I had a unique experience the other day, and I didn't know how to respond. I needed some wood to finish up some trim work I am doing in our home. So I went to the local big-box home improvement store to pick some up. After choking over the new prices for wood, I got what I needed and headed to the register. I found an open cashier and pulled forward to have the young man check me out. He enthusiastically came out from behind the counter to scan the items in my cart. That is when I noticed something unique, the young man was making random noises, and in between scanning items, he would hit himself on the head multiple times.
These are not something new to me. I have friends with various behaviors, and I know they are no sign of ability or disability. The situation was different. It threw me off a little.
I so wanted to give him a hi-five and then barrage him with questions about his journey and how it was working at the store.
So many things raced through my mind. First, I wanted to know if the retailer made it easy or hard to get the job. Second, I wondered if they offered specialized training as some do for veterans.
I wanted to know what his favorite part of the job was or what he didn't like. Also, I wondered how he enjoyed working in retail, something I am not fond of doing.
I realize that if I had done any of those things, it would have probably made him feel awkward. Some stranger in line, asking personal questions and bugging him on the job. Would I do that to any other person at a register? No, of course not.
Not to brag on him too much, but he checked me out faster than half of the others would. Didn't ask me if I wanted to signup for a store card was courteous and sent me on my way. I wish that were always the case.
In the end, I did what should be like any other day. I smiled, said, have a good day, and went about my day. Later while thinking about it, it made me smile. Things are changing, and I am eager for the day that I no longer see that as a unique situation. It seems like that will be soon.