Working in Hershey means we get concert traffic. That doesn’t just refer to cars. On nights when we have a concert in town a lot of those people end up eating at the Robin. This can be great, large amounts of turn over with happy people usually has me see dollar signs. It does depend on the concert, though. Last night was the “Jingle Ball”, a teeny bopper tour with Jesse McCartney and other uber-pop icons from Nickelodeon. This means we’ll have a lot of kids and parents wishing they would be anywhere else than on the way to concert featuring Jesse McCartney and other uber-pop icons from Nickelodeon.
We weren’t that busy last night… there were a lot of us working so it spread what little pop we had from the concert. So, I went up to the front of the restaurant to talk to the Hosts. I was talking to Emily when a flurry of activity happened in front of me, next thing I know they’re asking for the owner of a Silver Hyundai Elantra to come to the front; they need to move their car. I turn and say, “I’m the owner of a Silver Hyundai Elantra.”
“Did you park right in front of the restaurant?”
“Yeah.” I always do. We’re really not supposed to. We’re supposed to park on the other end of the building. But it’s cold outside and I usually close the restaurant and don’t want to walk that far in the cold at midnight. I do it in the summer, too, so the cold thing doesn’t really hold up…
“Well,” says the host, “Can you move your car? The girl behind you killed her battery. She left her lights on and they need to jump it.”
So I grab my keys and head out to move my car. I only have one table and this won’t take that long. After I move the car (to even closer to the front of the building) I see its another server who is supplying the cables and the fully charged battery. She pulls her old GMC to where I was, and then I ask her if she needs help.
“Warwick, I have no clue what I’m doing.”
Now there are a lot of things happening now. I’m hooking up the cables, and asking questions and talking to everyone. The mom and daughter are on their way to the Jingle Ball. The mom is really calm and very apologetic. The girl, who is maybe 13, 14, is crying in hysterics. They both have really thick Philly/Jersey accents. They drove all the way from Bethlehem, PA, (A surprising Christmas story, yes?) and the girl is just a lot of hair and tears. She just keeps asking, “Mom, should I call dad?” and then she’ll say, “I have the worst luck. Why do these things happen to me?”
The car won’t charge or start. I’m pretty sure the battery is dead dead, which means this is not the first time this has happened. I offer to drive them over to the show and pick them up afterwards. And I ask if she has AAA. So, again, a flurry of activity… Emily, the other server, ends up taking them to Hershey and I have her keys and AAA card and wait for the truck to show up.
They had a great time at the show. Apparently the girl behind them touched Flow-Rider… whoever that is. The mom was, again, very apologetic and very appreciative. And then she said, “People around here are really nice. I just can’t get over how nice people are around here. People where we live would have just ignored us, but you guys are really nice. I just can’t get over how nice people are around here.”
I never really thought of certain areas as holding special properties of niceness. I know France and NYC have a certain stigma about them, but I never thought of Harrisburg, or Hershey, as being extra nice compared to other parts of the State. I think I was more concerned that she was surprised that people could be nice. But Emily and I both have kids, we know what it would have been like had we had been in that predicament.
But also, I just wanted to help because it was the right thing to do. I’m encouraged by Paul: “Outdo one another in showing honor (Rom 12:10b).” I’m not sure if she’s a believer, but it shouldn’t matter… she’s an image bearer and I really do delight in helping others. I see her worth and want her and her daughter to understand that. As a person who understands that they are loved beyond compare, I feel compelled to do good, to show honor, to make right.
Even if it means having a small part in helping a girl go to the Jingle Ball so she can see Jesse McCartney and other uber-pop icons from Nickelodeon.