Thank-you to the everyday heroes

By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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As a reporter it’s my job to tell people’s stories — sometimes they are of great triumph, other times it’s about the days folks would rather just not remember — a death in the family, a crime spree ending in justice or life-altering car accident. There are a couple of byproducts of my job description. One I am grateful for. While I get to meet a lot of interesting people, my bad days don’t usually wind up in print. The second is more unfortunate. Even in a town like Auburn, the simple goodness of people to one other can sometimes get drowned out by all of the chaos, both in person and in print. So let me take you inside my bad day, where you’ll learn about some of the kindest people living and working among you everyday. Out on a story assignment in Old Town Auburn my heart sank as I saw my keys sitting on the seat inside my car. I was conveniently stationed outside of my locked car door. At that point it was an inconvenience, but nothing I couldn’t handle. With my hide-a-key long gone somewhere, I searched for a locksmith on my iPhone and after calling a couple of places settled on one. They said they’d be there in 15 minutes and I could expect to pay $15 dollars for a service fee and $35 and up to unlock my car. When I asked what “and up” meant exactly I was told most cars are around $35. An hour-and-a-half later I was freezing, annoyed and no closer to my office where deadlines where waiting for me. So much for 15 minutes. The serviceman who answered my call seemed like a stand-up guy. Unfortunately, the company he worked for wanted to charge me nearly $200 to open my midsize, mid-2000’s car. He could offer me a $15 discount for the wait. That was a far cry from the $50 quote I was given over the phone. When I told them I didn’t want to use their service his manager called me and threatened to call the police on me, “who would be able to find me because he knows where my car is and I can’t go anywhere because my car is stuck there.” While I doubt his case would have held up in court, I told him I would rather break into my own car than pay a business that obviously wasn’t honest with me a single dime. Dejected, stuck in Old Town and evading arrest, I wandered into Tsuda’s. Pulling out my phone to call my boyfriend I realized my phone was just about dead and I was no closer to having the door unlocked. He was at school and wouldn’t be able to help anytime soon. Every family member of mine lives at least 40 minutes away and the clock was ticking. A few calls later my phone was dead. That’s when two workers at Tsuda’s Café and Bakery, James Spear and Maisie Hastings, came to my rescue. They not only let me use the phone several times (one time somebody even called for me), but went on a crusade to get my car unlocked — calling friends and popping over to local businesses. They are living proof that 20-somethings still have some of the same values that made their grandparent’s generation so great. They went above and beyond the call of duty, in-between customers no less, to figure out a way to get my car open. Next door at the Silver Store, the owner, Mimi Lovisa, offered to let me use her AAA card and even went out with to meet the serviceman with me. Within a matter of minutes I was back on the road and cruising toward my deadlines. Their simple kindness that day to a complete stranger was truly touching. In a town like Roseville, where I live, I wonder if the same determination would have gone into helping me get my car unlocked. This is a big thank-you to James, Maisie and Mimi, and all of the other folks out there who put aside their own cares to help out someone in a bind. It can happen to any of us and I am so grateful that people like that still exist. As for the business that contributed to the ruining of my day, I called the Sacramento Better Business Bureau to find out what people should do that have a similar experience. The spokesperson Cailin Peterson, told me that I could file a complaint that would be investigated. At the very least in my case it would probably be forwarded to her division, which handles advertising review. I am also downloading a free app for my phone called the BBB Search. It allows you to pull up reviews and complaints of any business while you are on the go. That simple step could have saved me from a total waste of time and a serious rise in blood pressure. To file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, visit or call, (916) 443-6843. Reach Sara Seyydin at