The Kindness of Strangers

Car TowA funny thing happened on the way to the always awesome annual Polsinelli Women’s Networking Event put on every year under the watchful eye of the amazing Karen Glickstein.  About one mile out from the event, I came to a stop at a traffic light.  The light turned green and my car (well, my dad’s car) went, “CLUNK!”  It refused to go and farther… I couldn’t put it in park… I simply sat there, stunned, not knowing what to do next.  The only obvious thing:  I wasn’t going to the networking event!

I rolled down my window to urge the cars behind me to go around while I tried to figure out what to do.  That’s when a lovely young couple pulled up next to me.  The woman in the passenger seat said, “Are you okay?”  I told her, “No, not really.”  Her companion said, “Give me a minute.  I’m going to park in the lot on the corner and I will come back and push your car into a safe place.”

True to his word, he was back in a flash.  He had me put the car in neutral, then pushed me into the lot.  Seeing what was going on, a fellow on a motorcycle ran over to help.  They got me situated and took a look under the hood. Meanwhile, the woman who first offered help asked if she could wait with me for a tow truck and/or drive me home.

That’s the general gist.  The point of sharing this sad, sad saga is to call attention to the extreme kindness shown by a group of complete strangers.  These three individuals would not even tell me their names.  For them, it was not about recognition or paybacks or remuneration of any sort.  They were simply taking care of another human being. 

The good news didn’t stop there… Nancy with AAA was so empathetic and helpful – she made the process of requesting a tow truck simple and seamless.  Then, Chris with Almighty Tow showed up.  Again, he was so nice and efficient and helpful.  He arrived within 30 minutes of my call and quickly assessed the situation, hitched up my car and had me on my way.  And, last but certainly not least was my ultimate rescuer, my mom, Charlene Muller, who drove out of her way to save this poor damsel in distress!

When I think about what could have happened and how much worse the whole ordeal could have been, it makes me a little ill… then, I smile and realize that I was wrapped up in the protective shroud of a group of people who had no obligation to me.  Their selfless behavior and actions were admirable and awe-inspiring.  They kept me calm, helped me to address an unfortunate mess and left me grateful beyond measure.

Should you happen to hear this story from the perspective of one of the strangers I mentioned, please share my gratitude and let them know I would love to thank them over a cup of coffee sometime.

BTW… in case you are wondering, it was a broken axle.  Even the mechanic at the auto body shop was stumped as to how such a thing could have happened to the car.  It’s all fixed now though it may have been the last time my dad offers to let me borrow his wheels!

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