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Detroit man who has been walking 21 miles a day to get to and from work for over a decade

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posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 09:25 PM
I hope this doesn't get me in trouble with T&C's, since there's a fundraiser set up for this man to have a car, but I absolutely cannot believe the dedication of this man to go to work!

a Detroit man who has been walking 21 miles a day to get to and from work for over a decade inspired a Michigan college student to launch an online campaign to buy him a car. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, the campaign has raised more than $60,000 in a day.

Since buses don't cover the entire 23-mile route, 56-year-old James Robertson spends nearly all of his free time during the week commuting to his $10.55 an hour factory job in Rochester Hills. According to the Detroit Free Press, which published a front-page story about him Sunday, Robertson begins his trek at 8 a.m. to catch buses that take him to a Troy, Mich., mall before he walks 7 miles to Schain Mold & Engineering, where he begins his 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift. And according to his boss, Robertson has a perfect attendance record.

His commute home takes even longer. Leaving work after 10 p.m., Robertson walks the 7 miles back to the mall, where he catches the last bus of the day, just before 1 a.m., taking it as far as it goes: the State Fairgrounds on Woodward, just south of 8 Mile. From there, he walks roughly 5 miles back to home through what he describes as a dangerous section of town.

"I have to go through Highland Park, and you never know what you're going to run into," Robertson says. "It's pretty dangerous. Really, it is, from 8 Mile on down. They're not the type of people you want to run into. But I've never had any trouble." (According to Wilson, Robertson got mugged once but doesn't like to talk about it.)

By the time he gets home, at 4 a.m., it's almost time to do it again.

Yahoo News

This man is an inspiration to us all! The dedication of this, and not missing a single day of work in 10 years.

So different from the generation of "entitlement" that we have today.

posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 09:38 PM
If this is true, then he is made of much stronger stuff than the average bear. Walking in winter through snow and slippery areas is murder on the back. I hope he gets that car. It sounds like he deserves one.
edit on 2-2-2015 by aboutface because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 09:46 PM
Nobody gives this guy a lift? You'd think that someone working on his shift would be going his way, at least for a few miles. And a perfect attendance record? Walking that distance every day? He must have calves the size of Arnold's or Ventura's forearms. Good find, OP. Now he can afford a car or a cab.

posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 10:18 PM
While i applaud this man's work ethic and commitment and for months myself spent as many hours driving to a job as i was working in a week , so i can only imagine how burned out he is after that time .

Did he not think to move closer to his job or get a bicycle or a moped
or even get another job closer to home

posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 10:29 PM
a reply to: douglas5

Good thought, but we're talking Detroit. The crime... he wouldn't have a bike or moped for long.

Maybe he owns his home or apartment, or maybe moving expense is too much. Maybe nowhere to move to.

Who knows?

posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 10:52 PM
a reply to: tinker9917

Absolute crazy hours per year he was not getting paid for per year 1600 + that is a lot of your life gone in the persuit of work . homes in Detroit do not seem expensive a bank loan for a car and the hours saved travelling done in overtime to pay it off would have given him a easier life very quickly .

I guess he was not the sharpest tool in the box

edit on 2/2/2015 by douglas5 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 12:40 AM
a reply to: douglas5

Actually Doug, you are right...partially. I used to live in the greater Detroit area. Homes in the D are actually quite cheap. You can imagine why. But job opportunities are scarce, so when you get one, chances are you going to do whatever it takes to keep it. He wouldn't have had the opportunity to move closer due to the fact that it probably wasn't in his budget to do so. Once you start heading north of 8 mile road, homes and rent dramatically increase. He would need to save a lot of money just to make a move and then maintain it over time. Chances are you also are correct about him being non-educated. Seems to be a big problem in Detroit. In fact everything seems to be a big problem in Detroit. But yes, as stated in the article he works afternoon shift at a factory. Probably as a line worker making minimum wage with a shift bonus and insurance benefits. Also I have experience from working in retail sales when I was 21 that financed homeowners for their product. They NEVER would finance people in Detroit. Reason given "Detroiters don't pay." If you want anything and you have a Detroit address it is straight up cash and carry. Not to mention trying to insure a car in that area. It's like the insurance companies KNOW you are going to file a claim within the first year. Sucks, Man! I'm glad people finally decided to help this guy get a leg up but I have a feeling he won't have that car for long and it will be back to the Shoe Leather Express.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 01:02 AM
For those who think the working poor are lazy and deserved to be ignored.. think again, there was another story perhaps posted here on ATS about a woman who died working multiple jobs
But thanks to the kindness of strangers at least this man maybe able to commute much easier.
edit on 3-2-2015 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 01:09 AM
a reply to: Kusinjo

I feel for the guy with the hours he puts in , he must be motivated to carry on for 10 years ,but at the same time you can get a electric/battery powered bicycle cheap ,my father just picked up one for 6-700 $ and loves it or a moped would not cost much more .

