I would not have made it to New York to see my family for Fall Break if it had not been for the amazing help offered to me by the volunteers at Travelers Aid at the 30th Street Station in Philly. I always thought I was a good traveler and would be able to find my way with ease in an urban train station, but I found out the hard way that my judgement of my abilities was way off.
I arrived at the train station with twenty minutes to spare before my train was scheduled to leave. I thought this was an adequate amount of time but with my 3 suitcases, which I, of course, thought would be pertinent for a four day trip into New York, that amount of time turned into frenzy and confusion. The 30th Street Station was much bigger and much busier than I had anticipated. I felt lost and alone within seconds of arriving at the station. I am the type of person who gets easily upset if I cannot immediately find where I need to be.
By some kind of miracle, I stumbled upon the Travelers Aid booth. This booth is fairly inconspicuous if you know where you are going and you are on a focused mission to get there but since I was completely dazed and confused and I saw the slogan “A Helping Hand Along the Way”, the booth became my god send. I rushed up to the counter and asked for help. I wanted to know immediately where I needed to go to catch my train in time. An extremely nice volunteer gently pulled out a map and showed me where my train platform was located. The calm words were extremely soothing in my state of panic. The directions he gave me were easy to follow and remember. He even offered to show me the way! Now that is what I call good customer service.
Since my platform was not too far from the booth and I felt more relaxed, I asked the volunteer about Travelers Aid and why I had never heard of them before. He told me that they were a non-profit group that offered help to travelers coming in and out of Philadelphia. For those traveling to Philadelphia, the booth could secure hotel and transportation accommodations. Wow, I cannot believe a non-profit offers such wonderful services! I am definitely going to tell my parents to go to this booth when they come visit me again at Penn.