When a Prineville man’s car broke down and left him without a means of getting to his job in Bend, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
More accurately — his own feet.
All 33 miles.
“I live on 4th Street off of Deer Street in Prineville and I had to walk to Empire in Bend,” Eric Akers said.
It all started when Eric’s car broke down and he had to spend his last penny having it towed. With no transportation and no means to pay for transportation, he began looking for a ride.
When he couldn’t find one…
“I needed to get to work no matter what. So I woke up early — about 9:00 a.m. Started around 10:00 a.m. Left for Bend and it took about 6 1/2 hours, but I made the trek.”
Just a casual 33-mile stroll along the highway followed by an eight hour work shift.
No big deal.
“Yeah, it was a long ways and it took awhile but as far as… it wasn’t that much of an effort.”
But it was a big deal to his boss.
“When I first heard that, I was shocked. I thought he was joking, actually, at first,” said Greg Davies. “I appreciate the dedication. We would have had nobody here for our night crew if he had not gone the extra mile, you might say. Or 30-plus in this case.”
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“I used to walk everywhere anyways so my feet were fine,” said Eric. “I was wearing OK shoes but, yeah, I was pretty tired. I get of about 1:30 in the morning.”
Who does that? Who pounds the pavement for six-plus hours to make it to work?
What makes that person tick and drives them to go to such lengths?
In Eric’s case it’s a pretty simple answer.
“I guess I say work ethic. I really need the money. I like my job. I want to keep my job. I like the people I work with. So, a measure of just showing I’m willing to do what it takes to get the job done,” Eric said.
Greg admits most people would have just called in sick.
“It meant a lot,” Greg said. “It still does. I tell people that story and they’re like, ‘Oh, my God. I can’t believe that.”
Eric’s car remains in the shop as he waits on parts to arrive, but he has been able to make it to work without having to make the long walk again.