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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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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