'Hero' employee works 32-hour shift during Storm Imelda

He personally looked after 90 guests who were trapped in the hotel

'Hero' employee works 32-hour shift during Storm Imelda

Dedication is one of the most important assets an HR leader looks for in a new hire. Passion for the job and a real enthusiasm to go the extra mile is what separates great employees from mediocre ones.

Satchel Smith, a 21-year-old employee with Homewood Suites in Texas, seems to have these characteristics in spades. Smith worked 32 hours back-to-back, after Tropical Storm Imedla shut down access roads to the hotel – trapping him and 90 guests overnight.

A thankful guest took to Facebook to praise the young employee’s dedication to his role and to overall customer service.

Writing on social media, Angela Chandler explained how access to and from the hotel had broken down during the storm, meaning that no one could leave - and no additional employees could get in.

“Satchel has been here all night,” she wrote. “His co-workers 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….

“If you know Satchel, tell him he is our hero! What an example of how to handle yourself in a crisis! Goodness gracious! I will stay here next time just knowing that despite whatever happens, I will have someone putting our needs above his own needs. Thank you, Satchel for taking care of us here at Homewood in Beaumont.”

Speaking to CNN, Smith explained that the situation was “pretty intense” – but he also thanks the guests who banded together “like a big family”, helping him prepare meals for everyone.

Speaking to USA Today, operations manager for the hotel chain was also suitably in awe of Smith’s actions.

"I wasn’t sure how he would take a crisis,” she said. "But he has done a wonderful job."

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