Friday, August 31

Profiles In Courage: Bayley Judah

Bayley Judah
Here's one for all the millennials out there. Bayley Judah represents who you are, or at least how the rest of us see you. But it's not because we're wrong that we see you as spoiled kids who are looking to score big without any effort. The older, wiser among us might shake our heads, but other millennials will see this story as proof that you've got it all figured out.

Bayley Judah of Jacksonville rear-ended my vehicle while stopped at a red light at Wonderwood and Mayport. We were both on our way in to Hanna Park on June 8th at around 8am. I'm not saying he was a distracted driver, but anyone out there who received a text from him at that moment probably knows the answer. Or maybe he needed to change the tunes to get pumped for his day lifeguarding. Either way, we were completely stopped at a red light, and he just accelerated into the back of my car, where my 10 year-old son sat in the back seat.

Bayley Judah, formerly of Bishop Kenny, and someone who was/is dating a Christian blogger, decided to do the right thing and follow me into the parking lot of the school in order to discuss the damage to my car. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and I've dealt with not getting insurance or police involved. By the way, Bayley Judah's father and grandfather were both police officers, so he probably knows traffic law enough to realize he was 100% to blame, and he maybe even faced a ticket for distracted driving, something that recently killed a police officer in the Jacksonville area.

No matter, because Bayley Judah is a millennial, and what he lacks in everything else is compensated for in smooth talking and driving a big pickup truck. He asked, nearly pleaded, to keep insurance out of it, saying that he could not afford another hike in insurance rates. To be fair, I don't love insurance, but because of Bayley Judah, I will be forcing any other person who bumps into me to involve insurance immediately from now on.

Mr. Judah said that he knew a place that could fix the car. I took the car to his place and got estimates. $300 to get the trunk to work. $750 to replace the trunk. $1000 to replace trunk and bumper. That's cheap.

I was trying to be fair. It's not a new car, so I was OK with not getting the $1000 option, even though Bayley Judah's insurance would have covered a much better fix than some junkyard bumper put in by some guys in a back alley. And I'm sure Bayley would have been stuck with a $1000 deductible and higher insurance rates.

So I cut the young man a deal: pay the $300 and give me $300 more. That's a total of $600. Probably one payment on his extra-large pickup truck. No police report. No dealing with insurance. No lawsuit because he drove into my car with my kid in the backseat. No Dr. Tony the chiropractor.

But this is where Bayley Judah becomes the millennial super hero. He paid the $300 to get the car working. And then he never showed with the other $300. He ignored several text messages--probably blocked my number, like I was someone he'd unfriended on Facebook. Like I was someone who would not miss the $300. Like I was someone who doesn't understand how search engines work. That takes courage, I suppose. To take a stand against being a decent member of society in favor of self-preservation. Go Team Millennial!

I know, it's a millennial thing. I should not be surprised. It really is what the older generation tends to expect from you. I thought I'd met a local kid who wasn't about scamming others. He's in college, works summers, drives a big truck--all that good stuff. But maybe honor, honesty, and gratitude are not priorities right now. Gasoline probably is.

I'm sure it's really one of Bayley Judah's good friends who put him up to this. "No way, Man! You paid for the cheap repair, so stiff him on the rest." I'm sure it wasn't his police officer father or Christian blogger girlfriend who encouraged him to take advantage of the generosity of another person to this extent. I am also sure that when those folks realize what was done, they'll let Bayley know that he should have paid the $300, and probably offered a lot more.  Of course, he can still pay the $300 or offer more.

Future employers of Bayley Judah (who will someday graduate from Florida State College at Jacksonville) will be interested in his behavior towards others, but I suppose he'll just tell them what they want to hear. His hundreds of Twitter and Facebook followers might come to his rescue with a GoFundMe set up to help someone with season tickets to Jags games and a giant pickup truck who's so down on his luck that he can't pay his debts. Because those are some good friends and probably good people who know when to step up for someone else.

But maybe all those other people don't care so much about what happens to Bayley Judah, or maybe they all just think I'm the sucker who saved a guy $1000 and gets to drive around in a dented car for the effort. Or maybe it's all just an accounting error, and there's a $300 check sitting on my porch somewhere that I have yet to find. But it's been more than two months. I think Bayley Judah has decided he'd rather spend his money on other things, like vitamin supplements and bar tabs. The good news is that if you ever owe Mr. Judah any money, he'll probably forgive you. That's obviously the model he wants others to follow.

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