“As manager in charge, I would wait with anyone who was waiting for a ride,” Speiler said. Since grocery is the largest department, that usually meant waiting with Yisrael.
They knew each other just by association, but it was during Speiler’s shifts as manager in charge that he learned about Yisrael’s situation.
“I had always lived paycheck to paycheck. We talked about that one night,” Speiler said. “After the longest time, I was finally able to afford a new car.”
Speiler was talking to the store manager about giving his old car to somebody who needed it “so they wouldn’t have to wait until they’re 33 to afford one,” he said. They had a few people in mind, but then Speiler saw Yisreal.
“It was like an aha moment when I saw Z coming around the corner,” he said.
“The thing about Z,” Speiler continued, “is he is one of the hardest workers in the store. So it was kinda nice to actually help someone that actually works their butt off and tries to do the best thing for Publix. So I feel he truly earned it.”
Yisrael’s work ethic comes from his dad and from being in the National Guard.
“Every day I come to work, I just do me,” he said.
Yisrael said his dad always told him: “Be busy. Always be doing something, whether it’s sweeping the floor or taking out the trash. Don’t just do nothing.”
But Yisrael said he never expected his hard work to pay off this way.
“I was ecstatic. I said, ‘Whoa ... you’re giving me a car for free?' " he said.
Speiler added: “To me, it wasn’t necessarily about doing something nice. He truly has earned it.”