Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fred Paul from U-Haul

FRED Friday
...said "TRAM"

I recently made the trek across the United States, moving from Orlando, FL to Las Vegas, NV.  My good friend, Matthew Olsen and I packed my life up in a U-Haul, anchored my Toyota Camry (aka…The Black Pearl) down on a trailer being pulled by said U-Haul, and we headed west.  

The trip was relatively smooth…no mishaps, no accidents, and no setbacks…until we returned the U-Haul truck in Las Vegas...
When we returned the U-Haul and car hauler trailer we experienced an issue with my car.  Unfortunately, as I backed my car down off of what Matt and I called “The Tram” (car hauler trailer), the under carriage of my car was ripped completely off.  When we loaded the Black Pearl onto the trailer in Orlando, I evidently had pulled up too far…such that my front bumper caught the lip of the trailer.  2,000 + miles later…The Black Pearl was not in the same shape she was in when we left Orlando.
Luckily…Paul was on the job…
Paul was working his normal shift, around back; assisting Guests as they pulled their U-Haul trucks in and out of the parking lot.  That was his role.  About six minutes into my experience with Paul…the mishap occurred with my car.  I got out of my car, saw the damage, and immediately got down on the ground to get a closer look at what may have happened.  Mind you, in no way, shape, or form am I a mechanic…nor do I know anything about cars, or how to fix anything at all for that matter.  Matt stood back rolling his eyes.
OneMoreStep Moment…
Pressing my palms to the pavement, I went to stand back up.  As I turned my head, there was Paul…on his hands and knees, looking under my car!  Before I knew it, Paul was tugging, pulling, and bending my poor Toyota Camry’s broken under carriage, trying to get it back in place.  No luck…
Even One MORE Step…
Paul stood up, gathered himself, took a deep breath, and said, “You know what…give me about 5 minutes…and pull your car over here to our garage.  I think I can fix that for you.”  

I looked at Matt.  He looked at me.  We knew we had a Fred on our hands…
The next thing we knew, Paul had The Black Pearl propped up like we were in the pits at the Daytona 500…he was under the car, going to work.  Matt and I sat there, watching Paul work his magic for about 15 minutes.  Paul chatted with us the entire time.  I remember telling him how much I appreciated his help. 
Paul responded with, “hey, man…if this were me I’d be so mad…I’ll fix it for you and save you some money.  A body shop would charge you an arm and a leg for this.”
Paul’s job is to assist customers as they return and pick up U-Haul trucks.  It’s clear, however, that his passion is to SERVE people.  His creativity in serving me not only saved me hundreds of dollars, but it also allowed me to take care of the rest of my “move-in” To Do’s without the headache of getting my car fixed.  Did that have an impact on me?  Well, I'm writing a blog post about it four months absolutely did!

Paul is a total FRED.  He cared.  He served.  He went OneMoreStep...and he created value without having to spend a penny.  That's what Fred's do.  Thanks to Paul and the folks at U-Haul for taking such great care of me. 

(Wondering what I mean by FRED?  My favorite book, The Fred Factor, written by Mark Sanborn, tells the story of how an ordinary man, in an ordinary job as a postman goes OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep to make magic for his customers.  Check out the previous FRED Friday post
Have a great day.



PS:  Bonus Coverage...Matt and I named the U-Haul/Car Hauler "The Tram", ala the parking trams at the Walt Disney World Resort.  We were operating on 3 hours of sleep...lost in Scottsdale, AZ, had no clue where we were...but as usual we made the best of the situation...

Thanks, Matt, for being a FRED and riding with me all the way from Orlando to Vegas.  You made the trip an enjoyable and memorable one. 


1 comment:

  1. That video gets funnier everytime I watch it, the highlight is the pause to let the guests get on and off. Great post!