I can honestly tell you I have been in a jail during my employment with BraunAbility.
Before I get into too much trouble, again, let me explain. Fifteen years ago we were requested by a commercial dealer to help them provide commercial wheelchair lift service training at the Tomoka State Prison near Daytona Beach, Florida. The Tomoka facility was repairing old school buses, and sometimes adding wheelchair lifts. All training is done inside the facilities, for obvious reasons.
The Tomoka automotive shop for the inmates is part of Prison Reform Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE) of Florida. The idea behind PRIDE is for the state to teach skills to inmates rather than warehouse them in prison.
Our trainer at the time, Lionel Young, was also a part-time preacher and had done some prison ministry, so he knew what to expect. I was surprised by the amount of fences, razor wire and armed guard towers at what was called a medium security facility, and by the flight of steps leading up to the training room.
But, the lead instructor grabbed four big inmates to lift my wheelchair and over-sized body. I started telling them how to position the chair so the rear wheels could be placed on the steps if they needed to take a break or change their grip on the chair. One of the guys looked at me and said “This is how we do it at PRIDE.” And with that they carried me up the steps like I was a box of BraunAbility literature.
Pride is a powerful emotion. The Good Book warns against it, and the old saying is “pride before the fall.” But, a lot of work gets done because of pride. The guys at Tomoka used the pride they felt to make a hard job much easier.
At BraunAbility we use pride every day. Having pride in your job seems to make the work easier and the day faster. Pride also makes you want to do your job better. At the end of a day, the pride of what our team or our company has accomplished is a great feeling.
However, the best feeling of pride comes when customers tell us how we have been part of their lives. The investment they made in an Entervan or Rampvan wheelchair van or one of our wheelchair lifts paid off in a new-found sense of freedom or gave them needed transportation to go out and do amazing things. How about you? If you have a story to tell us, please leave a comment below. We’re proud to have been there with you.