18-year-old gets unexpected job at Papa Roux restaurant while on 10-mile walk to interview elsewhere

Jhaqueil Reagan started job Monday

INDIANAPOLIS - It's a fast-paced Cajun kitchen, but Jhaqueil Reagan's road to Papa Roux restaurant began with a slow walk after Friday morning's ice storm.

"I'm putting down salt to melt the all the ice because it was an ice rink out here, and while I'm doing it, a young guy comes walking through the parking lot, and he says, 'Excuse me, can you tell me how far it is to 10th and Sherman?'" said Art Bouvier, the owner of Papa Roux.

That young guy was 18-year-old Reagan, and he was walking 10 miles to an interview for a minimum wage job.

About 15 minutes later, Bouvier and his wife were out running errands when they saw Reagan, still walking.

"I decided I can't afford to pass you up, because anybody that's going to walk 10 miles to an interview in the snow and ice will definitely get here for work on a sunny day," Bouvier said.

Reagan started his new job at Papa Roux on Monday.

"I really don't know what to say about it. It's overwhelming," Reagan said. "You know, I didn't expect all this or anything. I was just going to a job interview."

Reagan's walk through the snow and ice has already traveled all around the world. Since the owner posted the story on Facebook on Friday, it's already gotten more than 14,000 "likes."

"I think it's really going to benefit both of us and I think it was meant to be," said co-owner Colleen Kenna.

Already Reagan has learned to bread catfish, helped unload ingredients and bussed tables.

He said he likes his co-workers, his boss and the harmony of Papa Roux's.

"It's my first day; I'm already starting to like it," he said.

Reagan said he learned his work ethic from his dad.
   
He hopes to soon be able to get his own apartment close to work.

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