A Drunk, a Thief, and a Murderer Walked Out of Target


A business partner and an employee of mine were standing by our parked cars at the local Target in East Liberty, Pittsburgh. We had just completed a walk-thru of a new job awarded to WorkPittsburgh. Our client was excited to hire us and we were excited to deliver the perfect job. We were distracted while discussing various details of the work ahead when...

"Oh can you please help me!", asked a bright eyed - gray haired lady while stepping out of thin air. Immediately my employee stepped forward and walked towards her saying, "yes, what is the problem?".

Soon we discovered that she had been stranded for some time. Her push button car wouldn't start. The problem was that the car would not detect the key. After carefully ensuring that she was actually sitting in the right car (You can't be too careful these days) we began to trouble shoot. I proceeded to read the manual, my employee crawled over every inch of the car and my business partner engaged the lady in conversation. After a few minutes we found the manual key ignition in the glove box?!? and the car started right up!

The lady was delighted and clapped her hands with relief "OH THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU...I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't helped... I asked several others before you three."

--- She drove off---

--- We finished our conversation without further interruption---

While driving home my employee called me..."Hey - do you think she had any clue who she was dealing with?"... I knew immediately what he meant and laughed. He laughed back... We hung up...

What 'he meant':

  • My business partner was once a severe alcoholic - Today he is 11+years sober and works with others to channel their addictive personalities towards positive things.
  • I was once caught having stolen from my closest friends and family in order to prevent a struggling business from failing and inevitably lost my freedom for 21mo.
  • Over 14 years ago my employee was involved in a drug deal gone bad that left a man dead and him convicted of homicide.

I'll admit it is nice to be a trustworthy stranger just standing in a parking lot ready to help someone in need; however, assumed trust doesn't compare to the moment someone with full knowledge of past transgressions chooses to give a merit earned second chance. Perhaps if you are reading this you are the one struggling to overcome a past that haunts you... Let my candor and honesty motivate you to keep your head up. Or perhaps you are one that knows of someone that has demonstrated change. Let my candor move you to give a hand up (not a hand out)...

Daniel Bull is the Founder of Zero Six Eight in Pittsburgh, PA.