I thought, "Gees...do I KNOW him from somewhere?" but the more I thought about it, the more sure I was that I didn't. I decided he was just a friendly fellow.
I walked across the parking lot to my car and then headed towards the highway. I saw that same young man walking the way that I was headed.
It was a hot and humid day and the skies looked as if they might open up any minute, so I pulled alongside and rolled down the window. "Hey, do you need a ride? It's a miserable day for walking." He replied, "It's not as bad today as it was yesterday. Yesterday was AWFUL."
He asked where I was going, and I asked him where HE was headed. He said "Irvine," a little map dot probably a mile down the road.
I told him I would take him home.
He hopped in and lord, but he was a talker. He'd gotten himself into a financial jam. He went to truck driving school, got a job driving truck for a company. They offered him a deal to buy a semi and take the payments out of his check. He took that deal.
Long story short, he worked for them for 8 months. He paid them $13,000 during that time. He made a total of $109. He ended up losing the truck when they cut his workload and he couldn't make the payments. They took the truck back.
I listened. I'm old enough to know that you can't believe everything you hear. If it was true, the company got a truck driver for 8 months paying him virtually nothing.
He said that the company had done that to enough people that there was a class action lawsuit. He was hoping to get something out it, but until then, he had to do something, so he took a job where I work. He'd been there two weeks.
He was cheerful and talkative and we covered quite a bit of verbal territory. His family comes from the same area as Tim's family, so he recognized my name. I recognized his.
Suddenly, he said, "Right here's good. Just pull over here. That's my tent."
The guy is living in a tent at the side of the road.
"Thanks for the ride!" he said, grinning broadly and sticking out his hand. I shook it and told him good luck.