Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Doing the Job That Americans Will Do: An Indianapolis Teen was Intent on Walking 10 Miles in Freezing Conditions for a Job Interview


Jhaqueil Reagan/WISH-TV


Posted by Nicholas Stix

Indianapolis teen with intent to walk 10 miles for job interview gets ride — and job — from stranger

Jhaqueil Reagan started at Papa Roux restaurant on Monday after making quick impression on co-owner Art Bouvier, who picked him up three miles into his walk.

And now business has doubled.

By David Boroff
Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 12:04 p.m.; updated at 1:23 p.m.
New York Daily News
Comments (95)

Jhaqueil Reagan had been looking for work for four months before getting into Art Bouvier's car.
An Indianapolis teen was intent on walking 10 miles in freezing conditions for a job interview.
Then a kind stranger offered him a lift — and a job. And as a result, the good Samaritan has seen his business double.

Jhaqueil Reagan set of early Friday morning on his journey to another part of the city for a 1 p.m. job interview at an Indianapolis store. It was roughly a 10-mile trip, and Reagan did not have the money for the bus.

He often had to walk long distances, so it was no big deal.

"If I say I am going to be somewhere, I am going to be there," the 18-year-old Reagan told the Daily News on Tuesday.


Papa Roux is a new New Orleans-style restaurant in Indianapolis/WISH-TV

A few miles into his journey, Reagan stopped in the parking lot of Papa Roux restaurant to ask how far he was from his destination. Co-owner Art Bouvier told him he was still six or seven miles away.

Reagan kept walking, but 15 minutes later, Bouvier spotted him from his car and offered him a lift. He was, after all, going in the same direction.

"I picked him up because he was legitimately walking another seven miles in the slush," Bouvier told The News.

Bouvier drove Reagan to his job interview, but he said he knew immediately he wanted to hire him for himself. It seemed obvious: Anyone willing to walk 10 miles for a job must be worth it.

"My motives were purely selfish, he just looked like a good candidate for employment," said Bouvier, who opened the New Orleans-style restaurant with his wife six years ago after his parents moved to Indianapolis after losing everything to Hurricane Katrina.


Art Bouvier outside of Papa Roux/FOX59

Reagan stayed at a friend's house after the interview so he didn't have to make the long walk home.
"It went OK, it was just another interview," he said. "They didn't look too enthusiastic about anything. I kept an open mind and tried to make a good impression."

He had certainly made an impression on Bouvier. Reagan was offered an entry-level job at Papa Roux that night - with pay approximately 20 percent above the $7.25 per hour minimum wage in Indiana.
Reagan was shocked, to say the least. He started his new job Monday, working as a busboy and server among other duties.

One month short of his 19th birthday, Reagan is unsure what he wants to do with his life but plans to attend college soon. After being unemployed for four months, he is just happy to be making some money.

Jhaqueil Reagan had a job interview 10 miles away, but ended up finding a job in surprising fashion.

"It's going well, this week I am learning the basics of everything, I am basically training," Reagan said.

"He had a fantastic first day and showed up for a second," Bouvier said.

Bouvier downplays what he did for Reagan, but people have noticed.

A Facebook post telling his story has more than 15,000 "likes" and the media attention has led to a whopping increase in business. He didn't necessarily need any additional help when he hired Reagan, but his staff of 20 is under siege this week. Bouvier believes twice as many people are coming to the restaurant.

"I need a bigger boat, for sure," he said, evoking the famous line from "Jaws."

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC, who provided the headline, the story, and this observation:

Heck, even Mexicans here in Dallas don't walk anywhere.

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