duties. Once she arrived, Smith worked a few more hours to help exchange duties. Then he took a nap. And then he went right back to work until the storm had passed and his family could safely come pick him up from the longest shift ever.