Amputation Doesn’t Slow Dedicated U-Haul GM

General Manager Cathy Engle at U-Haul Moving and Storage On The Hill has a personalized definition for the word “persistence.” It means to “continue on with your day-to-day activities to the best of your ability.”

If you were to look the word up in a hypothetical U-Haul dictionary, you likely see her picture.

That’s because Engle, a 20-year Team Member, embodies persistence on an everyday basis. Not only does she work hard to perform the duties of a typical GM, but she does it with a smile.

Trials and experiences

Last October, Engle developed an infection in her right foot. Eventually, she had to have her leg amputated above the knee. To some, this is a reason to rethink everyday routines and priorities, including coming to work.

Engle, on the other hand, doesn’t let the challenge slow her down. Just months after the surgery, she is back to work, ready to keep providing a better and better product and service to more and more people at a lower and lower cost.

“Just by coming back and being positive, she has shown great courage and leadership to her team and to the rest of the marketing company,” noted U-Haul Company of St. Louis president Steve Langford. “She may be less mobile, but she is still determined to do all aspects of the job since coming back.”

Customers at Engle’s store often see her zipping around in a scooter, with several gadgets in tow to help her grab and hold items. Although she is slightly limited in lifting and reaching higher objects, it’s clear that her Team Members will be by her side to assist. 

“(They) have worked above and beyond to keep the store in order and running smoothly,” Engle said. 

Hard at work

General Manager Cathy Engle on scooter.
Thanks to the accessible modifications that U-Haul provided, Engle zips around the office without a problem.

While Engle and her team are unique in many ways, one thing is universal: their dedication to helping U-Haul customers.

“Cathy is great with customers,” Langford said. “She has 500 self-storage rooms, and knows all of her tenants personally. I often get compliments about her from customers.”

Engle added: “Before I became physically challenged, I didn’t notice whether a place I was going to was wheelchair accessible. Or whether I could reach counters or maneuver between aisles. Now, I don’t take things for granted anymore. Every day is precious.”

Always positive, Engle continues to be full of gratitude, including the way she feels about U-Haul.

“I cannot thank U-Haul enough for working with me through this ordeal, as well as for helping me with accessibility accessories and installations at my facility,” Engle said.

Langford wants Team U-Haul to learn from Engle, particularly about the importance of persistence in all situations. “If there are individuals experiencing physical challenges, they can see a Team Member who is overcoming the odds,” he said.

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