A Train Set, A Helper Monkey, And An Interesting Good Deed

Service Champions technician Erland was at a home in Orange on a service call. As is typical of Erland, he was going out of his way to look for a way to help his customer.

“If you need any help with anything, I’m here to do that,” Erland said.

“Are you serious?” the homeowner asked.

“Yeah, definitely,” Erland responded. “We do Good Deeds For Free – tell me what you want done.”

The customer had a cool train set, but it needed a few things soldered to a circuit board to work.

“Well, I got these parts for my train set. If you could help me with that, that would be incredible,” the homeowner said.

The customer was unable to do it himself, being in a powered wheelchair and paralyzed from the neck down after breaking his 5th vertebrae. He had some movement in his arms, but he explained it wasn’t enough to accomplish detail work like soldering.

As they were talking about it, he also introduced Erland to his helper monkey (a specially-trained service animal that assists people with disabilities). “Her name is Mimi. Mimi, meet Erland.”

“The monkey was really neat looking,” Erland said. “It reminded me of the rally monkey for the Anaheim Angels.”

“I can definitely help you with your train,” Erland told him. “I’m going to finish your tune-up first, and then we can figure it out.”

After completing the service, Erland got down to business on the train set.

“I soldered six wires to a circuit board that was a little smaller than a quarter,” Erland said. “Then I attached it into the control boards so it would work with the train set.”

It took Erland about 40 minutes, but he was surprised by how much he enjoyed it and the concentration it required. He had some experience with larger circuit boards, but nothing so small before. “You had to make sure the solder did not overlap and get on the other contacts.”

“This is really cool,” Erland told the customer. “I think you’re getting me hooked on a new hobby.”

Erland got it all working and they tested the train. Success!

The homeowner was very appreciative, and he thanked Erland. He thrilled to have the train set operating with the new parts.

Erland, you went above and beyond yet again, with another Good Deed For Free! Excellent job!

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