Andrew: “Did you leave the lights on last night?”
Brodi: “No…”, as I flipped the car light switch from on to off.
This is the situation Andrew and I found ourselves in on a chilly Thursday morning, the day of our Dana Farber Cancer Institute tour in Boston, MA.
The problem was we weren’t in Boston. We had flown into New York the night before and found ourselves stranded in Astoria Queens with a rental car that now had a dead battery.
We had a three and a half hour drive in front of us with only five hours until our scheduled tour. Tough situation to say the least.
As we both started to go through options and quickly came to find that we didn’t have many, the clock continued to tick. I found a Costco half a mile away and although we didn’t have a Costco card, I decided to make the stroll that way anyways. As I was about to round the first corner, Andrew shot me a text to check out The Custom Shop Inc, just a couple blocks away. For whatever reason, I decided that we’d give it a shot.
As I walked into the shop I was greeted by one of the owners, Brett. He asked how I was doing and I gave a hopeless laugh and let him know I was doing alright.
“So crazy situation, but my friend and I have a rental car that died on us and we have to be in Boston in like 5 hours to visit a hospital. We’re parked down the street. Would there be any way I could buy a jump start off you guys?”
Brett then started to look around the back of the podium desk he was standing behind and around the floor. In all honesty, I assumed he was trying to come up with how much he wanted to charge us, but instead he grabbed a jump machine and handed it over to me with the friendliest smile. “There ya go. Not all New Yorkers are douchebags.”
In disbelief, I graciously accepted the jump machine and was on my way to the car. Andrew, also in complete shock, popped the hood and we were on our way to jumping the car. Unfortunately, after about 5 seconds into the attempt, we noticed that one of the wires was frayed and the car wasn’t starting. I despairingly walked back to the shop and plopped the jump machine back on Brett’s desk.
“It was almost a miracle. Thank you so much for letting us try.”
“Oh, no worries. Here, I’ll just go with you this time,” he said as he pulled out a much more sophisticated jump system. “Hey man, tourists’ rental car died down the street. I’m gonna go help them out.”, he hollered over to another owner of the shop. The other owner didn’t even flinch, demonstrating that Brett likely does this kind of stuff all the time.
Once again in disbelief, I led Brett to the car where I introduced him to Andrew. Within sixty seconds the jump start worked.
I then told Brett what we were up to that day and shared the mission of Campaign One At A Time with him. We gave Brett a bracelet, letting him know that this is exactly what One At A Time is all about; doing one good thing at a time to make the world a better place.
Brett is a prime example of what a person living with the OAAT mindset demonstrates. He could have simply said, “No, sorry, can’t help you. I’m busy.” He even could have tried to make a few bucks off of us.
We weren’t customers. We were just two guys in need of some help in a place we weren’t familiar with, and he selflessly did whatever he could to help, even after the first attempt failed.
When people ask me how OAAT is going, I tell them that after three years of building, I’m so humbled to see the dots connecting. I’m so excited when I see what we do resonate with people and see them apply it to their daily lives.
And I’m so grateful for guys like Brett who, without prior knowledge of OAAT, was living in such a beautiful and caring way. I am so thankful that we were able to cross paths with him. Not only because he helped jumpstart our car, but because he gave me even more refreshing hope on the message that we work so hard to spread to people.
Small actions create such a big impact. I will never forget meeting Brett in Astoria that day, and I really appreciated making a new friend.