After a man threw a brick at his restaurant door in Augusta, Georgia early Saturday morning, Carl Wallace was understandably frustrated.
“You know my first response was, you know, anger, frustration,” he told TODAY Food. “I realized we kind of had to post a Facebook post on our door that looked really, really bad because here we are going to put two sheets of plywood on the front door to get through the day.
The man rummaged through the cash register at Diablo’s Southwest Grill as the alarm sounded, Wallace said his security footage showed him, but there was nothing in the drawer.
As he wrote the message to explain to his customers why the restaurant door looked like a mess later that morning, Wallace realized.
“It occurred to me (that it is)… Easter weekend and just hanging out an olive branch,” he explained. “You know, spread the layer of forgiveness and kindness and give the … potential thief redemption and a different path.”
Instead, he wrote a message offering the man a job application.
“Our burritos are so successful that we have people barging in at 4 am for their solution. So if you see our door looking fabulous at Wheeler Rd, that’s why, ”Wallace wrote. “For the thief who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money problems … please go ahead for a job application.” There are better opportunities than this path you have chosen. “
“No police, no questions. Let’s sit down and talk about how we could help you and fix the road you are on. Sincerely Carl.
Her forgiving post quickly went viral. Wallace said he had heard from outlets in Europe and Australia to share his story. He said he was also receiving texts from pastors across the country supporting his choice.
“You know, I kind of looked at it from a thief’s point of view, you know it really doesn’t work… One of my things as an employer that I like to ask my employees (is) what are their goals in life and what do you want to do and what can we do as a business to help you achieve your goals? He explained. “I would ask the thief the same thing: ‘What are your goals in life and does that put you on the right path to achieving those goals?’
“And so, it was just a little different approach, you know, to a bad situation.”
Wallace added that if the person who broke in shows up, they have no plans to press charges.
“Put that person in jail and then get out and make it more difficult to find a well-paying job,” he explained. “It only makes things worse. Sometimes… even I feel like our system in life is broken sometimes for some people… We’ve been doing the same thing for 200 years and it hasn’t worked.
“Maybe everyone should offer some kindness and a way to help others rather than continuing to harm what is already broken.”