It staggers me that his friend's /boss/work mates watched him do this for so long, i hope they hang their heads in shame , the guy needs a medal for his persistence in all weathers .

Thankfully good people are out there who will help out

this story in the u.k tugged at my heart
edit on 3/2/2015 by douglas5 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 01:22 AM
Another perfect example of how we live to work & work to die.

This man needs societal collapse more than any of us. Then maybe he can be free.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 03:09 AM
a reply to: douglas5

the hourly rate he was being paid , how could he even afford to run a car let alone buy one .

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 03:35 AM
a reply to: tinker9917

What a bloody legend this bloke is.

When Americans go to the polls in 2016 - weigh up your choice against this man.......for he is a reference point for humility, dedication and perseverance.

To bad he does not get nominated to run for office - he would be by far the best candidate since Kennedy, imo.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 06:07 AM
a reply to: Sublimecraft

LEGEND is right.

It beggars belief that this man has been making this incredible trek for ten years.

Even more so it beggars belief that a human being could physically function for ten years with 3 hours of sleep a night. (and by beggars belief I mean is physically impossible)

To those who worry about this man's safety as he walks through Detroit- don't, we are talking about a 55 year old man who walks 19 miles EVERY DAY then works an 8 hr factory shift on his feet. His only fears are Lex Luthor and Kryptonite.

Hmmmm.... a fundraiser for a middle aged man that works 40 hrs a week, sleeps 3 hrs a night and has been walking 100 miles a week for ten years.... seems legit.

Seriously they would need a fundraiser to by custom pants to fit the monstrous legs this guy would have if this was true.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 06:09 AM
Reading through the article I see " he rarely accepts rides" followed shortly by the article saying he was befriended by a banker who has given him dozens of rides.

This whole thing is fishy.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 07:21 AM
a reply to: abe froman

Dozens of rides for part of the way home over a ten year period really isn't that much, if you do the math....
edit on 3-2-2015 by tinker9917 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 08:23 AM
Walking that far every day may well be the glue that holds his world together.

In fact if I had to put money on it, I'd bet he doesn't have the same job this time next year. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing.

For sure, the car will be a shock to his system and the consequences could be negative. He may look back one day and wish that he would have never been noticed...

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 09:32 AM
What a great way to live ineffeciently!

I guess the man didn't want to come back home to his wife/loving family and gave himself the excuse of walking 11-12 hours a day. All this time, he never moved and he never got daily lifts.

This man...I don't know what to make of him. I pitty him for not knowing what to do with his time. Some people are like that, they can't find nothing to do outside of work. These people are rarely interested in intellectual and artistic occupations and the quality of their person suffers IMO.

This is a suffering soul, his life is devoid of sense. No one in his right mind would chose such life decisions. He is surrely depressive and needs mental help. Sleeping 3-4 hours everyday also takes it's toll on the mind.

I don't see why we should praise a man like that. He's been "walking" in the wrong direction of life for 31 000+ hours in the last 10 years.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 09:34 AM

originally posted by: Quauhtli
Walking that far every day may well be the glue that holds his world together.

Probably, this looks like a depressed man with no life goals. He choosed to walk all this time because he wants to evade something in his life.

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 01:23 PM
at one time - i walked 6km / day to work [ 3 km each way ] - but within 6 months i had saved and bought a bicycle

i get the vibe - this guy didnt want to change

$1 / week would have got him a basic second hand bike in 1 year .

posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 01:46 PM
We looked at that area of the state before settling in W MI. E MI was a total no-go between high rents & high crime rates. If we wanted a safe neighborhood, we were going to pay out the nose for it. If we wanted an affordable place, we were going to have to put up with really high crime rates (robbery/theft is asininely high over there) W MI won easily, the size of the place we have in the neighborhood we're in would easily fetch over double what we're paying over there in the better towns/neighborhoods, hands down. Living safely gets pricy over there. Not. viable.

All that in mind, there's no telling what his rent or mortgage looks like. He could have had a refi that jacked up his mortgage & made having a car unaffordable, or a rent increase that did the same. A lot happens in a decade, especially when you stay put & try to ride out rough times instead of leaving. Cut the guy some slack, he's proving he's got more dedication to holding a job than most posters have dedication for a coherent post on ATS.

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