It was the day before his wedding.
Darien Schreiber, a Credit Analyst at Choice Financial in Grand Forks, was running a few last minute errands; picking up tuxedos, printing various wedding items, and then heading to Fargo for the rehearsal dinner.
He was on a roll checking items off his list when he stopped by Choice Financial around noon. His soon-to-be-wife had asked him to print out coloring book pages for the kids at the wedding. It was going to be a quick, in-and-out trip. But when Darien stepped in, it was clear it was the lunchtime rush.
“It was busier than a pizza delivery store at 2 AM on a Friday night,” said Gina Peroutka, Darien’s co-worker. “There were people in line, cars in the drive-thru, and a million things going on. And only two of us were there.”
When she saw Darien walk in, Gina gave him an “AHHH!” face. It was partly because she was overwhelmed, and partly because she wanted Darien to get on his way — he was getting married the next day, after all!
“I was thinking, what are you doing here! Go do wedding things! You should not be here right now,” she said.
Instead, Darien didn’t hesitate. He stepped behind the counter and called the next person in line.
“How can I help you?” he asked.
Despite being in a baseball hat, a Twins shirt, and gym shorts, no one questioned his credibility. He took transactions and deposited checks, even answered a few phone calls. While Gina took care of the drive-thru and another co-worker helped a customer open an account, Darien helped everyone in line. When things had slowed again, Gina looked around. Darien was gone.
“He was like a superhero — he just came in and saved the day, then disappeared,” she said. “He might be Batman.”
While this may or may not be true (no one has seen them in the same room), what Darien was really doing was changing into nicer clothes and heading toward Fargo. Even with everything else on his mind — like, getting married — Darien never felt stressed about stepping in to help when it was needed. It was a “Do the Right Thing” moment, he said, citing one of Choice’s core values.
“I’ve been in that position before, where you just want someone to help with customers — it’s not fun for you, or for the customer,” he said. “ Since I could do it, I figured I’d stop and help.”
Gina was very moved by Darien’s “heart of gold,” she said.
“Every once in a while it feels like you’re drowning with stuff,” she said. “When you see someone who helps when you don’t even have to ask… it helped me realize everything was going to be fine. It means a lot to know that I have good friends and good co-workers.”
Even with the slight detour, Darien made it to his rehearsal dinner in Fargo before anyone else — even his soon-to-be-wife. And yes, the next day, Batman — er, Darien — was married.
And they lived happily ever after.