She was just ending her shift as a service representative for Shaw in Winnipeg, when she got an unforgettable phone call.
Mel Hendershot was on one end, following protocol, when the customer, James, told her he lives in Fort McMurray and is looking for any sign that his home is still standing as fires tear through the city.
“He had heard that there was a way for us to try and ping his modem and see if it is still online and working.” Hendershot told 680 CJOB. “He had mixed messages on whether his home was leveled or not.”
Through its systems Shaw can check and see if a modem is plugged in, powered on and sending and receiving data. For James and many others it’s an indicator that their home is likely still standing and their belongings have not been destroyed. In the long seconds that followed, Hendershot was able to pull James’ data and see his modem was still online.
“I was able to give him the good news and after a long pause and sigh of relief from him I almost broke down right there.” Hendershot said, holding back tears. “I knew his house was ok and that he was ok, once I got off the phone with him I fell into my desk”
Their exchange was brief but has had an ever lasting effect on Hendershot. She took to Facebook to share her story on a page related to the situation in Fort McMurray.
“I was just hoping James would be able to see it and for him to know he touched my life and that I never felt so close to a person I had never met before.”