Last week, I mentioned in my blog that I had hired a guy, Anthony, that had been going through a bit of a hard time. He was a guy that heard about the bar and our need for kitchen help. So, he walked over 5 miles to fill out the application not even knowing if he would get a same day interview, much less, actually get the job. So, when I met this guy and heard his story, I talked to him. I looked over his application. He was well spoken and presented himself in a very professional manner. He just was going through a hard time. In my opinion, this 45-year-old man needed something good to happen in his life. Even if that “something good” was nothing more than a $10.00 per hour job. Basically, from the little bit that I had gathered, he was a former long haul truck driver. And somewhere along the way, he had also worked as a cook. I don’t know the details on how he became homeless but he did mention that he had gone through a divorce and basically lost everything. He had no cell phone for me to contact him and I found out that he was living at a shelter. After speaking with him, I looked at the Restaurant employee schedule and I made an executive decision to hire him on the spot. After all, it wasn’t like I could call him a few days later to tell him to come back in. Anyway, I hired him on that Monday and he started the very next day. I’m telling you. If you walk 5 miles to fill out an application, I feel like I need to give you a shot.
TUESDAY ROLLS AROUND. He showed up early. Again, I was impressed. I have had employees that had perfectly good automobiles that still couldn’t seem to make it to work on time. So for this guy to walk and show up early, I felt that I had made a good hiring decision.
Day 2, again, he showed up early, shirt tucked in, ready and eager to work. Thursday he wasn’t scheduled to work but Friday, he was right there. That’s when he let Shawn, (my right hand man), know that he was going to have to quit. When asked why, Anthony explained that the shelter needed to get paid now that Anthony was working. Keep in mind that he has been working all of 3 days. Apparently, you can stay at the shelter and “run a tab” basically and they keep track of how many days that you have been there. But as soon as you get a job, they need for you to start paying. And working would require him to pay all of his back rent at one time. His options as he saw it were to not work or to live on the streets. This seems ridiculous to me but all I could really focus on was the fact that this guy that I was trying to help out by giving him a shot, was now leaving me so that he didn’t have to pay the shelter. And on top of that, I had no way to contact him to try to help out. So, I was processing all of this information and trying to think what could I do? So, off I went. He had been gone about 20 minutes but he was traveling on foot so how far could he be? I had no idea what direction this guy headed. How hard could this be? There’s only 3.5 million people in this city right? Here I am. Driving up and down the streets around my bar and into downtown. I know this was hopeless but I had to try. I drove for about 30 minutes and it was sinking in. I wasn’t going to find this guy. Then, somehow, the address of his shelter popped into my head. I can’t remember names to save my life but somehow, I remembered this guys address. I googled the numbers that popped into my head and sure enough, it was the address of a shelter.
Ok, I got to the Shelter and they could not give me any info. They wouldn’t even let me pay for his bill because of confidentiality. And then, there he was…It was Anthony.He looked at me as if he had seen a ghost. Clearly, he was not expecting to see me…
Hear Big Al tell the end of this story HERE.