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Regions Bank VP of marketing shares how even strangers can be like family in Alabama

Bret Pippen thought it was just going to be another day at Regions tower in downtown Birmingham. However, as he learned about a tragic event, his day stopped. He began to think about what relationships around him actually meant.

Bret, the senior vice president of marketing at Regions Bank, shares this story just months after it happened to show us humanity still exists in this crazy world we live in.

The story begins with Bret building a relationship with Esquire, a shoe shiner.

Eventually, his son, Jamal, starts working there and connecting with Bret. They would talk about anything from marketing strategy to Alabama football. One day, the shoe shine shop was closed, so Bret asked around to see where Esquire and Jamal were. He was informed Jamal had been killed. To Bret’s disbelief, he went and searched it on his computer and there it was.

He had the feeling we all feel when you realize something tragic happens to someone you care about — your stomach sinks to your toes. On one of the busiest meeting days of the year, Bret was headed down to get a snack and passed by the shoe shine stand. As he came around the corner, there was Esquire. Bret had not seen Esquire since before he found out the tragic story about his son.

Bret thought to himself, “I’m so busy, not today, I just don’t have time.”

Although, when he walked passed him they locked eyes and Esquire fell into his arms. The tears began to fall and Bret just hugged him. He then saw the line of people there to console Esquire behind him.

Bret said that he did not remember what meeting he missed, but he will always remember those moments with Esquire.

This shows the human side of the crazy world we live in today. In all of the lives of people around us, there are so many of them like Esquire where if we looked up from our phones and connected with people around us, we would realize there are other people out there that need someone to lean on.


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