retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I got an email yesterday from an MNB reader, John Baragar, who wanted to bring my attention to a particular story because of the seemingly “daily barrage in the media of bad behavior.”

The piece ran in the Washington Post, and was about a 20-year-old man named Walter Carr, who lives near Birmingham, Alabama. Carr recently got a job as a mover, and on his first day he was scheduled to report for work at a home 20 miles away from his apartment.

But Carr’s car broke down. He couldn’t get a ride from friends or borrow a car, nor was there any access to mass transit. So he decided to walk.

According to the story, “He searched the route from his apartment in Homewood to the house in Pelham, and according to Google Maps, it would take eight hours on foot. As a former high school cross-country runner, he knew he could do it in less.

“Carr ate a meal of bologna and eggs at 8 p.m. and took a nap. At midnight, he woke up, grabbed his wallet, phone, a baseball and a kitchen knife to protect him from stray dogs. He headed out into the dark … On the trek, Carr had the route mapped out in his mind. He jogged some. He walked a lot. When his legs began to burn, he stayed focused on his goal.”

He made good time, and by four in the morning he was in Pelham, Alabama, though still hours away from where he was supposed to start work. His legs burning, he decided to sit down in a bank parking lot to rest for a few minutes.

That’s when a police car pulled up. Carr told the officer what he was doing, the policeman asked when he’d last eaten, and then took Carr out for breakfast, and then drove him as far as he could. Carr got out and started to walk again, but soon was picked up by another cop, who’d been alerted to what Carr was doing. That officer drove Carr to the home where he’d be working, and dropped him off at 6:30 am.

That policeman told the homeowner, Jenny Lamey, what Carr had done. Lamey offered to feed him and let him take a nap, but Carr demurred ; he just wanted to get to work. Which he did, working with two other movers.

The next day, the Post writes, “The following day, Lamey called Carr’s supervisor, and the two cried together on the phone about what Carr had done. Lamey posted the story on Facebook, and it took off. She started a GoFundMe with a goal of $2,000 to help him with his car troubles. As of Wednesday morning, it had raised more than $44,000, and a financial adviser had volunteered to help Carr manage the funds.

“On Sunday, Carr’s boss, Bellhops chief executive Luke Marklin, called to thank him. Marklin said he wanted to meet him in person to show his appreciation. They agreed to meet Monday at a coffee shop near Carr’s apartment. Carr walked the 20 minutes there.

“When they met, Marklin gave him his own car, a 2014 Ford Escape. He said it would be in better hands with Carr than with him.”

The moral of the story? According to Carr, “Don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do something. It’s up to us whether we can.”

Wow. Thanks to John Baragar for sending me this story. He says that he thinks that this happens more often than we know, but just doesn’t get any press coverage. I don’t know about that, but I am thrilled to share it because at the very least, it is an Eye-Opener.
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