I was in Portland last weekend to help my son-in-law do some tiling in a condo unit that he manages for his grandfather. On the way to the condo the truck sputtered – apparently running out of gas (the gas gauge doesn’t work). We made it to the the light at the top of the ramp but getting through the intersection was looking unlikely! A guy on a bicycle stopped and helped us get the truck the 1/2 block to the next light and that was as far as it was going! Jordan dashed across the street to the gas station to get some gas. The first gallon didn’t help so Jordan went back for another. While I was waiting with the truck a car load of guys asked if we needed help. Another guy in a pickup offered to give us a push. And when Jordan and I decided we needed to stop blocking traffic and push the truck through the 2nd intersection three more guys walking by jumped in to help.
With the truck now parked next to an auto dealership we added a 3rd and a 4th gallon of gas but by that time the battery was dead! Jordan went into the Broadway Toyota showroom and came back with a portable battery jumper and a couple Toyota employees! That didn’t seem to help either, so we pushed the truck around the lot to the service entrance and parked the truck (a Chevy Silverado) in a corner of this huge immaculate service center. They hooked it up to a charger and we took a couple of seats in the large, roomy waiting area and watched some NCAA basketball.
After grabbing lunch at their cafe (a car dealership with a cafe?) we headed back to the service manager to check on the truck. Did I tell you that they never processed any paperwork on his truck? It was determined that the battery was faulty and they had no batteries there that would fit the truck but offered to let us use their shuttle service to go to an auto parts store to get one! Instead, Jordan called AAA. When the AAA truck (a Ford) arrived it pulled into the service center behind the disabled Chevy. Together we checked a few things, tried jumping the battery from his truck, and even added four more gallons of gas (included in the AAA service call).
At one point a Toyota mechanic who used to work for GM came over to check a few items – like the relay and the fuel line pressure. Bingo! No pressure in the fuel line meant the fuel pump was not pumping! It was not the battery or the fuel supply after all. So after a tow from another AAA guy we ended up back at home. And one more thing – the tow truck driver asked Jordan if he was aware of the $3.75/mile charge for towing outside of a 3-mile radius. But when we pulled into the driveway the driver said that since we were in the city limits there was no charge! I believe he was being generous to Jordan.
In a matter of a few hours Jordan and I were the benefactors of nearly 15 different people! Here were numerous people who offered help and assistance without us asking for it and with no expectation of payment or return favor! I was stunned at the kindness so many offered to strangers. No one honked at us or gestured our way. Even though we never got to the condo it was a good day!
Would you have been as generous in offering your help to strangers? Would I?