Starting a new job can be really stressful. You don’t know anyone yet, and you need to make a great first impression on your new boss and the rest of your colleagues, too. You might not even have experience with the kind of work you’ll be doing. There’s a lot going on. So imagine that the night before you were set to start, your car broke down. And say your commute was about 20 miles. If you’re young and broke, this is an especially big problem.
So what would you do? Would you call out? Spring for a car service? Would you do anything it took to get there?
When Birmingham college student Walter Carr’s car broke down the night before he was supposed to start a new job, he didn’t call out of work — he just walked instead. Almost 15 miles.
The Carver High School graduate and U.S. Marine hopeful’s new job was with a moving company called Bellhops. He started his trek from his home in Homewood, AL and made it over 14 miles to Pelham, AL, where he was picked up by local cops who were worried about him. They bought him breakfast at a local Whataburger and then drove him to his first client’s house. After hearing his ordeal, she offered him a bedroom to take a nap in until the rest of the crew arrived, but he declined and just got started working instead.
The kudos from the cops along with a rave review on Facebook from that first client, Jenny Lamey, earned Carr a huge gift from Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin.
Under the guise of meeting Carr to personally thank him for his dedication to the job and to take him for coffee, Marklin drove to Tennessee. But he didn’t take Carr for coffee — he thanked him by giving him his own car, a barely driven 2014 Ford Escape.
This is an incredible story. The grit and heart Walter showed defines Bellhops' culture precisely. I'm really proud to be on the same team as Walter… we set a high bar on service and he just raised it. Look forward to thanking him in person this week. https://t.co/Fr4ytu5CM1
— Luke Marklin (@LukeMarklin) July 15, 2018
“I am honestly blown away by him. Everything he did that day is exactly who we are – heart and grit,” Marklin said of Carr. “So far, he’s batting 1,000.”
In her post about Carr, Lamey recounted the police officers dropping him off at her house to start his work day. They called him a “nice kid” and explained to Lamey that they’d encountered him walking at 4 a.m. in Pelham, AL. Carr wrote:
“The nice kid”, Walter, said that he was supposed to help us with our move today. It was his first day on the job with this moving company (Bellhops) and he was “training” today. The officer proceeded to tell us that the previous evening Walter’s car broke down and he didn’t know how he was going to get to work. So he left Homewood at MIDNIGHT and started WALKING to Pelham on 280.
She also mentioned that Carr wore black Nike joggers, which he picked because “he knew he had to walk thru some pretty high grass on his middle-of-the-night trek.” She added, “He looked at me in the eye and smiled and I felt like I had known him much longer.”
In the video, when Carr receives the car from Marklin, he’s overcome with emotion (who wouldn’t be?). He asks, “Seriously?” and yes, Marklin was dead serious.
Sometimes in life, things go wrong. Sometimes majorly wrong. But Walter Carr chose to do his very best to overcome an obstacle, and he was rewarded for it. It’s nice to see something uplifting like this. Both Carr and Marklin seem like good people, doing good things. And what a change that is from so much of our daily news.