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A man forgot his shirt for an interview — a stranger gave him the one off his back


Time now for "My Unsung Hero," our series from the team at Hidden Brain. "My Unsung Hero" tells the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression on someone else. Today's story comes from Oliver Muensterer. About 15 years ago, he had to travel from his home in Leipzig, Germany, to a town a few hours away for a job interview.

OLIVER MUENSTERER: And I went there a night before and checked into the hotel. I was kind of tired. And in the morning, you know, I got up, took a shower, got ready. And I had - I thought I had prepared perfectly for everything. You know, I had my shoes and my suit and my tie. And then I found out I don't have my dress shirt. Like, I have everything but no shirt.

It was about an hour away from the interview. So panic struck me, and I went downstairs to the lobby and went to the guy at the registration desk and said, you know, I got a real big problem. I have this job interview in an hour, and somehow I forgot my shirt at home - my dress shirt at home - and whether he knew any shop around that was open that I could buy a white shirt from. And, you know, he listened to my story. And I hardly had ended it, and he said, I have a solution. And he took off his dress shirt, his white shirt, and he handed me his shirt without even, you know, saying anything - just like, here you go. Good luck.

And it was just this spontaneous act of kindness. So you know, I put it on, and I went to the interview. And I had the interview. It was OK. It was not my dream job, so it didn't work out in the end. But after the interview, came back, and I gave him back his shirt. And he just smiled at me. It was such a spontaneous, wonderful gesture that it really instilled this idea in myself that I'm part of this brotherhood of, you know, kindness that goes around. And so ever since, when I see someone who needs anything, you know, I'm very willing to share. And I always think about this one day where someone, a total stranger, bailed me out - you know, out of a lot of trouble.


SHAPIRO: Oliver Muensterer of Munich, Germany. Although that job interview didn't work out, Oliver went on to become a pediatric surgeon and professor. You can find more stories like this one on the "My Unsung Hero" podcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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