I'll Always Remember Cory White
Every once in a while someone will do something that may not seem to be significant or earth shattering, but it impacts you in such a way that you will never forget it. Such is the case for me when it comes to Cory White.
I first met Cory around 11:30 on August 3, 2005. Our son James was on the way and I needed to find us a room for approximately one week. Doesn't sound too hard, but we were headed to a relatively popular resort area in the middle of summer. Call number one was to a Hampton Inn; it was close to the hospital for convenience. They could take us from Thursday-Saturday, but then we would have to get out. That wasn't going to work. Call number two was to the Microtel Inn & Suites. I figured with a newborn, a suite would be a good idea. But no one answered the phone. (It was going on midnight.) Call number three was to the Holiday Inn. It was a distance away (9 miles) from the hospital, but that put us nine miles closer to home. There was a McDonalds and a grocery store within walking distance. (There was also a Ford Dealership within walking distance as well. I didn't take that into account, but when my Escape's oil pan failed during our trip the proximity was fortuitous.) When I called that night, Cory answered the phone. I explained my situation and Cory promised me that we would have a room for the week. A huge weight was taken off my shoulders thanks to him.
We didn't meet Cory when we checked in the next evening. We were hot and exhausted. Once in our room we collapsed. Unfortunately, the air conditioning unit in the room was extremely loud. So loud that we decided to turn it off. We woke up an hour or so later drenched in sweat. So we called the front desk and managed to get moved to the only other room that they had. We packed up everything and moved. After 20 or so minutes in the new room I realized that I left my cell phone in our original room. I had to call the front desk again and have them let me back into the room to get it. That's when I met Cory face to face for the first time. I was exhausted. I was emotionally drained. I was a sweaty mess. But he was so kind and understanding. He exemplified what customer service SHOULD be.
The next 5 or so days are a blur to me. Living in a motel with a newborn will do that. (We never even had housekeeping come in and clean. I just asked for fresh towels.) Crying infants, leaky diapers, etc. kept us pretty much confined to the room. There were a few exceptions: a couple of visits to the grocery store (and "borrowing" a small refrigerator from a hall closet), a trip or two to the laundry room and of course my infamous trek to the Ford dealership to get the Escape repaired before making the 6+ hour drive home.
When we did leave (with a car that was packed to the gills), it was early in the morning. Upon checking out, we were handed an envelope with our name and room number on it as well as a "Make Sure they Get this." Inside was a typed note that said (this is verbatim and although not written perfectly grammatically, it meant more to me than any Shakespeare sonnet ever could):
"I just wanna say I wish you and the baby all the best of luck and many years of joy. I was glad that I could help you get a room here at the holiday Inn. If you ever need to stay again just give me a call and I will do my best to make sure you have a room to stay here again. Sincerely yours Corey"
Hand written underneath was: "P.S. IT WAS A PLEASURE Meeting Y'ALL."
It is eleven years later and I haven't forgotten Cory or his kindness. I don't think I ever will. I sometimes wonder what happened to him. If he is still the working at the Holiday Inn as a Night Auditor or in another capacity. I wonder if he knows that I still have his note and I how much I treasure it and his kindness.
Cory White, wherever you are, thank you and bless you.